humpback-whale-431904__180My torturous relationship with Herman Melville continues.

Over the weekend I went to see In the Heart of the Sea, with a friend who wanted to go. ***No worries, no spoilers here.

I first read Moby Dick when I was a senior in high school, or rather the summer before I was to become a senior in high school. I was in Advanced Placement English, and Moby Dick was on the assigned reading list. I read it, good student that I was, but despised Captain Ahab and Melville by the long, long end. I dutifully wrote my paper on the whale and turned it in, but truth be told I was more interested in the guy sitting next to me than I was in the imagery, symbolism and other deep meanings in a story that had bored me to tears.

All that changed this weekend.

The movie has been on my mind since I saw it a few days ago, and the imagery, the meaning, the symbolism I could only grasp at as a teenager hit home for me: contained in the ‘heart’ of the sea, in the movie, in the book, in us there is love, hate, life, death, the frailty, and fortitude of the human spirit, the cycle of life, joy, mystery, misery, strength, weakness, even cruelty – Ron Howard expertly captured it all In the Heart of the Sea, as did Melville in Moby Dick.

As a writer, it brought to life for me the struggles of a young Melville, and his fervor in researching a story that lived and breathed in his soul. His arduous task of telling a tale – writing it by hand – that, little did he know would influence generations to come, his admission that he felt he was not a good writer, and his desire to make his mark, to bring his passion to the page, impresses me so that I have new respect for Melville, and Moby Dick, so much so, I feel the need to revisit the story that pained me so in high school.

Once again, I find it to blessedly be the case that books do not change, but we, as readers do. Therein lies the beauty of appreciating and understanding different things during the different seasons of our lives, and in our ‘hearts.’

Please share – have you read Moby Dick? Seen In The Heart of The Sea? What’s been your experience?

Rebecca E. Neely pens stories with a paranormal flair, and of course, romance. The Keeper, Book 1 in the Crossing Realms paranormal romance series, is available now on Amazon.

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