I wonder about things. I wonder a lot. I wonder about a lot of things. I wonder about a lot of different things.
My mother used to tell me, “Don’t wo(a)nder too far. You might get lost.” I have got lost in thought from time to time, but I have always found my way back to the present.
What I’ve been wondering about lately is people who break the law. I’m not talking about somebody who got a speeding ticket, or someone who committed a summary offense. I’m talking about people who commit violence, hurt other people and destroy personal and public property.
When I see their mug shots on television, they just look like regular people. Of course, some of them may have unruly hair, or a nose ring, or tattoos, but that’s not uncommon in this day and age.
Why do I expect them to have a grotesque, inhuman appearance? Why do I think they should look inhuman, because their actions may have been? If that were the case, at least other people would know enough to stay out of their way and not fall prey to any evil plot they might be hatching.
I often think of the story by Oscar Wilde, titled, “Picture of Dorian Gray.” This man was very handsome and had a portrait painted of himself. Each time he did an evil deed, he remained as handsome as ever, but his portrait became more and more disfigured.
Soon Mr. Gray hid his portrait, whereas he once displayed it with pride. However, he didn’t change his behavior and kept doing his evil deeds.
I wonder where he went wrong. I picture him as a baby at his mother’s breast, or being bounced on the knees of family members and loved ones. I can see him toddling around the house standing on his tiptoes to see what was beyond his reach.
I wonder the same thing and get the same picture of all of those people whose mug shots I see on the nightly news., Are they born evil or do they learn it from people in their environment?
Well, it turns out that Mr. Gray had a conscience, after all. Or maybe, he just hated ugliness and didn’t want to see his handsome portrait looking so grotesque.
He takes a knife and thrusts it into the canvas to destroy it. Lo and behold! The next day, friends come to the house and discover Mr. Gray lying dead on the floor, a knife in his chest, assuming the ugliness that was once on the canvas, while the portrait resumed its former beauty. The friends could only identify him by the rings and clothes he was wearing.
The portrait was an outward sign of the ugliness that was residing in his heart and soul.
I wonder if that’s where love hides too.
Dorothy has recently published a book, “Miles and Miracles”, and it can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle, and is now available at 512 Main in Knox, PA. Her email address is: dorothybutzknight@gmail. com