-The Lady Bug. Is there beauty in the insignificance of the bug? The dots themselves on the ladybug’s back represent the victims of the Little Lady Killer. The left side has two dots and the right side is three dots (pg. 51).
In the story the tragedy takes place in the wilderness campsite-cold and harsh to those unfamiliar with its nature; somehow unfitting for a ladybug. Something so cute, so innocent and as loveable as a ladybug could never be anything to be afraid of. It seems ironic, and yet sadly poetic as this symbol, of a peaceful and probably one of the least hostile insects on earth is also the symbol of violent crimes against humanity. The FBI describes the likeliness of the occupation and lifestyle of this killer-a skilled woodsman. It seems almost sickly, as to manipulate the image of the ladybug as a means to haunt the memories of those looking for him, and to tease and taunt their efforts with remains of only trinkets-messages telling his trackers they are losing the fight to find him before he claims yet another victim, to satisfy his lust for the blood of innocent little girls. This use of the ladybug by the killer is even more unsettling considering the pure, innocent, and almost comforting nature of this peaceful insect, and knowing that, makes for these crimes to seem even more unjust in our eyes. Clearly Mack sees this, which I believe might in fact play some part in his guilt over his role in this tragedy, and the unjust nature of these crimes.
-Jesus walking on Water. This event in the novel is a literary reference to when Peter walked on water with Jesus, which is found in Matthew 14:22-33. This applies to Mack specifically to help him push through even the most basic fears he has: his fears of foolishness, fears of ridicule and his fears of failure, especially in the wake of his daughter’s death. Jesus explains to him that his fears are justified, yet he not need be afraid. Mack imagines all these possibilities of the present circumstances and its outcomes, but Jesus points out that despite the fact that we as human beings have the power of imaginations, not unlike even God Himself. That is our design-to be LIKE Christ. Through imagination we imagine possibilities, for what could have been in the past and what COULD be in the future, but very little do we set our imaginations aside, and focus on abandoned self and LIVE the present. This “exercise” with Jesus teaches Mack, and I think anyone who reads both this and the accounts in scripture, to lay down our fleshly crowns, and in ourselves ABANDONED to faith and love, walk with Him overcoming our fears and our weaknesses as human beings.
-The Garden. In chapter nine Sarayu (the Holy Spirit) shows Mack a messy, fractal garden. The garden is full of colors, herbs, flowers, plants. Mack describes it as a “chaos in color”…”confusing, stunning, and incredibly beautiful.” As they walk, Sarayu picks various herbs and plants and flowers, giving them to Mack and creating a bouquet. She then gives Mack some garden tools and leads him to a secluded patch of absolute beauty—breathtaking. She asks for his help in clearing the patch because she wants to plant something else here instead. Stunned at her request to destroy something so beautiful, he joins her in clear-cutting the beautiful patch of garden. Their conversation turns to the topic of Good and Evil where Sarayu makes the comment, “You humans, so little in your own eyes. You are truly blind to your own place in the Creation. Having chosen the ravaged path of independenc, you don’t even comprehend that you are dragging the entire Creation along with you.” She also states that “humans have a great capacity for declaring something good or evil, without truly knowing.” She begins to question Mack about his ability to really know what is good for him or what is evil. He says a lot of it is based on how something or someone effects him…that somethings he thought were good turned out to be bad, and visa-versa. In his own life, He has fallen into darkness because he has slipped out of the light, and to be in the light is to be without darkness, and to have life is to be connected to the source-God the Father. This garden is his OWN SOUL, that he lays witness to.Then Papa arrives. Mack says how, though the garden is a mess, he somehow feels strangely comfortable in it. Papa and Sarayu smile at each other. Sarayu says, “And well you should, Mackenzie, because this garden is your soul—this mess is you! Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And its wild and beautiful and perfectly in process. To you it seems messy, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive—a living fractal.” Mack crumbled. He looked at his garden and it really was a mess, but incredible and wonderful at the same time. Amidst the chaos and confusion, there is beauty in imperfection.