Cardus online carries the article, Crossing the Sahara. It explores a question that haunts many who care deeply about orphans, foster youth and other pressing needs: Given the struggle and sorrow that mark so many attempts at bringing justice and mercy, is there really any motivation that can keep us in this work for the long haul?
Crossing the Sahara
A gripping scene in The Soloist is a moment of dark epiphany for the film’s antihero protagonist, L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez. Casting about for a story to fill his syndicated column, Lopez discovers that a homeless schizophrenic he’s happened upon was once a virtuoso cellist named Nathaniel Ayers. Although Lopez has interest in little beyond good writing material, the clumsy relationship that grows between the two men slowly wakes him to genuine concern, setting Lopez on a quest to rescue Ayers from both mental illness and the streets.
After many false starts, Ayers seems to have finally turned a corner, accepting a rented apartment and playing the cello once again. But when Lopez asks him to sign some forms, Ayers’s paranoia re-ignites. He seizes Lopez by the neck and drags him to the floor, thumbs nearly crushing the terrified writer’s windpipe until Lopez finally wrests himself free and runs for dear life. More…