On Meaning Making, Shel Silverstein, & The Giving Tree
BY RUTH MARGALIT
The New Yorker
How do we make meaning of what we read? What is the nature of such meaning over time? There can be a beautiful gift when we are left to wonder about meaning. In this reflection on her dismay in rereading The Giving Tree after many years, Margalit writes, "A strange thing happens when we encounter a book we used to love and suddenly find it charmless; the feeling is one of puzzled dissociation. Was it really me who once cherished this book?" Silverstein in his life and work certainly opens us up to wonder. Is The Giving Tree just a book about a boy and a tree or is there something more to it? We may never know. Or perhaps it's up to us to decide?