I read China Mieville's "The Scar" perhaps ten years ago and love it. I don't remember it perfectly except for a few moments that really stuck with me. But I was reacquainted with it sometime last year when I was reading "The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy" and there was an essay that related that the key to this novel is that the heroine, Bellis, isn't really the star of the story, even though she thinks she is. She dreams of rescue, of some sort of resolution that redeems and saves her, but instead she's really just a passenger.
We are often the stars of our own stories, but seldom the stars of THE story, whatever that is. Even in THE story, stars are seldom stars for long - for instance, our very own President Trump is a dominant figure right now in the world, but someday people will hear his name and it will mean nothing to them. In the world's story, no one is the star for long.
Is there anything wrong with the fact that this is an ensemble piece, and not a heroic journey like we like to imagine? I don't think so. Fiction is fiction, and reality is, well, reality.
I seldom think we are placed on Earth to DO something, and are rather here to LEARN or experience something. Sure, it was important that Einstein developed E=MC2, and that J wrote the Genesis section of the Bible. But had they not been here, would someone else have done their jobs?
I'd like to think so.
In our society, we often value one life over another. A great inventor, we might say, is important, or a great Titan of industry who moved the world. But what about their mother's and father's, without whom they would never have existed? Or their friends or mentors who formed them? And on and on.
I believe all lives have value, not just American lives, or Christian lives, or even lives that affect other lives in some way. Every single life is important, and cannot be judged by humans. We just can't do it. If there is a God, that is his or her job. I refuse to make judgments on whose life has value, and whose does not.
My point is that even though we might not be a big part of THE story, our stories still matter, even if sometimes they seem to only to matter to us, and our loved ones. Everything matters, everything is connected, and while we might no be able to read the meaning of this tapestry, that doesn't mean it says nothing.