Friday, August 19, 2011

My Story is Not Finished

I’m re-reading a favorite book of mine – The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It’s the story of the Biblical family of Jacob, told from the perspective of his youngest daughter, Dinah. This morning I came across a passage that I thought was really beautiful.

In this part of the story, Dinah runs into an acquaintance from her childhood. Both women have suffered tremendously since they last saw each other, so much that the strange coincidence of meeting again causes them to wonder aloud if they are alive or dead. The women confide in each other, sharing their stories of loss and sadness. For the first time, Dinah is able to tell someone about the horrific tragedy she has lived through, and the old woman responds:

When at last I was quiet, she said, “You are not dead.” Her voice betrayed a little sorrow. “You are not like me. Your grief shines from your heart. The flame of love is strong. Your story is not finished.” 

I recognized myself in the woman's depiction of Dinah, and it made me feel hopeful.

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