Large and small tragedies abound. Some are unimaginably horrific, putting the tiny ones in perspective. Anne Lamott, in her beautiful book Dusk, Night, Dawn, writes about a horrific tragedy that occurred in the life of a woman named Ali.
Ali might have been a person who drank too much alcohol. Ali was definitely a person who did a very terrible thing—a horrifically tragic thing—that probably resulted from drinking too much alcohol.
Lamott, writing as an alcoholic who is now sober, doesn’t take the usual perspective of tragedy. No; instead, she writes about Ali:
“The nearly impossible work that Ali faces—and that we all face—will be to forgive herself. This will take time. Time takes time. I hate this.”
Passion and compassion, with a dose of cathartic humor, catching the reader by surprise. Such is the stuff Dusk, Night, Dawn is made of.
After a tragedy, whether large, medium, or small, how to heal? Self-forgiveness seems like a good aspirational goal. After all, we’re only human.
And time is only time. Self-forgiveness takes time, and so do other difficult things. When I think about my long road to concussion recovery, I feel bleak. But my friends remind me (those friends again—so important!) that time heals. It really does.
Are you on the healing path of time?