night with stars and mountains

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?