Saturday, November 11, 2006

Perserverance

I have finished Reading Lolita in Tehran, putting in the final half-hour after tucking in my kids tonight. I am glad I didn't give up, both for the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing a task--particularly a difficult one, and for the few gems that I discovered in the last few chapters.

From a 27 year old woman who had spent many horrible years in prison as a political prisoner under Iran's Islamic Republic and was now "free":

There, in jail, I like the rest of them thought we would be killed and that would be the end, or we would live, we would live and get out, and begin all over. There in jail, we dreamed of just being outside, free, but when I came out, I discovered that I missed the sense of solidarity we had in jail, the sense of purpose....More than anything else, I miss the hope. In jail, we had the hope that we might get out, go to college, have fun, go to movies....You'd call it the ordeal of freedom, I guess....

And this, from the author, in contemplating leaving her homeland of Iran for a new life in the United States. I felt very much the same when leaving Washington for Montana, clearly not a move of the same magnitude, but some of the same reactions, nonetheless. Go back and skim through my archives for June and July of 2004, and you will see it plainly.

As my departure drew closer, I became obsessed with taking pictures of all the details of our life. When I did not have my actual camera with me, I became a camera myself, writing feverishly...

You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place...like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way again.

4 comments:

mrsfish said...

My mom got here last night, and was laughing at your natural consequences post, which I hadn't yet read. She called me over to read it and after I chuckled I read down further. I started typing my little comment, and she wanted the computer back. I said

"there, now she will finish it because I said she didn't have to." Just needed a little gauntlet.

Sherry C said...

You nailed it, Amanda. With the freedom and permission to not finish, I found I had the strength to go on afterall.

AmberJ said...

I just read your sidebar list and found "The Last Battle" on the list. Have you read it? I finished it a few months ago and although I had to power through the first few chapters (different theme from the other books) I loved the end and thought it was a great finale to the series.

Kudos on finishing the reading. You have much more patience than I do.

Sheila said...

Good job! I felt the same way about that book.