I just finished “reading” A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. I listened to it on CD, actually, mostly during the commute, except the last 3 CDs which I finished at home one night, way after my bedtime. When was the last time you read a war story written from a woman’s point of view? Or two women in this case. It was powerful, and I just couldn’t stop listening.
After finishing it, I stayed up for a little while longer, waiting for the emotions to subside. Of course, being a war story, there was horror, and grief. I have to be careful about grief. As a teenager, my mother warned me about “wallowing” in it. I could get there, and just stay there — crying, letting my thoughts go deeper and deeper into sadness, crying some more. It wouldn’t take much for this book to take me there. Even though the experiences were so different from my own life, empathy comes easy for me.
But I decided not to let myself go there. I made a mental image of that well of sadness as a real well, with slick, stone walls and deep, dark water. I pulled a heavy wooden lid over its top, nailing it down, so that I wouldn’t fall in.
Laila would have approved, I think.