Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Mermaid Chair

I just finished this book and almost set it down because it is about a women who commits adultery with a monk. Parts were painful to read, but in the end she tells her husband and they reconcile. It is a fiction book by Sue Monk Kidd, but here are a couple of quotes from it that struck a cord in me.

"...there is a release in knowing the truth no matter how anguishing it is. You come finally to the irreducible thing, and there is nothing left to do but pick it up and hold it. Then, at last, you can enter the severe mercy of acceptance."
"Forgiveness was so much harder than being remorseful. I couldn't imagine the terrible surrender it would take." (talking about her husband)
"It had been humbling to discover his own capacity for violence and revenge...He had stopped envisioning himself going to the monestary and taking the man by the throat, but he did not deny there were moments when he wanted the monk to choke and bleed.
He would never act on it of course, but even the wanting to, the needing to, expelled cherished notions he'd held about himself. He was not special. He was not entitled. His goodness, his enlightement, did not set him apart. He was like all the rest, carrying around the same huge quantities of darkness.
The knowledge of this had driven him down into his own humanity. Once in a while, he was capable of seeing himself as more than the pain he felt, he'd hoped his suffering was not being squandered, that somewhere inside it was making him pliant and tender." (this really rings true for my emotions the past few days for sure)
"Each day we pick our way through unfamiliar terrain. Hugh and I did not resume our old marriage- that was never what I wanted and it was not what Hugh wanted either- rather we laid it aside and began a whole new one. Our love is not the same. It feels both young and old to me. It feels wise , as an Old women who is wise after a long life, but also fresh and tender, something we must cradle and protect. We have become closer in some ways, the pain we experiences weaving tenacious knots of intimacy, but there is a separateness as well, the necessary distances."

A total chic book, but nonetheless I could identify with her husband when he learned the truth and the back and forth winds of emotions he experienced.

1 comment:

  1. I like this quote, "Hugh and I did not resume our old marriage.... we laid it aside and began a whole new one"

    The things I have done in our old marriage are despicable, I wish it were this easy, but I hope you will hang on and we can begin a whole new marriage, one that you deserve! I love you...