I've been taught that the praying mat or the Qur'an should be the panacea I should gravitate to in times of need. That's all very fine, but it is 3 am and Sylvia Plath's journals are tucked beneath my bed. I don't place the Qur'an there because it is a holy book. The final choice was made on purely logistical grounds, I swear I swear.
I open a page at random, with one sweeping gesture of my fingers against the book's ribs (for if a book has a spine then the other side must be its ribs). The book heavily splits and reveals its quivering insides. Page 223. I shit you not, this is what Page 223 says:
"I read his letter and walked the wet pine-dark path tonight, with the warm rain dripping and shiny on the black leaves in the humid blurred starlight..."
I read the entire passage transfixed and haunted. And at the end of the passage, I shit you not, this is what it says:
"Not to be bitter. Save me from that, that final wry sour lemon acid in the veins of single clever lonely women. Let me not be desperate and throw away my honor for want of solace; let me not hide in drinking and lacerating myself on strange men; let me not be weak and tell others how bleeding I am internally; how day by day it drips and gathers, and congeals. I am still young."
At the risk of heresy I say, "Amen. Preach it sister."