Luminous Truth

Tonight, I heard Marina Nemat speak at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.

She was glorious.

Now here is a 21st Century hero. Of her experience as a political prisoner in Iran following the Iranian Revolution, and her 30 year journey since, she says:

“Horror unfolds little by little.”

It does. But with her words, she is unraveling it, exposing it, and sowing the seeds of its prevention.

She also says that her life “belongs to those who didn’t make it.”

She started writing for herself, to chronicle her experience, to acknowledge its reality. But she kept writing for everyone else.

How hard it must be.

And how necessary.

I went to her after her talk, and shook her hand. I thanked her, and told her how important her work is, her words, her. She thanked me – thanked me for reminding her. Me! Such small burdens I have in comparison! But I did see her point. We do need to remind each other. We need to speak for each other. My own chronicling, too, unravels. Reveals. Bolsters. It is of me, but it doesn’t belong to me.

“Healing does not mean that the trauma is gone. It means that you’ve learned how to deal with the trauma.”

Marina Nemat is not just a speaker of truth – she is a maker of it. A luminous one.


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