While leaving Boston, I thought of the story I was told in Hebrew School of Lot’s Wife. They were fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah and God told Lot and his wife not to look back at the smoldering cities. But she did. God turned her into a pillar of salt.
I did indeed watch Boston get tinier and tinier and I kept warning myself not to look too hard or I, too, would turn to salt.
I thought often of the story, and alternate story of Jane Eyre. Mr. Rochester’s wife, Bertha, was the crazy lady he had locked in his attic. In the alternate story, the crazy lady was an immigrant woman from the Caribbean he had brought back. She was a Kept Woman. in the end, Bertha had no choice but to burn the house down to end her imprisonment. In the destruction, Bertha is empowered.
I recall Samson, who was also imprisoned. He could do nothing because his power, his hair, was stolen, cut off from him. But he waited. He was patient. When his hair grew back, he was strong again, and prevailed.
I know my power is in my pen, and I know that this is the one thing I have had when all else has been taken from me. Ann Frank, too, had her pen and her diary still lives.
Even as the city burns.