Two things should stand out:
1. Dante was in the middle of his life–around 35. He wasn’t in his 20s or his teens.
2. He recognizes both the negative and the positive emotions from his experience. He isn’t ashamed of his feelings either.
What stands out to you?
What this means for us
It’s been said before, you are never too old to “make it.” Dante makes that clear enough here. He’s at least 35 in the Comedy. You could say it’s a “mid-life crisis.” His youth is gone and he’s lived long enough to see a bit of the world and know how horrible it can be.
He’s lived and he’s watched his life fall apart. When his entire life should have been on track, his personal and professional goals should have been in reach, he finds himself lost.
And having to start over again.
Notice that he still is hurt by the memory. He didn’t just “get over it.” The memory of the wood and his being lost in it still hurts him. Now that is something I personally find comforting. Too often we feel ashamed for not being able to just let go of past hurts.
Dante is giving us permission to still feel hurt. However, he recognizes that good came of his experience.
Can we do the same? Can we still hurt and yet know good came of it?
Good questions to ponder.
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