The Onion – Dostoevsky

Let me start off by saying that I know I haven’t technically “blogged” about my own opinions, beliefs, and thoughts.  I have, instead, shared other thoughts I have come across that have inspired me or led me to deeper thoughts that have been kept private.

I am not really sure if anyone cares what I think about these pieces, or if I am willing to share the peaks and valleys to which these pieces have taken me.  I believe they take each of us deeper into ourselves.  And to share that is enough for now.

“Once upon a time there was a peasant woman, and a very wicked woman she was.  And she died and did not leave a single good deed behind.  The devils caught her and plunged her into the lake of fire.  So her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell to God.  ‘She once pulled up an onion in her garden,’ said he, ‘and gave it to a beggar woman.’  And God answered: ‘You take that onion then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out.  And if you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is.’  The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her: ‘Come,’ said he, ‘catch hold and I’ll pull you out,’ And he began cautiously pulling her out.  He had almost pulled her right out, when the other sinners in the lake, seeing how she was being drawn out, began catching hold of her so as to be pulled out with her.  But she was a very wicked woman and she began kicking them.  ‘I’m to be pulled out, not you.  It’s my onion, not yours,’ As soon as she said that, the onion broke.  And the woman fell into the lake, and she is burning there to this day.  So the angel wept and went away.  So that’s the story, Alyosha; I know it by heart, for I am that wicked woman myself.”

What amazes me about the beauty of this story is the little things that we have done that save us in our darkest hour.  Were it not for an onion, this story would not exist – so to speak.  Imagine the beauty that five or six or even ten onions could have created.

“We can do no great things.  Only small things with great Love.” -Mother Theresa

Another thing that astounds me is the level of greed that this woman has.  In the event of being rescued, she demands more.  She demands to be the ONLY ONE saved.  We were flawed to believe that a person that dark and secluded could have ever made it through the light.

And I love how it ends.  The humility of comparing oneself to her.  The understanding that we are a string of deeds, one after another.  Which ones were flawed and which one will be the deed to one day save us from own destruction.


2 thoughts on “The Onion – Dostoevsky

  1. alex nim says:

    great to see someone taking serious thought into dostoevsky (:
    this passage of the brothers is certainly one of the many which leaves a deep impression on the reader, certainly did for me anyway

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