I’ve started writing an Epilogue for my memoir. I realized there were two very important questions that needed to be addressed somewhere in the manuscript and an Epilogue seemed like the best place. I decided to briefly address the question of HOW something so bizarre and extraordinary could have happened to me, but I will examine in much more depth and detail the WHY of my experience. The “how” of my experience is more scientific and might never be truly answered, but exploring the reasons “why” this happened offers the opportunity to give meaning and value to my own life and that of my husband’s, as well as everyone else who has been affected by these events.
I’ve also started brainstorming possibilities for an alternative title. Maybe something more poetic? I’m still not sure yet. The two alternatives I’ve come up with I’ve taken from my Buddhist teachings. One is the title of a letter written by Nichiren Daishonin (the founder of the Buddhism I practice), the other is a quote from a different letter also written by Nichiren Daishonin. Both alternatives have profound meaning. The first alternative I thought of is Winter Always Turns to Spring. In this letter, Nichiren Daishonin uses the seasonal metaphor to illustrate to one of his female disciples that just as the long, cold, snowy winter never fails to turn into a warm, bright, sunny spring, the problems and difficulties she faced after her husband died will not last – as long as she has strong faith.
The second alternative title I came up with is a quote from another letter titled Hell is the Land of Tranquil Light. The quote reads: From the indigo, an even deeper blue. The meaning behind this quote is found in the rest of the letter:
T’ien-t’ai states, “From the indigo, an even deeper blue.” This passage means that, if one dyes something repeatedly in indigo, it becomes even bluer than the indigo leaves. The Lotus Sutra is like the indigo, and the strength of one’s practice is like the deepening blue.
While both of these Buddhist quotes have profound significance for me, I haven’t yet decided if I should change the title at all, or if I should keep brainstorming for more ideas. What do you think?