Ruth

Ruth

A Story by Edmund Reilly
"

It all depends on who's telling the story!

"

Time is an enigmatic devourer. It is like a curious contraption that we use to write our stories. I do not know very well how it works, but I believe that you would need a good amount of history to write your story. Perhaps it uses history for ink.

I was sitting in the classroom staring at the clock on the wall. “It’s stopped! I swear that clock is not working!” I thought to myself. I could faintly hear my teacher’s voice as if it was coming from the bottom of a well. Then I heard my classmate flat voice reading a passage from the book we all had open on our desks.

Then Ruth replied “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Till death do us apart!” I thought to myself. I never quite understood Ruth. I knew that she meant to be sweet and loyal, but I could not help thinking that she must have had some serious identity issues to let her mother-in-low dominate her like that. She becomes who Naomi wants her to be to an extent that she has no identity of her own. In my opinion, the story of Ruth is a loyalty contest designed by Naomi to dominate Ruth’s life. At some point she says how all women would bow and gather, while Ruth would bend her knees to gather, or how all women would flirt with the field workers, while Ruth behaved modestly, and then she asks Ruth to make herself presentable to go and meet some bloke at his place in midnight. And Ruth obeys Naomi, like she always does, and to me, that is not loyalty. I looked at the clock again, which, it turned out, was working. That was the good news! The bad news however was that there was still about five minutes left.

“Mister Reilly!" I heard my teacher’s voice as she called my name and dragged me out of my thoughts with a sudden force and threw me back into the classroom, which unlike my thoughts, is often a very boring place. "Could you tell us what Orpah and Ruth’s willingness to leave their homeland and go with Naomi says about their character?”  Asked my teacher. “Well, it very much depends on who is telling the story.” I replied. “If you asked Ruth, she’d say they did it out of loyalty and their selfless nature. I reckon she must be the one who’s written that story to be honest.” I could hear a few of my classmates chuckling, and I could feel the others staring at me, and how I wished they would at least blink every now and then.

The difference between history and story is not that much at all, in fact, it’s only two letters, and time can take those two letters away entirely. People often tell their stories the way they want to. They change it through time and rewrite it over and over again, and finally they create whatever they need in order to understand who they have become. That is what they call “forgetting”. They however treat all these stories as history, for you see, there is a very thin line separating the two, and even yet, history is just another form of story, but one that we are encouraged to believe. So if you treat your story as history, then you will have an easier time believing it yourself. So why would Ruth be an exception? Plus, she is merely one story among many, and they are all stories but they’re the kind that we are to believe, and the kind that we are not to question.

As we left the classroom, I was thinking to myself that we all do what Ruth has done. Time is an enigmatic devourer, and a curious contraption. It takes in history and delivers to-be-believed stories, and that is what we all are. A character in our own story, which we have written unknowingly to explain who we have become. We publish our stories as memories, and arrange them one next to another on some shelves in our heads and let them gather dust. People write drama to remember how bravely they survived their struggles, they write comedy to laugh at their mistakes, and they write romance to explain their emotions. They are heroes of their own stories, but might be villains of someone else’s. “I was right.” I thought to myself  as I walked towards my locker. “It all depends on who is telling the story!”


© 2016 Edmund Reilly



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Damn, this piece is amazing. History is just a story and we do construe it a way that is believed as part of our story. The whole time I was reading it and I was remembering all the times I tell my stories and I have construed them as history. Powerful piece. You know it is powerful get it gets you to think about your life. Amazing job.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Once in a bible study we were studying Ruth- I hated it...
as a woman... great, this one needs a man... what kind of God do we have anyway?

I was gently reminded by my man, that that's what it wasn't all about.

I really like how we write our history and it's really "forgetting"- clever

I agree with Woody- could be any story... but maybe Ruth makes it a bit more controversial in saying that this book of the Bible might be a cleverly written history with some "forgetting" as well.

Interesting piece.

Posted 1 Year Ago


This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Edmund Reilly

1 Year Ago

Thanks for your feedback. It means a lot to me :)
another nice one Edmund. interesting description of story and history. I like your conversational style of writing. quite engaging. I personally don't think Ruth is all that important to your piece. she's just a prop.


Posted 1 Year Ago


Edmund Reilly

1 Year Ago

yes she is. She's just an element the character in the story uses to convey his message, but she's n.. read more
Well-written there. You have focussed on two terms- history and story. The difference between the two has been brought out beautifully. Quite a nice piece to read- I enjoyed it, though I do not know much about Ruth.
I have one error to point out- second para
"I was sitting in the classroom." not "I was seating in the classroom" - as far as I think.
Lovely piece. Keep writing!

Posted 1 Year Ago


This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Edmund Reilly

1 Year Ago

Thanks for you feedback :) Will drop by soon.
Edmund Reilly

1 Year Ago

Thanks for your* feedback :) Will drop by soon.
Great writing i would reckon...the way you interpreted time with history was beautiful and new to me.The second last paragraph was one of the best paragraphs i ever had read. I would absolutely be looking forward for your next writings

Posted 1 Year Ago


Edmund Reilly

1 Year Ago

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
Some interesting thoughts expressed here, Ed. Quite readable, too.
It is understandable what you say: "It depends on who is telling the story" I think it also depends on who is reading it, too. That, and the fact that any one person may gain new perspectives as time goes by...

I wonder if you'll ever return to Ruth's story, down the line - and discover it in a different light?

I like this piece. Thank you for posting.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Edmund Reilly

1 Year Ago

Hi, You're absolutely right, it does also depends
on who's reading the story. This is a story.. read more
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This was quite engaging and well written. Enjoyed reading your story :-)

Posted 1 Year Ago


Edmund Reilly

1 Year Ago

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it.

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Added on April 8, 2016
Last Updated on April 19, 2016
Tags: Philosophical, Inspirational, Imagination, Motivational

Author

Edmund Reilly
Edmund Reilly

About
I’m an aspiring author, a trying-to-be thinker, an absolute dreamer, sometime a traveller, always a wanderer, and somewhat a drifter. I work as a freelance writer, journalist, tutor, and web dev.. more..

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