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“Members of some ancient tribe or other had the custom of placing either a black or a white pebble into a jar at the end of every day, depending on whether the day had been bad or good. A sensible custom. At the end of someone’s life his jar was turned upside down and it could then be seen if it had been a happy or unhappy life. Instead of that stone ritual, I could write in this exercise book at the end of every day: life is beautiful, or miserable, or difficult, or delightful, or whatever. I’ll do that for a whole month. Very curious to see how it will turn out.”

Thursday, August 7, 1941 entry, in Etty: The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum: 1941–1943 (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 78.
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