Sunday, July 6, 2014
While I Was Away
It’s early summer, and though the days get hot and steamy in New England this season like all zooms on it’s axis. Before we know it that too is gone, gone, gone. The element of time, you can’t quite catch it, pin it down. No one keeps it. We try though. Harnessing a period in time with a photo or video brings about the magic of a then. A scratch upon the surface of what was, just a moment ago. In the meantime we continue to live in a spec of time of what is now, our personal present. All very fleeting, as intended.
Our past childhoods are that way too. So many memories of a time and place. Anything it seems can bring on a remembrance- a location, a song, an activity, a taste and even a scent. All these are a few that come to mind. Childhoods of course vary from one individual to another, even among siblings raised in the same family. As adults we continue to evolve refining skills, all uniquely molded and sculpted. If I had one wish it would be for every child to be raised by kind, healthy, well adjusted adults. It would then contribute to the basis of what all human beings yearn for, whether they know it or not. This in turn would at least provide an individual with a solid foundation, and perhaps minimize some of the strife we bring upon each other in aspects of the human condition. With more individual peace, the world in turn could be more peaceful. For some surviving and conquering a turbulent childhood is akin to a climb to some of the worlds highest peaks. It can be done, and has been done, reaching the peak that is. In many cases the toll can be far greater than expected, and the collateral damage barely spoken of. It is of course just another aspect of the human condition. But when we know what we know, the details of the person and their story depending upon who it is and who we are, the reopened wounds may once again need attention.
Some would say that eighty-seven is old. In my family it definately is as my grandmother, and great grandmother passed on in their fifties. That was a different era of course and throughout the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century my mother R, has greatly benefited from the advances in medical science. She remains brilliantly creative and intelligent though now with a touch of dementia weaving it’s thread here and there with no rhyme or reason for it to any of us. At her tender age when hair is fixed, and she’s up and dressed, many who meet her for the first time say she glows with beauty and charm. R’s assets have propelled her from a true Cinderella to the ranks of solid middle class with many exotic adventures along the way. She is a self made woman, an original. After marrying my father back in the mid 1940’s without even a high school diploma she became a college graduate by the time I was in my late teens.
Sadly the element of what made my mother sparkle is no more. There is no longer an independent life for this once colorful dynamic world traveler. She was a child of the depression era, but economically a child of privilege. Her world literally shook when my grandmother remarried, and the cruel Russian stepfather took over. Though he has been gone long ago the effects of his treatment towards her as a young child have lingered to this very day.
If I were to put together a list of books that continues to resonate with me Tolstoy’s, War And Peace would be number one. It’s timeless. One need only to change the era. After all Tolstoy influenced Gandhi, and hence Martin Luther King, Jr. We are all affected by one another, for better and for worse. When we take a moment we can stop and think. We can continue to break the cycle. So this is What I’ve Been Doing While I’ve Been Gone- continuing to think and work it through during my involvement overseeing my mother’s care, and in the process though waters have been at times turbulent and deep, always remaining true to myself. Never an easy task. Never. No one ever said it would be.
Yes the Peace Garden has some invasive visitors of random wildflowers. That’s perfectly ok with me, espically when the wind waifs in with the harmony of the day.