Page 9 - Peace-Centered Family

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At seventy-five, I see myself standing on a small hill overlooking the
broad sweep of my life. I now understand many things that have hap-
pened, other things I do not like on 9/11 when my daughter Livia called
and said, “mother, turn on the television,” and I watched the replay of
the second plane searing through the remaining tower and I couldn’t stop
crying for three days because I felt once more like the eight-year-old me
whose life was torn apart by WWII, and I thought, dear God, not again,
and I became suddenly unspeakably sad for the world and for my grand-
children. So, I ask myself, what does the view from here tell me?
Is the wisdom that’s supposed to come with aging so fickle that old
sorrows can still rise up in my body as if the tears are fresh? And offer
the sweet clarity of hindsight at the same time? Or is wisdom more than
just the distance years can yield? Perhaps it’s also resilience, the feisty
choice to keep picking myself up when I’m down and keep one foot mov-
ing in front of the other. I’m certainly not brave. Nor am I superhuman.
Perhaps without resilience hindsight would not be possible for anyone.
Or is what keeps me going that I’m more curious about life than I am
afraid of it?
Growing up, the thing I was most curious about was my family. I
couldn’t figure them out. I couldn’t figure out why my mother was so
beautiful yet so angry. Or why my father left when our family and the
world were facing a crisis. Or why my parents argued all the time and
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T H E B AC K S T ORY
The View from Here