Do people sometimes get lost and end with being as brutal as those that they rally against?
Do people find that what they actually want is to turn the tables in order to become the abusers, to have the opportunity to feel what it is to dole out some brutality of their own?
And in the process, do they completely lose their way and any sense of fairness farther out of reach, for everyone?
What if, along the way, we reminded ourselves of the word?
Might it guide and keep us clear of mind and heart so that we can actually realize the things that are important to us?
“Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.”
It was a complete surprise to find deep within my heart the memory of a time that I spent with my grandparents. One day this forgotten memory came forward and most effortlessly, revealed itself to me as I wrote all that I could remember of what one month later had become a book.
This extraordinary experience of my childhood took place during the summer of 1957 in Virginia. As I wrote I was engulfed with warmth and comforting support, rather startling as it was so real. I know now that it had to remain deep within me as only the passage of time could reveal the beauty of it. Until the time of writing, I was unaware of how much meaning it had brought to my life. It was written with love and a deep and ever-growing appreciation for my family. It might well have been entitled , “The Gift”.
** The following is an excerpt from my book:
Two Little Girls
As far as I was concerned, summer began with the day my father installed the screens in the windows. Early that morning, Mother would have taken the summer sheers from storage to the clothesline in our backyard. By the afternoon, she swooped up the freshened bundle and brought them back indoors to hang on the rods at the tops of the windows. When the transformation was complete, I’d run from room to room to see the curtains flying on the breeze that raced in through the windows of our big old house. Like a magical invitation to adventures possible only with summer, when one day melted into the next and no one asked about the time, I felt that I could fly too and that anything could happen.
There were 5 children in my family. My brother Lionel was the oldest; my sister Cecilia was next, followed by my sister Rose, then my brother Isaac, and me. We spent summertime totally absorbed in keeping pace with our friends as was our Mother in keeping up with us. She mended our scraped knees, our bruised egos, and the holes in my brothers’ dungarees. I remember lemonade and tuna sandwiches, cotton sun dresses and hair ribbons; the pennies I collected for the corner candy store, and my ankle socks that never stayed up. Summers seemed much longer then when hopscotch and jump rope, hide-and-seek and tag, dress-up and make-believe, with my bicycle, my dolls and friends filled the days until supper time. When August finally came around, among the five of us someone would be chosen to vacation with our grandparents in the country. It was in the year 1957 that I was to spend my first summer there.
I’d thought so often about my first trip to the farm. But like the landing of a cascading boulder, my mother’s cheerful delivery of this summer’s plan completely shattered my vision of it. Leaving little room for the way that reality alters things but similar to most events concerning “the children”, I was quite certain of my unvarying reverie. It was always the same. My brothers and sisters are running through a country field with me, very happily and as usual, following close behind. But everything had been arranged and I alone would spend two weeks on the farm that year.
My family had gathered in the living room when Mother made the announcement. But my frustrating lack of enthusiasm was like a call to dinner in emptying the room of everyone and I found myself alone, save for the dog. While I struggled with the concept of being on my own, Spiky jumped onto the couch next to me. Placing his head upon my foot he kept a concerned and watchful eye over my disposition until we both fell asleep.
Later that day, I listened to Dad’s recollections of farm life adventures while Mother prepared supper. As she filled in with the finer points and particulars she’d taken note of my mixed feelings with her knowing smile that always took the sharp edges off of things. “Don’t forget that your cousin Joanna is just about your age and lives close to Grandpa‘s”, she nearly whispered. Then I thought of the pocket inside the little green suitcase as the place where my Jacks would find a perfect fit.
~~~~~~~ Truth is Beauty is Love ~~~~~~