Monday, November 30, 2009

Powerful Messages are Sometimes Hard to Hear

I am not a believer in reincarnation, but if I was I would swear I had lived at least two other previous lives. One of those lives would be that of a Native American medicine woman and the other, a survivor of oppression from the Holocaust or slavery. I say this because of the visceral response I have any time I read a book or watch a program in any way representative of either life.

The Native American scenario is one I welcome, a lifestyle I am both drawn to and incorporate into my current way of living. A “revisit” into the other supposed reincarnated life is not so pleasant, I’m afraid.

I am currently reading The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini. I can only read so many pages of the life of a slave in the eighteen century South before I have to put the book down and occupy my mind with something positive. Reading about the tortures endured by fellow human beings such as is portrayed in this novel cause me to dream badly and to go through my day with despair in my heart at the cruelties of humankind.

My dreams involve running and hiding, finding safety away from an unknown entity that is pursuing me. Upon waking I have even gone so far as to prepare for just such an experience by stockpiling food and water – just in case. I can’t begin to tell you the reaction I had to watching Schindler’s List or having to sit through the documentaries about Nazi Germany presented in college history classes. If I know a movie is critically acclaimed but has content about the cruel abuse of one to another, I will not watch no matter how much I want to see a good ending.

Ever since childhood I have carried a strong awareness of injustice. I recall traveling from New York to Florida for spring vacations and going through the areas where dilapidated homes were pointed out to me as the homes that black people lived in.

Photo from the digital collection at Miami University, Palm Beach

I will not use the language that my family used to identify this minority that lived in abject poverty; suffice it to say I knew then that the terminology was wrong and I grew up silently cursing my own family for their prejudices.

I don’t know where my indignation on behalf of others, be it minorities, abused children, or homeless animals comes from, all I know is I am deeply affected by their plight. Could be the reason I provide a refuge to so many abandoned animals, in my own small way I am trying to make a difference.

Just a few of the the strays being fed on our property
(rest assured, they are all spayed or neutered!)

I’m going to try and get through this book.  I suspect I’ll have to renew it from the library as it is taking me so long to read it. My next acquisition needs to be an easy read, perhaps Bridget Jones’s Diary or a Janet Evanovich novel – I need a break from all this darkness.


Juandy said...

Your posts are unique, because you share things that you experience from your personal perspectives...

It's nice & very insightful :)

Btw Would you be so kind to exchange link w/ me ?

Ribbon said...

You have a beautiufl way with words.
I could feel your suffering.

take care and feel obliged to read the book.
You know there is no rule that says you have to and nothing will happen if you don't :)

best wishes
Ribbon :)

Anonymous said...

It just means you have a caring heart, Lisa.