My mother’s heart was never at rest and she often remarked to her children how she wanted to die and join the ghosts of Vietnam and the war that made them so. But she could not do so because she was here in the States in some place of relative comfort and they roamed where the ghosts of war go. The guilt ate at her for decades. Survivors guilt is something many people experience after being in the clutches of war. There is guilt about staying alive while others died; guilt about the things they failed to do, and the things that they did. How tragic then what war does to men, and it destroys women and their children too and in many ways for generations. There is much to be said for the bright summit of knowledge and the dark valleys of ignorance that we climb up and head down towards. How often do our feelings tell us that life will only be difficult? I’m reminded of the last words of Van Gogh. He said, “the sadness will never end.” I think many of us have felt that way at some point in our life. Sorrow visits the most gifted and the least gifted regardless of what any of us creates or destroys. Even during hot summers I felt so many cold silences and was lost in blind avenues of despair. We cannot know everything, and we most certainly know little or know nothing in the wide scope of knowledge. If only we would look up every time we cross the high plains and the low hills on our journey of life and actually comprehend the majesty of eternity couching the universes. We are but one small planet going round a sun but it is ours. Every time we take direct action to learn something new and something good we get higher upon that summit of knowledge and away from that valley of disbelief. We must be willing to learn about life and our place in this world to understand how beautiful it all can be, and get away from guilt, shame, and second guessing in order to find out why we must leave the dark mysteries in those long and sad lands of ignorance. If we shed any tears let it be for joy at what we will be and not with sadness for what we once were.
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