Quote of the day:
Now it’s a different kind of giving up: the attempt to atone for being born as me. But I am ready. I can feel it in my bones. I no longer believe that I am broken. Geneen Roth
I fell in love with the New World 28 years ago at the beginning of autumn. Of course, at the time, I was not consciously aware that I suffered from a wounded soul. I made my way across oceans and continents in the hopes of opening doors and discovering new opportunities. I was as green as I could be. Indeed, America felt wide open to all manner of possibilities. As much as I studied, worked and journeyed on my way, I was yet to start healing for I was dragging my unwanted and neglected self around with me heavy with ancient notions and ideas about who I was. The past accompanied me everywhere I went with whatever I did, my childhood ever present rising up to greet me in all my endeavors and interactions. It was excruciating at times. I mostly felt culturally illiterate whether it was shopping in a mall or learning how to survive in academia. The simple act of opening doors or turning on faucets would leave me helpless and confused. Everything was so completely different from anything I had done or known before. Education blew open my mind presenting me with options I never knew I had. It was confusing and exhilarating, terrifying and glorious.
This past week I have been thinking about that time 28 years ago. For it is the anniversary of my first trip to America, the year before my son and I immigrated permanently. I spent a month in Western New York and New York City trying it on for size. When I returned to Israel, my young teenage son asked me how it was. "Like a perpetual sit-com," I responded. "Like the movies, without the background music." Kmart seemed like paradise for one as poor as I was at the time. I bought a red corduroy coat as soon as I entered the front door. It hung on the rack at $15 or so, and I exclaimed, "What a deal!" Looking back I understand it was not an easy ride working and studying long hard hours to realize a dream. Some along the way supported and cheered me on, and there were a few, who tried to hold me back. But I pressed on regardless somehow sensing all the while that redemption was at hand.
Lately, I have been looking ahead as I contemplate future retirement. Sitting quietly in my study this morning surrounded by books, potted plants, blooming violets, cats contentedly sleeping, a steaming cup of coffee, pictures, hand made rugs, and the recurring, chilly breeze of the autumn I fell in love with so many years ago, I experience unfamiliar sensations. It might be fulfillment, or pride, perhaps, in what I managed to achieve thus far. I feel almost healed – not so unwanted and no longer neglected.
A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Integration