Monday, April 26, 2010

You would hope that no child would ever have to feel this

The following is an ever so slightly edited comment I left in response to a fellow blogger's recent post. His post is one of those pieces of writing that can shake you up. If you'd like to read it, go here.

I hadn't expected that I would write any of this but this is just the sort of thing that seems to happen when I allow myself to simply respond freely to something I read. Here goes:

"Oh my goodness. After reading your post and all the comments, where do I start?

For some reason, the words that I heard in a short animation film called 'Father' by Sebastian Danta come to mind. They may seem completely irrelevant but as part of the stream of consciousness, I share them:

Speaking about his father, a migrant to Australia from Lithuania, the animator/author says:

"He didn't speak much because he had such a deep regard for words".

When I heard that, I just went 'Whoa...". We don't speak because sometimes we just can't. There are no words. But if and when we do find the words, oh my, what an impact they have. And so we too have a deep regard and respect for them.

Perhaps this is the relevance? That you have found the words to speak of the unspeakable? And it has somehow helped some of us at least to find our own and speak of our own unspeakable experiences?

I remember once sipping cold wine and nibbling on fine hors d'oeuvres at a party hosted to watch an aeronautical display of military aircraft. I remember still feeling the thunderous roar vibrating through my body long after the aircraft had disappeared, leaving in its wake a thick cloud of smoke. It was all supposed to impress.

I remember contemplating then, the irony of being thus 'entertained' when, in some parts of the world, such sounds and the horrific effects of the aircraft that make them rain a daily, if not hourly, terror upon some people. On some level, I sensed the horror of it all and wondered how those people would ever recover should they survive. I especially wondered about the children.

I could go on. About similar and somewhat disjointed threads of awareness and awakening but it would take forever and not make a great deal of sense.

My own life, though never lived in a political war zone, did journey its first 19 years through a terrifying field of domestic violence. I spent many of those years, and more as an adult, wishing my father dead, interestingly enough, not for his brutality toward me but toward my mother which, I felt, was incomparably worse. For years, I would cry in bed at night because of my helplessness and a raw and inconsolable sense of my mother's pain. You would hope that no child would ever have to feel such loathing or fear or pain but tragically, some do.

How does one ever recover? How does one reclaim the innocence of childhood especially when it is snatched from them at such an early age? How does one prevent a damaged childhood from affecting their relationships as an adult? How does one even become aware of the effects of their childhood? In other words, how does one 'grow up'?

I'm not entirely sure but I do believe that 'growing up' has nothing to do with the loss of innocence. If anything, it's about regaining it."

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