When I began this blog, I knew that I would want to branch out into the words of others. Maybe Chris Antenen or Maybe Not -- the title was at first just catchy. I like the word maybe, and I knew I would, in my endless use of 'the google,' find something I had to share. I have found evocative works before, works I didn't want to keep to myself. Now at last I have a place to share.
This morning I was thinking of my daughter Amy, something I do every morning. It's that waking thought, now that she is gone and I can no longer call her, that makes it urgent that I connect with her. Others have said that she is with them, that they talk to her, feel her presence. I try. I can't. I have only memories, but they are vivid and dear.
For many years Amy and I took little trips together, three or four days that were ours. Even now we have never-to-be-fulfilled plans to take a train, overnight pullman, to D.C., with carts to get around. She had it all planned, tickets reserved. I hesitated too long waiting for warm weather.
Our last trip there was several years ago and memorable. The first day we planned to visit the new National World War II Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum, and the National Gallery of Art.
We walked around the impressive memorials of World War II and
Martin Luther King, Jr. , then spent over three hours in the Holocaust Museum. We came from there exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally. We didn't talk much. We walked to the National Gallery of Art. There we went to the restroom, visited the gift shop, and sat on the front steps. We didn't look at any exhibits. We couldn't look at anything valuable or beautiful after what we had witnessed and felt at the Holocaust Museum. I shall never forget the shoes, or the train. I love trains, I grew up in a railroad town, and now I have seen the car that carried people like cattle. Even trains can be vessels of evil? And the shoes, piles of shoes. Why did they keep the shoes? All we have are endless questions and most of them begin with why.
Today I read an article that I want to share because it answers some of those questions, if only for today. I will forget again and ask the questions again. I will read the article again after I post the blog -- late. It's Monday and I refrained from using one of the posts I had prepared for the Friday deadline. If I could believe that Amy now has communicative power, I could believe that she wanted me to use this article instead. Go HERE to read the piece by Simon Critchley. It appeared today on the New York Times Opinionator Blog: The Dangers of Certainty: A Lesson From Auschwitz.
To copy and paste use this: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/the-dangers-of-certainty/?php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
or go to my February Journal for 02/04/2014