Blogtalk link

Listen to Internet radio with It Matters Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Woman Who Never Died

            It was difficult enough to outlive her children.  To watch them die from illness, or accidents, or old age.  How intolerable  to witness her grandchildren and great-grandchildren die while she lived on . . . never to die. 

            When she was still a girl, she had said out loud, but to herself, “I wish I could live forever.  I wish I could see how the world changes, and how life turns out for everything in it.”  What she did not notice was the presence of the Wish Spirit who had lingered over her that day, listening to her wishes, as the Spirit does for everyone.  The Spirit then chooses whether to grant or deny wishes she hears.  The reasons need not be specified, whether about longevity or good and evil, or even human sexuality.  Thus the Wish Spirit hovers over all the living at some time or another, to hear our desires.  She has the power to choose which ones to bring about.

            This time the Spirit made a vital decision, perhaps as an experiment, in granting the wish of that woman, who at the time was young enough yet to experience much of what life might hold for her.  What the rest of us have yet to find out, however, is what this young woman discovered simply because she made a wish that we too may have uttered at some time. The difference is that the Wish Spirit has not yet granted our wishes but has done so with the woman who once was young and now is ageless.  Her name is Evelina.  She will live forever.

            We don’t know with certainty when she entered into human life.  Her birth records were destroyed in a fire long ago.  Nor do we know how long eternity will last.  We can see Evelina only as we experience her presence in our current lives.  We can wonder how she relates to the fact of death as she is witness to it in times of war, disaster, illness, or accidents or other kinds of destruction of human life.  Her memory is intact. She has not been through any diseases or illnesses that would cause her death.  What we cannot know or predict is when, and if, her human life comes to an end.

            The question: “Is Evelina satisfied with the result of her wish for life forever?  Does she consider eternal life to center solely upon existence as she is now: a living human being who, like all, is fully flesh and blood?”

            What, dear Reader, would you choose for your own life?  Eternity of human existence?  A time that your life in the flesh will end, whether from age or ill health or violence?  Think about Evelina and how she has discovered the power of a wish.  Do you envy her?  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 7, 1941: Honolulu, Hawaii

Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the day the United States was launched into World War II.  It was a surprise to all but those who were expecting an an act of war against our country.  The date itself turned out to catch even the military at Pearl Harbor unaware, when Japanese planes bombed the Naval base on Sunday morning, December 7.  President Roosevelt was to give that day a name: the Day of Infamy.
I will give an account of that time as it affected me and my family, from this excerpt from my book, Rachel’s Children: Surviving the Second World War (All Things That Matter Press, 2010).   It is found on pages 9-10 of the book.

“Children in American territories joined their counterparts around the world, by spending the next few years in a climate of war and its accompanying horrors.  It was not a time of glory, no matter how many patriotic speeches would be delivered, no matter how many inspiring songs were sung and encouraging prayers offered.  It was instead, a time of war.

“My own experience as an eight-year-old in Honolulu was shared with classmates many times after my mother, brother and I returned to the “mainland.”  My father remained in Hawaii where he was a pathologist with the Army Medical Corps.  After the attack, he was to continue his service as Commanding Officer of the North Sector Tripler General Hospital.  He remained at that post until the end of the war, when he was assigned to the Army hospital at Ft. Hamilton in Brooklyn, NY.  By then I was in grade 7B at Public School 104, and wrote an essay duringthat time about my experience of the December 7th day in Hawaii.”

From a poem in my book:

            Black smoke on a Sunday morning,
            planes appear from the sea
            to interrupt the December weekend.
            Sirens scream through streets
            indiscriminate of homes and buildings
            where Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian
            and wahine neighbored.  Church bells
            call worshipers to services while whine
            of bullets and flash of light accent
            the morning bright with hope transformed
            into fearful surprise.