Monday, February 22, 2010

Muscles and Auschwitz

So yeah, I'm getting some more muscles, and it came as quite a surprise. I was talking to someone and we were sitting down so my arm was slightly bent and I said the "and I just had to pinch myself" sentence and motion. I'm not sure the lady I was talking to registered my surprise, because internally I was surprised - there wasn't any flab to pinch! Even my triceps are getting firm.

I haven't finished the reading I need to get done, and get done soon. Instead I read Maus I and Maus II this weekend. Reading it, the way Vladek speaks reminded me alot of my own Polish grandmother. Her mother only spoke Polish, so Grandma didn't learn to speak English until 1st grade and the nuns were not gentle with her knuckles. I thought about my Grandfather who served during WWII as an infantryman and came back a different man who suffered from PTSD. I never met him - he died when my mom was nine, but my Grandma always told me how he'd have loved me and would have enjoyed my company. I know him only from a few photos, and the pieces that my mom or Grandma shared about him.

I learned that Auschwitz was in Poland, and was embarrassed that I had thought all these years that Auschwitz had been in Germany. I thought about all those who suffered, and the generations that carried a burden they could not name. I wonder about the burdens these our generations will carry from the wars, the genocides, the natural disasters as our world shrinks. What horrors do we turn blind eyes to? What ear-buds do we keep in place to avoid our own political maneuvering over healthcare, employment or lack there of, and let's not mention deficits and the children living in poverty.

I started thinking about my own history I carry, and what pieces of my parents history, and their parents history, and what pieces of my history am I handing off to my children. So, I'm glad for my new muscles, my need to keep my body healthy to keep my mind healthy, to allow my heart to be open so I carry burdens not my own until they can be let go by another.

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