Pieces of me

reddirtlattes/ March 12, 2018/ Gulf Islands, Canada/ 4 comments



Who am I? 

Who are you? 

Who are we? 

A dearest of my heart, a dear dear friend who knows all of my secrets (shhhhhh) told me today I seem so strong in these posts. 

Am I this strong woman on the mountainside? 

Am I the scared woman under the bed in Uganda? 

I am all of that.

I am all of this.

I am all of me.

I am the woman you see at the store with a smile on her face and a longing in her heart.

I am the child with a dream to make it somewhere, somehow, some way. 

I am the mother happily sacrificing it all for her children.

I am the artist in search of expression.

I am the person reaching out my hand to lift you up. 

I am me.

I am all of me.

I am happyI am sadI am contentI am restless. 

I am so very alive…

….and full….

And searching and living and loving and laughing and crying and yes yes yes, hide me under the bed, perch me on a mountain, let me live it all. I am no longer afraid of much these days because I am so busy embracing wonder. 

How lucky we are to be weak, to be strong. To need help, and then to give it. 

Be all of you. 

” But the time came when I understood that I could no longer deceive myself, that I am alive, and cannot be blamed because God made me so, that I want to love and to live.”

–Anna Karenina, Tolstoy 



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  1. Oh Sabrina, your post touched me so, with thoughts flowing so effortlessly, I don’t know where to begin. I will start by commenting on your photo. The soulful words you just wrote go absolutely together with your picture.

    After I read this post, I stared for a few minutes and focused on your eyes. I now realize how attracted I always was to your deep, dark eyes in all the pictures and programs you were in that I saw. Those eyes contain the story, the essence of a marvelously interesting women.

    I now realize why I was mesmerized by your face. Those eyes brings the viewer in at the periphery of your soul. Those eyes are a window to your brain; your thoughts, your joys, excitement, and wonderment. Your concerns and wariness. It teases a part of you that nobody can ever reach, nor should they. It is the essence of you. Even you are gradually reaching that essence every year that passes. This essence is the sum of all you have experienced, all you have thought, some of which you can never reveal to any other soul, and compartments empty waiting for you to feel and discover more to fill its entirety. We all have an essence, unique to ourselves. That makes every human special in the universe.

    So much of what you just wrote, I can relate to. In many ways, we are so kindred. I can see it in your eyes. In many ways we are so different. The multitude of paths we have crossed in our lives are our own unique journey; our own unique life; our own unique essence. From the last time I viewed you performing on reruns of the fantastic series Sports Night, you look no different today. I know that must be hard for you to believe. But believe. Last year when we attended my 50th reunion of my college graduating class, a half a dozen people recognized me, yet I recognized nobody. When they told me their name, I immediately remembered them. Physically, they all changed a lot. But all these years, within the recesses of my mind, I carried with me a small part of their essence. The physical evolution with the passage of time is like a mask, protecting who they are, their essence.

    Living 25 more years more than you, I am still searching for who I am; all the more so in the last part of my existence. With the passage of time, I keep discovering more as if I continue to peel back a layer of my cerebrum to unlock my essence into my consciousness.

    All my life, I have always protected from others some of my deeply held thoughts, even my from my wife of almost 47 years. In the last couple of years I am letting go of many of them, mostly expressing them to my lovely life partner. I suppose that getting old does that to one, as if you are trying to cross all the tees and eyes of your life.

    I have done some meritorious and brave things, but they have been outnumbered by some of my fears and stupid ones. The one fear that stands out the most is an experience I had when crossed over at Checkpoint Charley into East Berlin, sub rosa iand supposed to unnoticeable in 1971. I got sidetracked to view the changing of the guard at a W.W.II war memorial to Russian soldiers who lost their lives capturing Berlin. It was the first time I ever saw in person, soldiers goosestepping. I did something I was trained to never do–I froze. All I can envision was German Nazis goosteepping with the horrifyingly loud noise of each chlomping step coming right at me. I thought of my heritage and at another era, I would have been meat led to the slaughter. I could not move, and magically, the soldier headed right at me turned on a dime a foot from me, and continued on.

    I think at that very moment, I may have experienced the presence of God. Probably not, but I wanted to beleve. Who knows? But I do know that I thought if the East German soldier did not turn before he reached me, he would have stepped right over my body. I would have been taken to an East German hospital, and the authorities would have searched my wallet for identification. They would have found my Department of Defense identity card, identifying me as having the civilian equivalency rank of colonel. On the back of the card were instructions that if I was ever held prisoner by an adversary of the United States, I should be treated as an officer of the same rank. Now, my 25 year old face appeared to be too young for me to have acquired that ranking. There was only one thing they could have thought. My being dressed in civilian clothing as to who I was and then they would have presupposed what I was doing in East Berlin. I would have been in real dodo. It would have been a diplomatic scandal. Afterward, my fear came literally to my surface and I sweat profusely and shook a little. Whoooosh.

    To this day, I still wonder why? Who was I really? Where did the scholarly Seymour Schwartz go? My answer always has been I dunno. I am not sure. It is part of my essence hidden from myself. And I will probably never know.

    Sabrina, my kindred spirit, I have finally realized that there are things within all of us that we will never fully know. And that is alright. That is as it should be, I suppose. But, we should never give up trying to figure it all out. Doing this makes life so interesting if not scary of what we may find. It is not necessarily knowing that counts; what’s is more important is following your curiosity, the pursuit or chase that excites us all. Seymour

    1. Seymour, more and more this blog is becoming my conversation with you. I cannot tell you how much it means to me, how much it moves me, that you and I would find ourselves so understanding of the other. We are exactly what I wanted this to be. This middle-aged mom on an island making sense of it all and a 75 year old professor in another part of the continent making sense of it all. Kindred souls who have much to say and I am very very happy to be having this conversation with you.

      Please keep telling your life partner, your wife, of all those hidden doors and please keep writing. “But all these years, within the recesses of my mind, I carried with me a small part of their essence,” took my breath away.

  2. I agree and I will. BTW, I am 72 not 75. To strangers, I used to make my age a year older because I always looked younger than I was. But now, as I am older, I give my exact age.
    I even may ask people how old do to they think I look. I still always get answers of much younger than I really am. That makes me happy. Why? I guess I want to slow down the inevitable as if a guess by someone else means anything. That is fodder for a psychiatrist. Strangers and others give me a second look, I have noticed. Vanity? Who knows but my wife thinks I look striking because my mustache and eyebrows are black while my hair used to be that color, but is now gray. My mustache, though is getting grayer.

    Interestingly, when I worked around the world as a young man, I grew a mustache to look older. But now it is like a favorite pair of old shoes, I will keep it forever. Besides, it covers up a scar I received as a teen when I was waiting for a bus with some of my friends in winter. We were horsing around, and I hit one with a snowball and ran. As I turned to see if he was chasing me, he had thrown a snowball with a stone in it that met my mouth at the same second that I turned around. I like to call it a battle scar. It was my penance for having such a good aim.

    1. Sorry, Seymour! 72. And ouch!

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