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< Echoes of Memory

An Alternate View of the Sad Longing


By Joan Da Silva

When, at the age of five-and-a-half, I was left to survive by my own wits, I was well-equipped with some essential information. I knew by heart many prayers of the rosary. I had a new identity—a Catholic child whose parents had been taken to Siberia. My real mother was to be referred to as my aunt and my father as her friend. 

All this I found exciting and I was very glad to leave my former identity and enter the “Aryan” world. The excitement wore off quickly, as life without my mother, at such an early age, became a grueling struggle to maintain some semblance of self.

I come from someone. Unlike isolated atoms, a living being bore me. At birth I am wanted and loved. I am cherished and made of miraculous substances carefully detailed to resemble that being. I am bonded and meant to belong to continuity. Generations inhabit my being. Everything that I embody follows an even, successive flow. 

What happens when there is a break in the continuity and the connection is severed? What happens when that carefully designed and balanced path is disrupted? Havoc ensues. Where the bond had been, a fathomless abyss remains. Without my connection, I exist in an unnatural state. I must nevertheless follow my ordained path. The loss of my attachment creates a sad longing in me, which becomes my life’s constant and oppressive companion.

Nature, that elusive and massive power, now calls on its vast forces in an effort to restore an order. Millions of forces arrive, hovering on the edge of the bond’s precipice. With her enormous capacities to adjust to calamities, nature succeeds in keeping me on my path, although many substitutions are made to help me continue on life’s journey and supply the needed elements of survival. But nature cannot adjust for that sad, ever-present, and oppressive longing.  

I believe that sad longing is the bond itself in its severed state. This bond, which was meant to continue forever, is now in eternal mourning for itself. Its mourning was not satisfied with my anguish but spread and stained, like a drop of dye in clear water, those closest to me. Such are the scars sustained and bequeathed by a life thwarted.  

It is possible that this sad longing seeking an attachment it can never find, is outside of the power of nature and resides in the realm of the soul.

© 2022, Joan Da Silva. The text, images, and audio and video clips on this website are available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined in the United States copyright laws.

Tags:   joan da silvaechoes of memory, volume 14hidden childrenaftermath of the holocaust

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