Thursday, April 19, 2012

Remembering a Book {Bigger Picture Moment}

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.
I wouldn't have known this, but one of my favorite bloggers posted a beautiful poem about her father ~ a Holocaust survivor. I've read her poem several times this morning...she carries such beautiful memories of him with her ~ her poems are full of him! It just fills me with pain to think of all the generations of daughters and poets that are lost, forever. I'm glad she posted today and put out such a gentle call to remember.

When I was a senior in high school, I wrote my senior English thesis about Holocaust literature. More specifically about children in Holocaust literature. I compared the books written about the children of those years to the books written by children from that time. In my research for this paper, I discovered a book that left a permanent mark on my heart and soul. Walking around the town before work today, I saw this Thoreau quote on a bench...and immediately remembered this book. It marks, in my mind, the end of high school, and home...and {perhaps} childhood.

This is a beautiful, haunting collection of poems and drawings that reveals the hearts of the children subjected to the horrors of those years. The reason that this book (along with the Diary of Ann Frank) made such an impression on me was that in spite of it all, there was hope in their young voices. There was color and home and heart and dreaming....IN SPITE OF IT ALL. The life lesson that I learned as I wrote that paper was this: The adult literature was dark...dismal and angry and knowing. An adult knows the absurdity, and the cruelty and understands the devastating consequences. There was no hope in the literature written by the adults ~ even as they wrote from a child's perspective. But in the words and drawings of the children, glimmers of hope shone through. I will always remembering being altered somehow by this observation - that all of that horror could not silence or still or crush or destroy the hope that is the human spirit.

Interesting that today, of all days, I noticed that quote on the bench. And was brought back to that book.
And that, not an hour later, I read Ayala's poem.

We've all got those child-like places in our hearts.
I hope that open, hopeful, colorful place in our heart sings loudly today.
And that we listen to our heart song.

Simple BPM
Linking up over at Hyacynth's place today.

Days of Remembrance
The internationally recognized date comes from the Hebrew calendar and corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on that calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. When the actual date of Yom Hashoah falls on a Friday, the state of Israel observes Yom Hashoah on the preceding Thursday. When it falls on a Sunday, Yom Hashoah is observed on the following Monday.
2012  Thursday, April 19


  1. I love how God weaves our experiences together so that they send us His desired message. For you on this day...hope.

  2. How God impressed all of these thoughts on you today, pieced then together is such a powerful demonstration of the way he whispers messages to our hearts. Thank you for sharing this and reminding me to remain hopeful through even the trials.

  3. Adrienne, I began reading your post and I got goose bumps to read the beautiful things you mention of my memories of my dad.... Your thoughts on all those lost forever. I am happy that I inspired you to write this post about all those that we should never forever. Thank you .

  4. That we should never forget !

  5. Wow. I'm speechless. That title alone "I never saw another butterfly" cut so deep. And what you say about the hope of children? Wow.

    My husband's family is German and in May we'll go to visit them in Berlin, where you can still see and feel the effects of the war. We also plan to go to Krakow and visit Auschwitz. People are always surprised when they hear we want to go there. I don't "want" to go there, but I feel it is ever so important that people do if they have the chance. Because it is important to remember what we as human beings are capable of. Yes, the absurdity and cruelty and devastation...but also the hope and healing.