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1994 Dear Self:


Before computers, voices were louder, people seemed able to hear one another better. My mother was alive to see computers arrive but like television, she refused to own one. After the evacuation of our northern town, we lost my mother. The fire that passed through that dry summer veered around us but the dreaded burning in her veins roared like wildfire inside her until she lay still.


1984 Dear Mum:


Each day I live brings me closer to the realization that I know nothing. Every minute that I live, and learn, and discover things before unknown to me, I am reminded of how ignorant I truly am. Ignorant of the feelings of the people I love most and ignorant of life itself. I feel that most of my years were spent inside me, eyes oblivious.


This, while true to some degree, is not entirely true. I was awake periodically because I remember things I learned. What I am trying to express is that I am now affected more by what I didn’t learn when it was right in my face waiting for me to grasp it time and time again.


One thing I am grateful for is time. Time will allow me to explore those areas I thought I knew, to quench this thirst for knowledge and, possibly, if I grow wise enough, to perceive life as it really is and not just as I see it.


An injustice has been done.


Oddly enough, not what by anything I DID but what I didn’t know ENOUGH to do.


I didn’t know enough to say the right thing at the right time, to offer support when it was so sorely needed or forgive and forget when it was the least I could have done.  No one ever knows everything, that would be inhuman and we go on learning all the days of our lives. To apply what I learn to my everyday living is what I wish to do.


One of the ways I wish to do that is to say “Thank you” to my mother for letting me be stupid enough to make my own mistakes for being tough enough to let me alone, suffer the consequences of my many child-mind thoughtless actions and most of all for going her own way, being her own woman while neither mothering nor neglecting me. Then, I did not understand.


Now I am conscious of her position and this one is for you, for the woman you are and the friend you are to me, because I have realized that I love you more than even I knew.


2014 Dear Everyone:


The trees we could not see for the forest took everything when wind-driven redwood high flames licked through our town.  In the blackness laying in after, there were no bones. Everyone who was still living survived. We are all survivors in this life.


Firewall, firewall, firewall.

(c) JANNI 1984