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by Robert Burton 2 months ago in humanity

Ruminations of Home, Reminiscing about those who have my heart

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Their lives were in their faces. You could see it, lives that had pain, struggle, joy, ups, downs, and most importantly, wisdom. If you looked into their faces you could see it, or maybe, they could just tell you. If they told you it would have to be over a glass of wine, because lives that complicated aren’t just exposed and expounded upon so easily. Those faces had pain that was deep and black, with strength that was old. Older than the Zambezi, the Nile, the Limpopo or the Mississippi, yes, strength that goes back that far.

They sing when they talk. “Chiiiiiiillllllddddd,” they say, as they rock back and forth. They speak in the present, but they look into the past, spirits that feel into the unseen and the unheard. These women are and will become their mothers. And they’ll stand with hands on hips and heads tilted, peering, and the little boy looks into their faces, and sees how his ancestors live on. He sees them in those faces. So I guess you could say those faces have many lives and lessons and troubles: love, hurt, and pain running through every wrinkle and every vein. These faces don’t need make-up. Wisdom looks good on everyone.

Their strength was in their silence. For them the truth always lies in what’s not said. One must listen with their spirit, and talk with their actions. These men speak when it’s necessary, and let one ponder over their intentions after a thing is finished. These men say only enough, and do what must be done. They shake heads and make small grunts when they listen, but not much comes out. Around these men the silence is deafening, robust and wraps around you like a coat. When it’s broken it’s broken with a simplicity that speaks volumes, and wisdom that knows no depths.

Their worth is in their sacrifice. It’s in their willingness to say that they don’t matter, and that what’s important are those who are yet unborn. They are strong, because they can endure with grace, and pass through difficulty without losing sight of why they are enduring. These men are walking libraries, but if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. They know, but do not show. They appear dim and quiet, but yet, they glow. They don’t showcase everything they know, and they don’t need to; wisdom exudes from their pores and palpably fills the air.

Their joy was in their laughter. That joy was and is born of innocence, and that innocence is born of ignorance. This ignorance is not the type that destroys, but the type that protects. It protects them from the world that will soon try to destroy them, maul them, and teach them to hate themselves. But for now, they have their joy and they playfully toss it around, back and forth, up and down, like a toy. Their joy is loud and boisterous. It is careless and carefree, because, now, they have no worries, they are unaware of a world that is sitting in cop cars and boardrooms plotting and planning a plethora of ever more sophisticated ways to destroy them. For them, these children, who laugh carefree, their destruction is a science. For these children, their joy brings others joy, and their laughter brings others laughter, because those who watch them know. Those who watch know that that laughter will soon be interrupted and that that joy will soon cease.

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Robert Burton

A world traveler and student of life, people and the human mind. I've been molded by my origins in The American South, six years of life in The People's Republic of China and my passion for life.  I live, I learn and then I write about it.  

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