The fog rolled in several hours ago, pulling up the secrets embedded in the fields and sinking them into the heavy air. I am sitting in my classroom, staring out over the practice fields, and watching gray world do its nothing. The fog has dissipated and everything is a dirty white and quiet.
Tomorrow, I will being the auditions for The Diary of Anne Frank and I feel the baby fingers of history pulling at my skin. I must do this play justice. I must bring her voice out of the River Styx and let it live once more.
Yesterday, the Boy, Girl, and I watched a National Geographic documentary titled Anne Frank’s Holocaust, and I sat in paralyzed sadness, my dog pushing himself against me in a futile effort for me to surrender more of the couch to his geriatric self. I know Anne’s history. I know she was betrayed. I know she died. But this gave me her lifestory as she walked the terrible bridge towards death.
Four weeks in a transition camp before she was placed on the last transport to Auschwitz. And then, for three months (I think), she worked in a part of the camp…I think where she was extracting resources from batteries to be reused.
And then, she was once more sent on a train to Bergen Belsen. Was she on the last train? Another last transport?
The Girl and I set up and decorated the Christmas tree yesterday. For two hours, she sat beside me in her girly pink chair, wearing a Santa hat and her fuzzy pajamas and watched as Anne’s story shattered.
I have been asked over and over, “What is the one book you think that everyone should read?”
Elie Wiesel’s Night. Because in his six months (?) of time in Auschwitz, he went from a fit boy to a dying man who lived for decades more. Wiesel worked in the factory section of Auschwitz, and I wonder if he might have had contact with anyone from the annex. They were there, together, at the same time.
I know a Google search will yield the answers. I know that it is highly unlikely or the documentary would have discussed it.
This morning, the Boy and I talked about the current political situation and our fears, our anxieties regarding the new president. We recognize the authority of our new leader, but we are scared at his temperament.
Am I saying that another Holocaust is on the horizon? Hell no. First, I don’t think that it will happen; I am not so paranoid about our current government/political situation to believe that anything like this could happen. Besides, if anything, I will stand up and say something . I will not be the silent one from Martin Niemoller’s poem, First They Came for the Socialists…”
I have a voice. And it’s loud. And it won’t be silenced…..
The fog is completely gone. In a few minutes, I will begin logging in my grades, check my email once more, make sure I have everything ready for the rest of my lessons today.
Tonight, I will run five, maybe six miles. I will attend the Boy Scout Court of Honor and will celebrate the accomplishments of two dozen young men. Tomorrow, I will open Pandora’s History Box and invite the students to push their hands into the deep folds waiting there, find the trinkets hidden within.
Anne, I hope we give you a fitting eulogy, a lasting voice. And to the silent ones, may your voices sing through us. We are here, standing in the translucence of your shadows, looking forward.
Watching the stars the entire time.