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Monday, April 9, 2012

A Garden of Eden in Hell

I posted the video on Alice Herz Sommers because it is the most awe inspiring thing I’ve heard in a very long time.  She survived the Holocaust, wrote a book entitled “A Garden of Eden in Hell” at the age of 104 and is now 108.  She practices the piano three hours every day and lives independently.

I know I live in a lot of pain, as do many of you.  And I always lecture about not comparing your world to someone else’s.  But this woman is an exception (for me) to that rule.  There are, after all, many kinds of pain.  But her courage soars above most people walking the planet, claiming to be, or being called, courageous.  And as it reads in the beginning of this video “The Secret of Happiness is Freedom, The Secret of Freedom is Courage”  Thucydides  471 BC – 400 BC you make your own freedom, happiness.   I’ve watched this three times so far and suggest you view it at least once.  It’s truly amazing.

Mrs. Sommers should be a beacon to those of us (including me) struggling with our broken and beleaguered bodies, our disinterested doctors, our sometimes distant friends and family members (who don’t know what to do because there IS nothing to do so supporting us is impossible, especially when our moods are sour and our only emotion is anger) and our shattered hearts and souls. 

The thing is, there are holocausts happening every day in this world.  The Jewish Holocaust is the most talked about because it’s important for us to remember it, as we remember the Exodus (Passover was just last week).  But the atrocities happening in countries in Africa and all over the globe have not stopped or even slowed.  And the US, who finally rescued the prisoners of the holocaust that Sommers survived, did so very late in the war.  If they had acted sooner, who knows how many more lives would have been saved.  And I’m not even going to try and write about or try to make sense of the war we are currently involved in.  But I will write that the way we treat our troops upon their return is beyond disgraceful.

I would like to take a leaf from her book and keep it by my side when I’m feeling the pity potty calling.  Or at least listen again and again, to her tale of courage under fire.


Kinderscenen by Shumann


  1. I really like your blog because it is very interesting and it touches my heart as well. Good job.

    1. Thank you so much! Your words mean a lot to me. I'm glad it touches your heart, and I hope your pain is tolerable


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