Marner and Eppie
Me and the Girls

Anyone who reads my website knows that traveling, especially to overseas destinations, is one of the most important endeavors that drives me. It started fifty years ago when I went to Scotland where I attended classes at New College at the University of Edinburgh in the late 60s. That drive to travel hasn’t ceased. I returned to Myanmar during winter break from teaching a couple months ago.

I had been to Myanmar four years ago during winter break also. I love that country above all the other countries that I have visited in the past half century. However, the thing that draws me back is my family that lives there.

That wanting to visit my family is so strong that I am planning my third trip to Myanmar in a couple of years. What haunts me is why? I want to understand the transformation within me and my relationship to them.

I can label a list of factors that have contributed to my quest. I love traveling specifically to places that are not Western. The unfamiliar has a fascination for me and draws me to those places, especially in the East. In addition, many of the reasons are related to dancing with death. I know that my clock is ticking, and I understand that I can’t waste precious time, which is limited. I grasp how important my granddaughters are to me. It won’t be long before Ti Ti, Snow, and Fatty will be a part of the new emerging generation of leaders.

I want to do whatever I can to help them as they begin to journey down their yellow brick roads of life. Additionally, I want them to know what I see in them as people. I want them to believe in themselves as much as I believe in them. It truly amazes me to see their various abilities. I don’t want them to see themselves short when it comes to their capabilities.

Finally, I realized something that I thought that I understood years ago. Nonetheless, I missed it. I have written many articles about having to memorize a couple hundred lines of poetry or prose each year while attending Mt. Lebanon High School. A day doesn’t pass since graduating in 1961 that I haven’t used one or more lines that I memorized over six decades ago.

Case in point, George Eliot’s real name was Mary Ann Evans. She used George Eliot as a pseudonym due to male writers in Britain didn’t think that women could write. In high school, I benefitted from her novella entitled Silas Marner. It was published in 1861, a century before I stood in front of Mrs. Davis and recited this passage from Silas Marner.

In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.

I thought that I got Eliot’s point. However, dancing with death gave me a radically different Weltanschauung. In addition, these three granddaughters have changed me life. Each of them has given me an insight into what Eliot meant.

In the novella, Silas Marner, Eppie, a young toddler come into his life. She “led him away from threatening destruction.” What was threatening destruction isn’t the same for me as it was for Marner. Nonetheless, Eliot was correct.

Also, Eliot’s observation that “a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's” is absolutely accurate.

Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

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Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

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Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

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My Hauntings

My Hauntings

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On Seeing the Light

On Seeing the Light

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

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Ti Ti

Ti Ti

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