Survivor Guilt

I didn’t write about it here – , but the kind of guilt we were talking about was survivor guilt.  The man with whom I spoke that day on steps of Nashville’s War Memorial talked about the guilt he experienced having survived as a soldier in the Viet Nam War, as well as attempts to destroy himself as a means of testing the reality of his perceived unbreakability.  While I have never experienced anything like organized, legally sanctioned armed conflict, I have survived a constellation of circumstances that others have not.  I also spent years testing the reality of my perceived unbreakability, gathering data I will probably never publish or otherwise make fully known.

On the other side of survival and reality-testing is, I think, the possibility of awakening to an experience of humanness that may be better than one thinks one deserves or ever thought to hope for.