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From the Pen of David Horowitz: October 19, 2009

Posted By David Swindle On October 19, 2009 @ 3:49 am In David's Blog,NewsReal Blog | No Comments

It is a fact of our communal lives that we understand each other only through ourselves, and therefore not well. Writing a memoir about my daughter disclosed things about her that led me to reflect ruefully on the ways I had failed to appreciate her, or respond to her adequately, or support her sufficiently while she was alive. There is nothing left for me to do with these regrets now but to embrace them.

Since we cannot enter another’s consciousness, we are forced to rely on our own stories for reference points through which our encounters make sense. This is a fateful narcissism that colors our vision and creates our conflicts. Yet the same self-regard also provides a bridge that allows us to heal them. This is the meaning of Sarah’s tikkun olam: while we are many, we are one.

Because Sarah and I were writers, we found it natural to converse through our work. Since mine was public, it afforded her opportunities to ask me about the events that had led to our divergent paths. In this way, the facts that separated us became points of contact. She was curious about my history and I was eager to hear her opinions and answer her questions. Pursuing these ends we were able to open lines of communication that our tangled family narratives had previously blocked.

Long before Sarah embarked on her world mission, the murder in Oakland had set me on a course that put us at odds. Until that moment my politics had been a pursuit of social justice that was closer to a religious calling than a search for practical solutions. The crusades I joined did not seek adjustments to the framework of ordinary human disappointments. Their goals were more grandiose: to transform the framework itself. But the murder of an innocent woman by members of my progressive faith persuaded me that the world would not be saved by the very creatures who had made it what it was.

A Cracking of the Heart

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