I had moved into Peet’s coffee, whilst preparing my novel Following Shadows for professional editing.  You see, this is where I “worked” with the least distraction, especially when I had deadlines to reach.

My goals include, like many children and grandchildren of the Greatest Generation, to find meaning all these generations later.


The irony of our World War II lessons, is how we cannot be fully prepared  for the next wave of danger. The Japanese in WWII were fully prepared, with modern weapons, ships and planes, because they had the plans that the rest of the world was not yet ready to believe.  I have worked with, and served people with trauma for much of my life as a psychotherapist, and often the first hurdle, is believing that danger, evil and trauma does come, and rallying others to believe as well.

Japan’s determination to conquer  led to three and a half years of suffering, with an extremely high death toll in Chinese and Asian countries. Over 24 million civilians**  and military lost their lives. This number does NOT include the high number of Allied soldiers who died in Japanese POW camps, labor camps, mines and aboard “hell ships” used for transport to the camps.

Where in your life have you moved in your whole self to reach goals? Where do you recognize the losses which could not be prevented, and the eventual survival of your human spirit. Tell me. I like this poem by a Dr. Ochberry, who teaches us so well, how to cope with trauma. Here is the youtube link to hear the history of this poem, and Dr. Ochberry’s reading

Survivor Psalm
By Frank Ochbery, M.D.

I have been victimized.
I was in a fight that was
not a fair fight.
I did not ask for the fight. I lost.
There is no shame in losing such
Fights, only in winning.
I have reached the stage of
Survivor and am no longer a
slave of victim status.
I look back with sadness
rather than hate.
I look forward with hope
rather than despair.
I may never forget, but I need not
constantly remember.
I was a victim.
I am a survivor.

**(source Wikipedia, with footnotes for extra sources within this link. This author added together  a conservative estimate of all deaths listed in Chinese, Asian, and island countries)


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