This is the last post I will write “from the road”. I thank all of you for following my travels over the past month. It has been a wonderful experience for me on so many levels.
Yesterday, Monday October 5th, I presented CIRCLES for the fourteenth and final time on this book tour. I was invited to CISAN – the Center for Investigation of North America – located on the 7th floor of the Humanities Building in the middle of the UNAM campus. The director of CISAN, Dr. Silvia Núñez García introduced me and investigator, Dr. Claire Joysmith made the closing remarks. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to speak with the international academic audience at Mexico’s largest university.
Although much of the focus at the center is on economic studies, the approach is inclusive. The director commented that she had just returned from a conference in Austria. While in Europe she also went to Germany and visited the memorial at a Nazi concentration camp. Reading about the lives of people like my Aunt Gisele’s can make history alive, Dr. Núñez told the assembled group. She said it is important for us to remember the dark periods of our collective past in the hopes they will not be repeated. Indeed this is one of the important themes of my book.
Claire Joysmith observed that Gisele’s exceptional creativity sustained her under the most difficult circumstances. Positive and creative thinking keeps us balanced. It improves our perspective and understanding of complex issues.
Over this past month, it has been a great pleasure for me to present CIRCLES to a lot of different groups and to see how they respond to the story of my aunt’s long life. She made every day count, even when surrounded by evil during World War II. I once asked her, after all she had endured, how she managed to hang on to her positive outlook. “I made the decision to be happy,” she said.
This is the most fundamental lesson I learned learn from Gisele.
And today, living out of a suitcase (and worrying if the shampoo and deodorant are going to last until I get back) has come to an end. I am anxious to be home with Jorge and Maggie.
While I have been away, the days have shortened and according to “my sources”, the weather is cooling off in Yucatan. We rarely ever get cold temperatures, but mid-October until late-March is the coolest time of the year.
For this and so many more reasons, it’s a good time to be homeward bound.