Per Aspera ad Astra

In correspondence with a fellow writer, she said that she was considering writing a novel about the experiences of certain women during WWI. I told her that I seemed to do best writing from my life experience rather than research. I think that means I have a limited imagination, or perhaps I am just too lazy to do the required research. In any case, I keep churning out blogs, hoping my perspectives and interactions offer something useful to my readers.

I do read newspapers, and I listen to NPR. I keep up with world events, especially in places where I have friends. One of those places is Russia, where news of Navalny and large street protests fill the airwaves and news cycles. One Russian friend was sanguine about both the protests and the pandemic. In fact, he closed his email with “Per aspera ad astra,” meaning “through hardships to the stars.” Despite the unusually cold Russian winter, maybe there will be a democratic spring. Perhaps, despite the expected temporary after effects of the  second Covid-19 vaccination, there will be an infection-free spring worldwide (or at least a respite).

Nevertheless, just as it’s impossible to silence the election deniers here, as well as the anti-mask wearers and the anti-vaccine disciples, Putin will squash the protests in Russia, and we will continue to watch people die of the virus and stay incarcerated in our homes.

I may not be as confident about the future as my young Muscovite friend, but I did discover a new mantra: “Per aspera ad astra.” This morning, I put aside post-vaccination concerns about feeling aches, nausea, and fatigued, and I went for my second shot. I joked with the nurses, smiled at other masked elders sitting in the line of cars, and faced my destiny. I hope our democratic leaders will do the same.

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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