Who Do You Want To Be?

Who do you want to be?

And so a book emerges from its depths into rays of light. All endings have new beginnings even stories that end in tragedy. Simply put, because life goes on; and, those left to live have no choice but to continue to breathe in, breathe out, and take one step forward and then the next.

Lives that once were, honored within the lives of those who continue on in remembrance of them. A blind girl whose hearing allowed her to see what others could not, a beloved "shoe poet", and a Polish girl who gave the greatest gift - the gift of herself to save the lives of others. A pushing together, the forming of a new family, while tearing oneself apart to traverse the sea.

To the Stars - Image Provided by PicMonkey - Word Overlay by Louwes Media

Who do you want to be?

Taking the following quote out of context and applied directly to the question asked, "You won't have to ask". Observe yourself carefully. Examine your past, be present within the moment you now exist within; list out your strengths and your weaknesses, list out your natural talents and the things you're passionate about, add in your belief system and core values and you'll find the answer is right there waiting for you. The answer is found within, while the clues are found externally all around you. 

Who do you want to be?

Observation - Image Provided by congerdesign via Pixabay.com - Word Overlay by Louwes Media

"Salt to the Sea" was so rich in text and descriptions that by engaging your five senses you could transport yourself to become part of the protagonist group of foreigners brought together by war. At one with them and yet just separated enough to be on the outside looking in. 

As a poet myself the "shoe poet" was who I most identified with. The elderly have always drawn me in. They melt my heart. I know I have much to learn from them. They are my safe space and those who I admire. They are filled with wisdom and are able to provide encouragement with just a kind look, a nod, and a smile. The "shoe poet", despite living the same life of lack, uncertainty, poverty, and with all of the odds stacked against him managed to say things with insight and knowledge that only those who think deep thoughts can give. 

“Sit a while. Rest. The ship is doing the traveling for us.”

“Yes, at least we don’t have to walk,” I said.

“Ah, but remember, the poet Emerson said that when we have worn out our shoes, the strength of the journey has passed into our body.” He nodded and winked. “Wisdom pays the largest debt to the shoemaker.” - Page 314 of “Salt to the Sea”

Beyond the "shoe poet" was the protagonist Emilia. She sheds a whole new light on the "me too" movement within our modern days. She makes up stories to get herself through a reality too painful to manage any other way. She imagines she will meet a love when the war of winter turns into Spring; instead, she births a love she hadn't imagined possible.

The War of Winter - Image Provided by PicMonkey - Word Overlay by Louwes Media

I longed for a different ending; however, when faced with the worst maritime disaster known to man you know that those people [the characters] you've come to love most won't always make it through to the end in the ways you would have wanted them to. Then, these words are shared, they reach down to the depths of your soul and act as a balm for you know they are true:

She is Loved - Image Provided by drippycat via Pixabay - Word Overlay by Louwes Media

The life of her newborn spared. Gifted and entrusted into the arms of another [Joana]; and, her knight, [Florian]. Somehow, against all odds, life continues on; but, oh, how we yearn for the day when the last trumpet will sound and we will be changed.

"Salt to the Sea" so packed full of life lessons and quotes worthy of being remembered I typed out 11 pages of words I wish not to forget. Not willing to part fully with a book of this caliber but knowing I've promised to pass it on as all good books should be. Not selfishly kept but given to engage and enlighten the mind of another. Certain stories are meant to be remembered for time immemorial; and, "Salt to the Sea" featuring the Wilhelm Gustloff is one of these.

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