CAHSS Faculty Articles

Stories and Self-Reflection

Publication Title

Quadrivium: A Journal of Multidisciplinary Scholarship



Publication Date

Spring 2009



The search for truth speaks to the soul—or the things of the spirit—as well as to the mind, and even though rational inquiry and matters of the soul don't usually walk hand-in-hand, each can inform and enrich the other. I am enamored of this notion of living the examined life, because it prompts me to burrow into the heart of reality and to be critical and self-reflective. But then I am equally fond of my Aunt Laurie's expression, "Don't fly in the face of God." My aunt Laurie urged this old Irish adage upon me this past summer as we grieved the passing of my mother, her younger sister. I was wrestling at the time with the cruel irony of having made haste to return to my ailing mother's bedside only to be left stranded in the cold anonymity of the Charlotte, Virginia airport. While the sudden inclement weather held me hostage, my mother was moving on, surrendering, as Dylan Thomas so aptly describes it, to "the dying of the light." Don't question God's will, Aunt Laurie cautioned me as much as herself as she, too, coped with the quirk of fate that sees her—the oldest of eight siblings—standing last and alone at age 92.





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