Jul. 26, 2020

LIKE A CHILD, I STILL EXPERIENCE DISAPPOINTMENT--OF THE HEART.

Basically, I’m a very happy person. I don’t depend on anyone for my happiness except me---which is certainly a “good thing” since  I have no family—absolutely no one.  Earlier this year, Death took the last of my close friends.

I've learned to be strong yet, over the last several weeks, I’ve experienced a persistently-deep sadness...like grieving the loss of a longtime, great love.  At times, the sadness is so emotionally-intense---I have no choice but cry.  Such serious-sadness occupies my thoughts during the day as well as my nighttime hours. Dreams wake me…and I’m instantly-flooded with events from the past—that keep replaying in my mind. I carefully write them down in great detail, to study them.  I know--for certain—that everything in my life has a reason... as well as a purpose.

Yesterday, I decided to self-analyze... based on the lengthy behavioral/emotional/factual notes I've been taking for weeks. I suddenly realized I'm still grieving a huge and disappointing loss.

This was the month I was scheduled to return to China for ten days. This was the thirty year anniversary/celebration commemorating my “FIRST EVER” journey of the length of The Great Wall of China. 

My latest project was called: A RETURN TO ALL THE WALL and, like 30 years ago, I had successfully-arranged sponsors from both China and America…so my emotional return to China’s Great Wall was completely funded.

China’s Leaders had also arranged for me to meet with North Korea’s Leader, Kim Jong Un, so I could explore the  section of The Great Wall that “overlaps” the North Korean border.  This would be the final chapter in my Book--The full account of my Great Wall Journey--in Picture Form-- with a "running" narrative.

I’d been so emotionally-charged for so long, anticipating this wonderful reunion with my old friend--The Great Wall-- then suddenly....The World Stopped.

Is it any wonder that I feel such sadness, such grief, such loss?!?!? I never realized…until now…that fulfilling a childhood dream, as I did…seldom happens...even to experienced dreamers. Yes.  My love of The Great Wall was the great love that lived in my heart from childhood-- nearly a lifetime so---why wouldn’t I want to return to the place where I'd know happiness; immense success?!?!? 

Thirty Years and I was ready.  Only weeks before my long-anticipated reunion with The Great Wall... my trip was cancelled.  One of my sponsors suggested we should stay hopeful, plan to do it next year, and,  just keep “in touch”.  For now, my disappointment won't allow me to think  about next year...or the following year...or whenever.

Judging from the increasing tensions between America and China, I predict that no American-- even someone as close to China and its leaders as me—will be officially-welcome inside China---for a very-long time.

“The more I mature, the less I allow ugliness from my past to invade my present. Instead, I block-out the ugliness with memorable moments. My Great Wall remembrances are never far away—they find me when I’m sitting in traffic, walking by the fast-moving river, or watching smoke-trails from a high-flying jet. The Wall is with me when I smell wetness on mossy rocks, or jog through frost-covered grass. My memories often consume me and, like stepping into cold rain on a scorching-hot day, my body shivers with anticipation. I close my eyes and, in an instant, I’m back on The Wall. Those are the times I can touch the wind, hear the silence, and share aloneness—all under a brilliantly-blue, open-parasol sky—that speaks only Chinese. I share those moments with tears filling my eyes, running down my face, dripping from my chin....and I don’t stop them. Tears are my evidence; my emotional reminders. Yes, I was really there. The magic comes from knowing my—“Once upon a time”— began with a nine year old girl, a teacher, a geography book....and a Dream.”

Someday, only God knows when, I’ll be back with my old friend…The Great Wall Of China...  and this time, I’ll never leave.

SALLY MILLER