Unfortunately Pen, I have two similar regrets that popped up almost immediately. The first, walking through a slum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with polio victims many dragging themselves around on scarred, worn "legs" for lack of a cart. What keeps me sane - I can't remember the eye contact, I know I had.

The second thought, a couple seconds later - when I was hitch-hiking late 1970's through Portland Oregon at 3 in the morning, I came across a woman half in and half out of a car on the shoulder of the interstate. I ran up and saw that she was bloodied and battered and the driver telling me and my 135 pound body - you touch her and I'll beat the shit out of you. I didn't and he dragged her back into the car as he drove off. It's amazing how inaction can plague us every bit as much as our actions.

All we can do is keep trying to do better and opportunities will present themselves. AND take it easy on yourself, we truly are works in progress as long as we never give up. Thanks again Pen for a thought provoking post.

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Aug 30Liked by Penfist

Wow, Pen, that was some powerful shit. I understand that haunts you but try to be gentle on yourself. Today's you would react differently than the you in Kabul that day.

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Powerful. And your narration is extraordinary.

Not to diminish the value if this piece. But I can imagine your voice being in demand for audio books. Your tone and pacing are intense and your words so sincere.

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You have a gift for painting a portrait, through memory, words, tone of voice.

It's so searing...it feels as though it's my memory, as well.

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