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A Shout From The Attic: When I Was Young

Before launching into his fascinating life story, Ronnie Bray recalls some of his childhood perceptions.

When I was young, I saw that carthorses were as big as elephants. Now I am grown old, I see that I was mistaken and did not know how big elephants were or how small I was then.

When I was young, I thought that all grown ups were fierce, demanding, and unyielding. The only nice ones I knew and felt that I could trust were those I saw on the cinema screen making me laugh. Now I am grown old I see that funny men such as Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello lived in a make-believe world and that my world was too small to see good and funny men in it except in make-believe.

When I was young, I thought that love was a commodity given and taken away at the whim of the powerful and that there was no such thing as real love. Now I am grown old I know that real love exists for I have known it twice from hearts big enough to love and not count the cost, but I know too that commodity-love is still alive in the world, in the hearts of those who know to do better, and is cutting its miserable path through the hearts of children too powerless to do anything except be daily diminished by it.

When I was young, I thought that graveyards were spooky places, full of mystery and danger. Now I am grown old, I know that they are full of memories, sadness, and the pain of love that ended too soon, and that very flower placed by a headstone speaks of that love in feeling too deep for tears

When I was young, I saw anger in the eyes of those I thought were powerful people. Now I am grown old, I see that it is not always anger, but sometimes frustration that their lives have not become what their dreams promised them, and they cannot deal with the disappointment.

And now I tell my story as I have experienced it. Some of it is dark, but oftentimes a light goes on that might not make sense of the dark, but in numerous ways makes sense of life seen though darkness by the many lights that shine in each of our lives. If we will follow even the humblest of all lights, the flickering candle flame, we may witness the explosion of incandescence that some call understanding and others call enlightenment.

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