Long pining for comfort, Anne Frank wrote on Christmas Eve of 1943, "Crying can bring relief, as long as you don't cry alone." I can't help but wonder how often each member of The Secret Annex wept alone.
Did they hear each other weeping gently in the dark?
Without the ability to comfort each other, did they just leave each other be to cry alone in a private space?
At one point Anne describes crying large round tear drops. They stained her dress with dark blotches--she sat alone in the water closet for privacy. Was this her private space?
She also wrote of a time, alone in the office, where the tears steamed down her cheeks. Long thin ribbons of anguish--a common experience among the thousands in hiding--shared with no one.
The image I chose for my poster (the small child comforting another) speaks powerfully to me because this simple act seems so inaccessible for Anne.
She turned to her diary, her writing, for comfort.
She turned to Peter.
She turned to her father.
She turned to Miep and the brief moments when Miep and the others brought books, food, or news.
Anne turned, and turned, and turned.
Anne's words are important. They tell us that friendship and family nourish us. We really can not survive without the daily dose of close friends or the unconditional and unwavering love of family.
I'm also reminded of the fragile condition of being human, of being a part of a family, of being a friend. We need to play both roles...we need to embrace both roles.
Sometimes we lean on another and we cry.
Sometimes we have to be available so that another may find their comfort.
But always we must be aware and respectful of those relationships so none of us ever has to turn, and turn, and turn.
Without any comfort.