WPC photo challenge: Time

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“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”

Barbara Bush

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We live many lives

One week after I started this blog I published a post “We live many lives”. Today I decided to copy it here because it is a central post to my understanding of life and pursuit of happiness.

I want to stress that life always requires to make risky choices. When you decide to marry or not to marry it is one of the riskiest choices in your life.

I also want to stress one sentence in the post below:

“a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!”
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  • ” Man is born to be happy as a bird is born to fly”.

                                                         V. Korolenko

First of all, what is life?

There are different definitions of it.

Here are some of them:

-sequences of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual

– spiritual existence transcending physical death

– the period from birth to death
– a specific phase of earthly existence. 

It’s easy to see that they have different meaning and some of
them are contradictory.
If life is “the period from birth to death” how can it also be “spiritual existence transcending physical death”?
If life is “a specific phase of earthly existence” it definitely means
that all of us live many lives.
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My memory keeps happy days of childhood in Odessa (Ukraine),
a beautiful port city.
June 22 was my mother’s birthday and has always been a very
joyful  day for my family.
However, on June 22 1941 Germany attacked the USSR and
a terrible war started. My happy first life ended that day.
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I also remember my life in Tashkent (capital of Uzbekistan), It was
so different from my first life. New city, new people, new language.
My father was in the army,  my mother worked in the hospital in
another city and I lived with my grandparents in a tiny room with a clay
floor. There was too little food, we were lacking many necessities
but  my grandparents loved me very much and l loved going to school.
We had wonderful teachers, real professionals who loved their
students..
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Then there was a life in Moscow where I graduated from college, met my
wonderful wife and we started our family.
That life was very difficult too.
We lived in the totalitarian country where people could disappear at any
moment. My wife did not know her father. He was arrested and
executed a month before she was born.  28 years later my mother-in-law
received an official letter that he was innocent.
Three of us lived in a small apartment with three other families.
There was only a big sofa in our room, so my mother-in-law
had to go to sleep to her sister who lived nearby..
My wife was a designer and I worked on my dissertation at that
time and our love, our interesting work, love of our relatives and
friends made us happy.
A year after our marriage our son was born.
He had to sleep in the crib on the wide windowsill as there was no
other place for him in our room.
Our dream was also to have a girl. But first we needed  a better
place for our family,
So we worked very hard for years. Besides working in research I
wrote books. We saved money and realized our dream by buying a  nice
two bedroom apartment. And we were happy to live there with our
two children.(a boy and a girl).
Yes, a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!.
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Every person must grow mentally and spiritually. And with the growth new
goals come.
We were happy to live in our new apartment. Both of us were successful in
our careers. We lived in the center of Moscow and had many friends,
But gradually we came to understanding that it was our duty to leave the
USSR, to bring our children into the free world and to experience freedom
of a democratic society.
We made a very risky choice to apply for a permission to emigrate.
Nobody knew if the permission would be granted. We had to resign from
our jobs and to keep our children at home.
We were lucky to get a permission to emigrate after waiting for
five months.  In February of 1975 we left the Soviet Union and then
a new cycle of lives in USA started.
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My painting #13

“I will not be young again…”?

Below is one of my favorite poems by Sergei Yesenin. He wrote it when he was 25 years old.

I am 80 years old now and I feel that I am still young. My views changed drastically since I read this poem first time and now I doubt that “I will not be young again”.

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I do not regret, and I do not shed tears,

All, like haze off apple-trees, must pass.

Turning gold, I’m fading, it appears,

I will not be young again, alas.

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Having got to know the touch of coolness

I will not feel, as before, so good.

And the land of birch trees, – oh my goodness!-

Cannot make me wander barefoot.

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Vagrant’s spirit! You do not so often

Stir the fire of my lips these days.

Oh my freshness, that begins to soften!

Oh my lost emotions, vehement gaze!

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Presently I do not feel a yearning,

Oh, my life! Have I been sleeping fast?

Well, it feels like early in the morning

On a rosy horse I’ve galloped past.

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We are all to perish, hoping for some favour,

Golden leaves flow down turning grey.

May you be redeemed and blessed for ever,

You who came to bloom and pass away…

Sergei Yesenin

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My painting #13

My painting #13

Several quotes about life.

1) Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a     dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.

Sai Baba

2) A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

George Bernard Shaw

3) Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Mark Twain

4) The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.

Eminem

5) You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

Albert Camus

WE LIVE MANY LIVES.

It is trying time for people who lived both in Ukraine and Russia. I am one of these people. That’s why I decided to reblog this post today.