In a match-box apartment shared by other fellow-travelers, on a street named Kalinin, in the Soviet Armenian capital city of Yerevan, oh so many years ago, I would often end my day-long wanderings for a mere kilo of bread sharing my fought-over treasure with my new-found friends. One loaf of sand-laden, damp, dreadful dough as a meal, never to forget how cruel my gods could be!
Many a day I would sit there dreaming of love. Of freedom. Of evil and good. And chewing on bread that would have to satisfy me for the entire day.
Fortune can change with just one decision. One careless, reckless decision of mine slammed down an iron curtain between my heaven and the hell that was mine for thirteen years. Oh how my soul yearned for revenge. Wretched are those who lie for power and promise abundance on plates of misinformation.
There I sat day after day on a crate made in the USA, looking out from a third story window at an awesome view of the Araratian Plateau. Were there not waves of sunbeams dancing on the ice-covered Ararat? In those darkened clouds, did I not see a rainbow? If Noah and his wife and their sons and their wives were saved, would I not also survive my “forty days”?
Could it possibly be true – my imprisoned soul would taunt – that the tale of Noah was not the imagination of an opportunist fictional writer?
I had grabbed for Simonian’s Bible. As I turned to Genesis, I found what I was looking for…it was there…on that mountain where Noah’s Ark came to rest…it was there where Noah and his wife and sons would build a new life and plant the seeds of a civilization that would prosper…..and as it says in Genesis 8:4, “Never again will waters become a flood to destroy all life…”
And where did we go wrong! Is a merciful God now mocking us? Or what are we doing, what decisions are we making, to bring on the end of civilization?
If you want to blame someone for your failures, my mother would say, look in the mirror. Success has many fathers, defeat/failure is an orphan. A child’s innate appetite to do good or to do evil – to construct or to destroy – is nourished in the womb….and arrives with that first breath of human spirit, perpetuated by a loving family. But it could be destroyed by his or her environment. For some the journey is short; for others, it seems endless but for all, it is a miracle that we are here.
Despite our obsession with power and war, we will survive.
We are one. And from one we were given life. And that life will continue on earth.
Despite the fact that the forces of Good and Evil have taken to the battlefields again: an outburst of hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran; what appears to be a never-ending war in Iraq, and Afghanistan and Syria; and predictions of Armageddon, the warning and chorus of nations that the world’s end is at hand, good will triumph over the evil. The past has shown that there is more good on earth than evil.
And there is this covenant:
“Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”
And for those who believe, the gift of his son…January 6 we (Armenians and others of Orthodox faiths) celebrate his birth…Merry Christmas.
Tom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess. Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!