October 27, 2021:

A woman we didn't know, too old to be a student, spoke to me about Trotsky. She'd just read the Deutscher biography, and as she related her sadness over the tragedies of Trotsky himself and his family, her stifled sob betrayed her own inner emotional turmoil. Struggling with depression, and, I think, from her gaunt frame and hollow cheeks, either anorexia or addiction or both.

I was too strong then. I felt sympathy for her state, but not the empathy I would experience today. Today I'd recognize in her my kindred sufferer, a sister in struggle — not merely the struggle for justice, but the struggles with our personal frailties — the legacies of mistakes and sorrows and loss.

I am in this way nowadays more rounded as a human being — and far less capable than I was then of carrying the great battle forward.