Miriam Feder home


The Project–Ephemory

I was lucky–I missed the interesting part of my parents’ lives. They had to wait to enact their version of the American dream. First they tackled big things like the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, Hitler, immigration, war, loneliness, the draft, worry, death, and finding themselves in the same unlikely place. If all these things—good, bad, murderous and random—hadn’t happened, they never would have met and they never would have had me. They were ready to make a stable middle-class world in 1950s America.

History is relentless. History is destiny. And history catches up with us all, no matter how hard we run from it, neglect it, or ignore it. So now I’m looking at it. I would like to put those earlier years in an electronic box and watch them unfold, edited like a good film: my Father’s soldier days, my Mother building her American life. But I’m left alone to write it. Play or narrative? Soundscape or story? Public or therapeutic? Immersive or dismissive? Where do I start? Why do I know so little?

I’ll start by assembling those little pieces I have. There’s no one left to ask about the connective tissue. How could I have been so careless with my Mother and Father, letting them slip away before polishing each scene? My floor is littered with scraps and patches; each one seems to require special permission. Sometimes the patch conceals a hole; sometimes it weaves new cloth. Certainly what happened is important. But it’s ephemeral, conjectural, contextual and it’s evocative. My desire to hold, puzzle, play and share that legacy is the work of my world.