If he had lived longer, would I have gotten to know him better? Would I sit still for the repetitive stories, ask the probing questions, complete the pictures I stopped gathering over 20 years ago? Or would I be annoyed at his slowness and frailty, at the obstinacy and routines of old men. Would I have continued to be too rushed by the crush between generations to note the gifts of either one?
We will not cast people out for their choices in lip color, hosiery, language, religion, or the lack thereof. We will try to be “with it,” but not too with it—if you know what I mean.
(Carole’s father, Rudy, musing in 1937, Germany) Is my country a part of my blood, my bones, is it the safe feeling under my feet? Or is it the place my family has lived for generations—even after it strips away our rights and treats us hatefully? What identifies me as German? Is it my culture, [...]
To think I must send my child away so she can live the life every father dreams of for his child–I am defeated. A Father should be able to give his family all the things they need. Not to be wealthy but to be a family together. Now, just when we should be talking about boys and school, we send her off to a strange place.
I am glad they are girls. I would hate to send a boy to war. Already Germans are talking about troops and guns so much–they hate Versailles. I think they have war in their blood, no matter how bad it was such a short time ago.
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.
When my parents were still here for me, I asked and avoided, I listened and ignored. When I became a parent, all that programming poured from my firmware and wanted control. Would I live the legacy or change it?
From an early age, I gave my daughter expert coaching in ice-cream cone management. I knew iced cream would be an important part of her future, so I approached this as a valuable skill to be handed down and practiced. You circle the cone, working the meeting of cone and ice cream…
“Laura was a free spirit. I wasn’t like that; I was very traditional. But Laura could do anything. You’re like her that way. I admired her.” These words were from Madeleine, a friend of my Mom’s from Gimbals’ days, circa 1945. Laura the free spirit: I had never thought of her this way. I knew [...]
He’s only for himself. He chose the cinch of Chaillot’s mad mistress. He danced the angry white man’s jive into a frenzy. It’s not your fault he got lost there. You can’t be blamed but you can protect yourself.