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.
The life she crafts—unconsciously and with fierce determination—is Goddess at her core. She is that composite we never really see in our lifetime, that we often don’t trust to be there—that vast well-spring we might not even dare to be. But we are here, anyway, in spite of ourselves or with calculated assertion.
I’ve been working on and off with the material for Ephemory since my Mother died in March 2010. I always knew I needed to work with my family’s legacy of immigration and NAZI persecution. As Mom’s last breath left her, I finally felt the charge—both permission and mandate—for me to write this. For all the [...]
In Ephemory, Ruth is helping her Mother, Carole, pack her apartment for a move to the assisted living facility. Handling her memorabilia triggers the memories that Ruth is longing for. What precedes the decision to move Mom?
I hadn’t heard my mother say a complete coherent sentence in a couple of years. She had been a relentlessly verbal person. In the last good years she would buttonhole a few folks at my parties and pin them in loquacious assault. These acts of self-perpetuation were unstoppable—beyond reason or interception. One on one, I [...]
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.
I worried about Mommy when the voice reminded registered aliens to report their addresses to the Post Office. Did Mommy have to do this? Did she know? Had she taken care of it? The stern man interrupted my afternoon cartoons. Failure to register was a federal offense. Was my mother an alien? I knew they [...]
I listen to the life leave you and I’m told there’s not much time. I must write your story. I may tell your story. The elusive gifts of urgency and permission. Your story never had time for doubt: can I do it? will it be right? enough? You dove in and made things happen. That’s [...]
Of course it’s the favorite stuffed animal that takes the most journeys and therefore increases the odds of disappearance. And face it, how long will a kid cry when she loses the toy she didn’t really care about? I don’t think my four year old lost the bear. And while I tend to misplace things, I always find them. The disappearance of Yellow Bear still mystifies me. Yes, I blame myself.
I need to know, how did it go for you? How did you do it? How did you negotiate all the unknowns? How did you discover and tame your feelings? How did you learn to live with sadness and fear? How did you take care of yourself? I want to know with all the intimacy we’ve never had, that I never knew was possible, that you never allowed maybe anyone.