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works tagged with: WWIIRSS

Carole–what was it like to get to America?

That’s what I learned: you always have to be ready and act fast. I guess I did that with everything that ever happened to me after that time. That’s how I married your father too.

Berta on Marrying Rudy

He is ten years older than me with dark hair that is already thinning. His dark eyes make him look serious and kind at the same time. But he is quick to laugh at my Father’s jokes. That is a good sign. His laugh is a rich, warm sound. This is a man who can forgive and forget. Mamma says that is the most important and I think she is right.

Rudy

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.

The Bronze Goddess

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.

Leaving Home

I came from people who left home. I decided to leave when I was four and I could barely wait the fourteen years. It never occurred to me there was any other way to be. My mother left her home in the gathering clouds of war and desperation. My father left his to go fight [...]

The Project–Ephemory

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.

Receiving the gift

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 [...]

Ruth’s Rage

One group savages another, strips them of their rights, their livelihoods, their safety and sometimes arbitrarily their lives. These things are so basic and their deprivation so unimaginable. It stretches from the beginning of time to tomorrow–what torment and what injustice. It makes me feel sick and powerless. How can a civilized people slip into the abyss and take the world through it with them?

Legacy

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.

You are the last one left

Are you a weathered post supporting more weight than any trespasser has a right to expect? What is the last feeling of the bygone era, the last first-person blessing or curse to be landed against a too well-known opponent? Mom, does the emptiness of loss cast a sidelong knowing-sort-of glance, a nod of recognition even, before he pulls away yet another rug?