When you have a granddaughter in Bali, you know her life is different than if she were raised here. And when I saw this photo, 3 years ago, I realized just how different her life is. Because this is Jazz, age 5, ‘piecing with a krink mop’ according to her dad, my son Evan, outside their house in Bali, free to be as abstract as her inner muse takes her. #daughteroftwoartists #baligirl#grandkidsarethebest #truelove
Our Bali granddaughter, our beloved Jazz came to Brentwood with me where I taught a writing class as she read and drew and thoroughly enchanted the class. Afterwards, we went out for ice cream. And here she is, almost 7, pure sweetness and beauty, sharing a moment of love with me. In six weeks, I leave for Bali to celebrate her 8th birthday in her home, where she was born in a bathtub of frangipani flowers, delivered into the loving hands of midwife Ibu Robin Lim. I was the first to hold her, after her mama and papa. When they handed her to me I was overcome with love. I’m still overcome with love for Jazz. I haven’t been with her since August and she says she’s waiting until I arrive to cut her hair. I’m waiting, too, Jazz. For the moment you’re in my arms again, always deeply familiar despite the months and the miles. That’s what love does. Keeps us heart to heart. Keeps us deeply connected. Always. Our beloved Jazz..
I was twelve when legendary Little Golden Books illustrator Tibor Gergely (Scuffy the Tugboat, Tootle the Engine, etc.) drew me, in his studio on Lexington Avenue in NYC, lost in my favorite activity. Now, decades later, today, I got to stand next to my likeness in the Platt/Bornstein Gallery at American Jewish University. Only this time I’m only pretending to read. smile emoticonThese days, all my extra time is spent on rewriting my family story (which many of you know as The Goldsmith’s Daughter.) As I excavate the past I’m struck by the extraordinary artists who peopled my life as a child. Tibor Gergely, my surrogate uncle (whom we called ‘Geri’) was my very favorite person. Thank you for then and now, Geri. Then and now. So very grateful
Big news this week.
I finally found a home for my mother’s Burning Wooden Synagogue paintings. (Burned in Eastern Europe on Kristallnacht.) Some of you may recall that at the end of her life my mother, artist Greta Schreyer painted a series of 6 of these burning synagogues. She said she had to live long enough to find the courage to paint them. They were exhibited in a museum in NY before they came tome when my mother died 10 years ago last October. And here they’ve been, in the studio, all these years.
This week the first shipment of these paintings went to the Skirball Museum – Cincinnati.
I’m incredibly grateful and a bit overwhelmed.
It’s been my decade-long goal to get these to the right museum. I’ve tried again and again. Now that they’re packed and ready, my tears are falling. Not exactly for my mother. I’m so grateful to have found a good home for these. But just before we closed the shipping boxes I began to sob. For the suffering of Jews in these small towns in Poland where these synagogues were set on fire. I said a prayer over them.
And now, off they go.