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
One year ago, my Second Generation group (daughters of Holocaust survivors) celebrated the launch of “Tears and Tequila” complete with the most incredible cake. We’ve been meeting for the past 10 years and have shared the many ways in which we’re ‘different the same’ as a result of our parents’ common experiences. On this night, one year ago, I felt more deeply seen, heard and acknowledged than ever. I could feel our parents watching over us as we laughed and I can see the love in all of our eyes when I look at this photo. Thank you, Darlene Basch, for leading our group so wonderfully well. Thank you, Judith Chorub Gurian, for throwing the best book party ever. Thank you to all of our parents, who survived terrible tragedies and yet raised resilient daughters. I am so very grateful for the gifts we were given and the friendships we share.
Long ago, in a Galaxy far away (Fishkill, NY) I lived in a white house with green shutters up a 1/2 mile dirt road on a 250 acre piece of land, including a peach orchard. We kept bees, had a 40 x 40 foot garden and heated the house with wood. Those were some of the best years of my life. Here’s the proof. #backtotheland