Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Frank Note....

Having grown up in a home where both parents were Auschwitz Survivors,
I am ALL too aware of the Gargantuan Losses and Upheavals that our people have endured...
We Speak about it, Write about it, Paint about it....Light Candles about it,
Create Staggering Film about it....
We BREATH , SLEEP, & EAT the HOLOCAUST....
We OWN it....
To the extent that I'm beginning to sense a kind of perverse PRIDE around it....
As though, somehow, those TORTURED, CALAMITOUS YEARS are being held up as a BANNER of sorts....
In fact, in some VERY DRASTIC cases, I'm relatively certain that there are people in MY generation who have somehow convinced themselves that it is THEY whom actually SURVIVED THE CAMPS...........
I am 150% with everybody about NEVER FORGETTING and keeping the STORY ALIVE and FLOWING to our children...
However, I fear that we may have lost site of JUST PLAIN, OLD "LIVING"....
We CANNOT ONLY LIVE, BREATH, SLEEP, EAT, PAINT, FILM, & WRITE about the HOLOCAUST!!
We MUST LOOK and GROW and FOCUS FORWARD.... We MUST...
If NOT, the NAZIS continue to WIN OVER AND OVER....
Ecclesiastes said, "For every thing there is a SEASON..."
I, for one, CANNOT and WILL NOT be SAD ALL THE TIME....
Life has many startling and magnificent layers....
Yes, the PAST is EVER-PRESENT in our lives....
But the PRESENT and FUTURE are EVER-PRESENT as well.....
Maybe just kick it down a notch or two ?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Never Forget...

Never Forget....

Holocaust Remembrance....
We remember the plague of German Reach to exterminate and annihilate our people...
The unimaginable reality that this Evil Force had such power...such legs beneath it...
We remember that MILLIONS of innocents were heaped in piles as though they were old, stained burlap...
ready to be burnt as a result of only their uselessness...
We remember that our simple ability to "trust" was forever lost during these calamitous years...
We became something MORE than a "PEOPLE"...
We became a "CAUSE" somehow...
Indignant...Defiant....
Our innocence was buried along with our families beneath the rubble of bodies there in the
notorious "Camps"....
We now are forever saddled with the almost insurmountable MISSION of
"moving on"....of "living well"....
of attaining success...happiness...even freedom ....
while all at once "putting history aside" and "NEVER FORGETTING"....
And we SHALL BE TRIUMPHANT ....
for ultimately...
This is our destiny....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Liberation from Auschwitz...

As the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz draws near,
I find myself in an unusual kind of  'vortex' of Emotion & Sentiment & even of Longing...
It is as if I am floating above myself somehow....
in a kind of ethereal mist...
The mist is Citrine in color....Drab in a way...
Somewhat acerbic to the tongue ..
I am WATCHING....
GUARDING....
REMEMBERING...
DIS-MEMBERING...
ALL in the 3rd person...
And the Black & White Stripes are undulating and OOZING in gelatinous form.....
through the broken wires of cyclone fencing...
The stripes are dancing actually....
And I find myself TRAPPED in the citrine bubble above myself....
Knocking MADLY.....Trying desperately to GET MY OWN ATTENTION...
And my Parents are there...
Digging a hole in the dirt beneath the fence...
with their torn and bloody hands...
And the color of the RED blood, as seen through my GREEN mist is STARTLING in its utter subtlety...
And I can see, as clear as day, that there is an ANGEL sitting on the branch of an apple tree...
And she is feeding my parents bits of apple soaked in honey and wine...
The wine is RED....just as the blood....
And somehow I KNOW that THEY are indeed FREE...
But I am not...


 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Elephant(s) on the Screen...

The woman sat in deep contemplation , reflecting on the peculiar happenings of the day before...
She was a painter....a good one....dedicated to her craft...
She painted 8+ hours per day and had been doing so for over 15 years..

The attack was BRUTAL...  SUDDEN....
She was completely thrown off her game....

2 Female "Elephants" had shown their tusks in a most deliberate fashion...
They HATED her....DESPISED her...
But the peculiar thing was that SHE HADNT EVEN KNOWN THEM...
One of them, the MOST VICIOUS, was a complete stranger...
And the other one, oddly, had offered MUSEUM INTRODUCTIONS only a short while before said incident took place...

Being ambushed was not completely new to her...
I mean.... HIGH SCHOOL, right?
She chuckled...
She stood 5 feet 9 inches in stocking feet, had never been too bad on the eyes, and was used to a certain amount of envy or indignation or whatever it was...
After all, she'd been in public life forever....

So WHY did THIS thing trouble her SO MUCH ?
She'd been CYBER BULLIED...Badly, to be sure....
And after all, this was not only ILLEGAL, but potentially HARMFUL to her business...to her life...

So she could ROCK THEIR WORLDS APART with lawsuits....
or she could issue a threat of legal action were they EVER to mention her name again under ANY circumstances...
She certainly wasn't shy...
or she could "TURN THE OTHER CHEEK"....
lol
She was pretty sure that her people never did that! 

But aside from all of the above-captioned HOOPLA, there was a bigger issue at stake ...
She had felt warm and cozy and understood in the group....
(foreign feelings for her to be sure!)
And the Mistress of the Group was a FINE, almost ANGELIC woman....
a real TZADEKET....as were some of the people...

The fact was that she had simply been asked by SO MANY people for the prices of her art...
and she was SO uncomfortable sharing this kind of black and white minutiae anyway...
....(which was ABSURD..)
and the Mistress had kindly and gently prodded her forward,
in order to "CELEBRATE ACCOMPLISHMENTS" and REVEL IN COLOR"...
And so she had done so...
Shared the colors and shapes and internal meanderings of her soul, only to then be THWARTED and HUMILIATED by the 2 Elephants...

But HERE was the REAL PROBLEM:
The people had remained SILENT while watching the debacle unfold...
It was as if they were SWITZERLAND during that cataclysmic war...
Parve...Quiet...  Unhelpful...
The only ones who came to her rescue had been the Wonderful Mistress and one close friend...
THIS fact she found to be DEVASTATING, UNFORGIVABLE even...

Re-Entering the scene would be somewhat awkward and even clumsy...
So the woman decided to blog about it in order to assuage and even buffer her disconcertion....

And so it went...


 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chanukah....

And as the bits of flame still flickered from the almost-done Chanukah candles...
On this 5th night of the holiday...
She was reminded of a time long ago....
In her childhood home...
Of the small living room in the 100 year old house....
(This was long before "OLD" was considered 'chic'!)
Of the family TV and the TIN-FOIL, all scrunched up and re-used, placed beneath the menorah by her mom in some sacrosanct moment of willful reverence...
of the smell of her Bobbi's (Zichrona Livracha) famous Latkes...
Greasy and Gigantic and SUPER FATTENING...
 but..........OH SO yummy...
Of her Mom and her Bobbi peeling potatoes and grating them 'til their hands were chapped and red....
of her Dad(Zichrono Livracha) ,in his big, red, velvet chair....
listening to his favorite Chazanim.......
 singing those old, liturgical songs on the record player....
She thought of her brother, Mike, (Zichrono Livracha)....(Yup..Him too.....)
surrounded, as it were, by girlfriends...There were always teenage girls visiting Mike at home...
What she wouldn't give to be back there again.......
swaddled into that Mellifluous and Cozy Blanket of
 Unenlightened Parenting and Cemented Tradition....
She was reminded of all those times she'd heard people saying that,
"You don't know how good something is until it's gone..."
And in this moment of Pure Nostalgia, she wept...
Tears of Anguish....of Longing.....of Missing those integral people...
Those Beautiful People...
And so it went........

 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Here's What Happened....

I've been feeling somewhat....mmm.....  Without Anchor....
Like I'm kind of floating in an abyss made up more of
"ETHEREAL MATTER" rather than "DENSITY"...
Make sense ?
Let me say this:
 An Artist's Life is bound by the Perpetual Pursuit of TRUTH on many levels....
If you can grasp what I'm attempting to say..... READ ON....

So My Dad, (Zichrono Livrachah), has been gone now for almost 10 years...
Actually quite SHOCKING to believe.....
And I have almost NEVER....  (with the exception of one time VERY early on)
had any sense of his presence....
Not in DREAMS....Not in PRAYER....Not whatsoever....
(Which is somewhat odd for a person like myself)....
One would think....
But Ive been convinced all along that he was reunited with his 9 Siblings and Parents, whom he lost in the Camps....
And He ALWAYS spoke about the Muncacher Rebbe, who was actually his Mohel!
And He had also lost a young wife and small child, who were shot in front of his face....
And honestly....I figured he was SO busy with All of them, that he forgot about me...

But this last Shabbos,,,,,
I had a DEEP LONGING for him in the afternoon, and I found myself in TEARS....
REALLY WEEPING....
Missing my Dad in an ACHING WAY....an UNUSUAL WAY.....
And I began to Speak to him and kind of BEG him to show up for me....
(Pretty personal stuff I'm sharing with you!)
I told him that I feel alone.....  That the family has mostly passed away....and that Mom is not clear enough anymore to really go to with my needs.....
 (At this time, is it is ME taking care of HER needs).....as the cycle of life continues....
And I just REALLY, PROFOUNDLY, needed his help,.....

And the VERY NEXT DAY, this CHILDREN OF SURVIVORS GROUP on Facebook kind of APPEARED to me....
I had NEVER even been made aware of it....
And suddenly, I found myself ENVELOPED BY KINDRED people....
People who REALLY "GET" ME.....
People who are supportive and understanding and EMPATHETIC .....
And I LITERALLY have LOST the feeling of ALONE-NESS....

And there is NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER that My Dad led me here...

Monday, October 20, 2014

""I'll take a BIG, FREAKING BOWL full of EXISTENTAL DILEMMA...""

with a WHOPPING SIDE of "INERTIA"....

That's what the woman ordered, as she sat at the noisy, disorganized
"WORD LUNCHEONETTE" ...

You know the one....
It faces the BIG HOSPITAL with all the odd, brown flowers planted in the garden...

She was STARVING....
She knew full well that the ACTUAL DISH would be served up late, cold, and SOGGY...
But here's the thing:
Something about this disconcerting place made her feel...uhhh...
COZY maybe ?

Perhaps her "comfort" could be attributed to the DELICIOUS, BOILING,GREEN,
" WORD TEA "
that the luncheonette was known for....
ONE SIP....
Just ONE...
and endless profundities would coming DRIPPING from her lips....
WORDS TO LIVE BY...

And the other dining-mates would gather round her...
PERCHED....
waiting for the punctuated NUANCES and her FAMOUS,
" METAPHORICAL BREVITY " to shock and please them...
waiting for HER WISDOM....
HER CUNNING...

Yup...
That's how it went...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11......Are we REALLY more united now?

So today marks the 13th anniversary of that tragic day...
13 years...
I remember it as if it were yesterday....
We lived in Manhattan at that time...

I can still feel and see and smell:

that toxic, black smoke....
the unmistakable scent of burning, human flesh...
the throngs of people walking slowly up the avenues..
(like the march of the dead)....

We were stunned....numb....afraid like we'd never been before...
And,
as in ALL tragic and profoundly frightening moments,
We SWORE....We PROMISED that....
IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN...
Words to live by certainly...

But have we kept our promise ?
Have we created an impenetrable FORCE FIELD....
a VEIL of FIGURATIVE TITANIUM that the terrorists cannot PIERCE ?
Are we REALLY UNITED as a nation ??

Those are all very LOFTY and IDEALISTIC goals....
But I fear we have done nothing of the kind....

Rather...
What do we do?

We elect a LEADER ....
WELL AFTER 9/11...
who seems, at least to ME,,,,
to be somewhat "NONPLUSSED" by those who wish to destroy us....
He would rather sit at a BREAKFAST TABLE with them....
DISCUSSING our "COMMON goals"...

Is that what we do with violent enemies ???
Ya think ?

What else have we done in the wake of 9/11 ?

We have ALLOWED, somehow, SHARIA LAW to infiltrate the United States !
The very law which we ALL agree was followed, albeit dubiously,(or NOT) by the terrorists...

Right ???

The State of Israel....
our LOVE...
our LIFE...
seems to be more ALONE than EVER BEFORE !
How did THAT happen ?

We said that we would NEVER be CAVALIER about SECURITY again...
Have we kept our word ?

Ask yourself. my friends,
What has REALLY CHANGED since 9/11 ?
And....
Is it GOOD change ?