Saturday, December 8, 2012

raining for days

It has been raining for many days now - not the cold bitter rain of late winter, but the still-warm(ish) rains of late fall.  It has matched my mood. "Haven't seen much on the blog lately..." hints a friend. Ah, well. It isn't that nothing is happening, of course.  

Do you have those times when the relentless energy of Life keeps barreling along (oh, those bright eyes and chatter), when your inner thoughts are just dragging you down and the two can't quite seem to find common ground? Such are the recent days.

It's having good friends move. The stretched out good-bye, because there is never enough time or courage to make it the last-time-for-now. The soaking up of the smells of their home - woodfire and early Christmas cookies - and the storing up of late-night conversations.  The hugs upon hugs upon hugs, just in case it's the last-time-for-now.

snuggling loves
mmmmm. more love.
learning the fine art of baking from Tokarz
Mr. PotatoHead oversees the finer points of the process
It's immersing myself in new history and new stories, in preparation for a trip with my mom to Israel.  My reading list is heavy and intense, absorbing what in my self-absorbed teenage years I managed to ignore.  I grew up steeped in the stories of the Jewish holocaust, visiting camps when we lived in Europe, devouring stories that seemed so unbelievable.  Recently I found myself reading a few books in short succession - Sarah's Key, The Zookeeper's Wife and The Book Thief, all of which deal with various places and perspectives of the holocaust, and realized that at some point I had started to avoid those stories.  I had started dreading telling my children how awful humans can be to each other, how unimaginable the depth of hatred they can carry.  

Now I am reading of the Palestinian holocaust that is continuing to this day and the sadness  is bewildering.  Eliza asked me not to keep reading about it because it is making me so sad.  It is a sadness that carries a guilt for not knowing, for having so much, for being so safe and healthy. 

As usual, my kids are the ones who are capable of bringing me back into some balance.   Eliza exclaims, exasperated, let's learn about a part of the world where there isn't anything bad going on! so we stare at a map, perplexed, until we decide that maybe Greenland? So on to researching Greenland, which was named so by Eric the Red (hm. a conqueror. that was probably pretty bloody) to entice settlers to come there.  We don't get very far into it before we are distracted by a Bollywood move she wants to show me, and from there we are dancing and laughing, and...

Oh, life. There you are. I am feeling the dark part of life right now, which fits messily into this dark part of the year.  I am working on not letting the twinkle lights and holiday music and red bows send me into fits of despair.  Two beautiful girls, a moon that is up when I rise, rain keeping the browning world green a little bit longer...small things, keeping the rest in check.


Kerry said...

You're going to Israel with your mom?? WOW!

I know what you mean about reading of the Holocaust. I just finished "The Lost Wife" about an artist, separated from her husband, who survived Terezin & Auschwitz. Not a long read. It has a stunning first chapter and ending.

kelly said...

Have you heard the history of the world in 100 objects podcast? There is a very moving story of a POW From WW2 who hid a portrait of his fiancé whilst in the camp....I've heard it several times and it always moves me x

(And as someone who has just moved away from good friends, I know exactly how you are feeling in that department x)