Lots of sunshine today. The snow is melting and making ice overnight but it's all good because it's melting and the sun is shining and the floors are washed and the doors are open and this light makes me think of my Friend Mary who always used to say a sunny day after a cloudy winter makes the cobwebs in the corner show up better. It's not THAT bad but it has happened.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher
Never more timely than now, Sadness is a White Bird will likely leave you with more questions than it answers. It will certainly make you think.
Jonathan was born in Israel but spent many years in the United States. He feels the strong pull to go back to Israel and do his part to defend his homeland, the homeland his grandfather helped to establish after the Nazi’s exterminated his community. Jonathan doesn’t have any problem with this, it’s his duty as a member of his family and as a Jew. But there was something he wasn’t counting on.
Jonathan is introduced to Laith and Nimreen, the children of his mother’s Palestinian friend. There is an immediate acceptance on the part of all of the young people. There are curiosities, the working out of language, but in the end these three are emotionally connected, braided together tightly. They travel together, share hopes, discuss their futures, all the while knowing that Jonathan is there to defend his homeland against Palestinians, against Nimreen and Laith. But it doesn’t matter. Their love and friendship will keep them.
And then, it’s time. Under shameful pressure from his grandfather, Jonathan must report for service, he must face what he might have to do, he does think that the love of his friends will see them all through. Until the day of reckoning.
This story is told through Jonathan as he sits in jail trying to reconcile in a letter to Laith how things came to be. It’s the story of friendship despite differences, despite politics, despite having to be true to yourself. And in this day, in this time, it’s not a story you will soon forget.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
White Houses by Amy Bloom
Things I knew: Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt had an estranged marriage, one where they lived together separately. Eleanor was, as people said then, FDR’s legs. She could and did travel the country getting in touch with the people and reporting back. Eleanor was smart and FDR’s equal in that. Eleanor was no beauty and Franklin kept several women who were, nearby. The media was different in those days. Behavior that was tolerated and kept hidden from the public then would not be now.
Things I didn’t know: The extent of Franklin’s dalliances openly accepted and not reported on by the media. Eleanor openly had her own lover.
Lorena Hickok, known as “Hick” was a self-made woman who came from nowhere and a past nothing life. She became a renowned journalist and was assigned to FDR’s presidential campaign in 1932. This is when she met Eleanor, who didn’t completely impress Hick at the time. But over time Hick saw the intelligence and soul that was inside Eleanor’s less than beautiful body and a love became mutual between them. It amazed me now to know that she lived openly in the White House, her relationship with Eleanor common knowledge even to FDR. I read this thinking that by “allowing” that relationship his own dalliances with his entourage could be excused.
This story is Eleanor’s and Hick’s and is told by Lorena Hickock. It is a quiet love story between two lost souls. In the telling we are given insight into Lorena’s upbringing and the treatment Eleanor received from her mother and FDR’s. It’s no wonder two souls searched out for the beauty that lies beneath and found it. No matter the ups and downs, the together times and separations, in the end Hick and Eleanor had a love that endured it all.
I didn’t know that.