Thursday, December 23, 2010

I know it is so wrong to post this but I can't help myself and besides I'm Jewish, right? so it doesn't really matter anyway...

My annual Krampus post.

Not that I don't want you to celebrate Christmas with great joy, if you do celebrate, and enjoy the heck out of the sweet warm smell of cookies baking and watch the little gleam in your loved one's eyes from the reflected light of your fragrant tree...and revel in the bittersweet holy music of midnight mass...and hold your children close...I mean all that, my friends


the short cold days and long, cold, dark nights send me to a wrong place, where I think a little too long and hard on fetishes and bad behavior and the strange cruelties people act out on each other, sometimes in meanness and sometimes in delight--how my pain is his pleasure, and my pleasure is his pain--understand now that I mean "he" in a general sense, but I didn't need to tell you that did I?--how sometimes the joke that seems so wrong to one person is the funniest thing in the world to another--how my absolutist tendencies break down during the Solstice, to make room for dreadful imaginings that I admit to liking.

I'm only a little odd really. Whether it's swaddled and smothered and repressed in a cozy psychic sweater, or whether we take it out and examine it from time to time, the darkness is alive in us all I think.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Little Push

Sometimes ghost stories happen in broad daylight. Apparitions appear in sunshine, their edges ruffled by a cold wind that springs from nowhere, on a city street.

It's happened a couple of times lately. This week, doing errands in the afternoon. I felt a push; a hand on my back, deliberately pushing. I stumbled, turned around. Not a soul in sight near me. No one anywhere, for half a block in each direction. Just me and the push. Not hostile, exactly, that push. But not exactly friendly either.

Then again, lying in bed, on my side, drifting sleep-wards. The hand on my back. All fingers against me, clearly palpable. And the push.


Friday, December 3, 2010


By the time I met Liba, she was no longer the girl with the huge dimpled smile and dark tangled hair. She was Great-Aunt Libby, teeny-tiny and very very old. Libby had always been a fine seamstress, and in her 90s, nearly blind, she continued to sew, though in the end her creations ran less to fine fitted garments. My sister and I treasured the collection of simple elastic-gathered little skirts she sent us in frequent batches. What she lacked in fine motor coordination and eyesight, she made up for in choice of fabric--wild, busy, bright and sometimes startling. My most favorite Aunt Libby skirt was of improbably plush faux-leopard skin. I study the clothes in these pictures now, see how stylish and whimsical she was once, and I can imagine that she knew, even in extreme old age, just what would bring delight.

No doubt about it, she was a grand girl. I notice now, too, how there is something about her expression: a passing shadow, a quality of secrecy, common to all the Pollack family; though possibly you wouldn't see it, unless you knew to look.

find more links to wonderful Sepia Saturday reminiscences here.