February 15, 2012

Roots

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My 13 year old is married to someone I‘ve never met. Yes, on Facebook, where she and her 400+ “friends” create their own families. Friends appear as siblings and parents, identifying their core relationships amidst hundreds, and also just for fun. Small wonder, many of these kids are raised by Boomers who often consider their friends to be their family of choice.

My own friend/sister recently described her relationship to a mentor, identifying the impact of their relationship with “I’m definitely on her tree.” Which got me to thinking about my own tree. Who am I related to not by blood, but influence, thought, passion, and interest? Millions are devoted to identifying their ancestry online and to the new season of NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?. I am not so curious about my bloodline as my spirit line; though sometimes the two are the same. So I had some fun with my genealogy of choice. Here are my results.

The spirit of these imagined ancestors live in me. Who lives in you? Whose tree are you on?

Great Grandparents:
Virginia Woolf
Bertrand Russell
Peggy Guggenheim
Rabindranath Tagore

Grandparents:
Ella Fitzgerald
Marguerite Duras
Katherine Hepburn
George Balanchine
Robertson Davies
Walker Evans

Parents:
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Sidney Poitier

Uncles:
Bob Fosse
Jean Luc Godard

Aunts:
Mary Tyler Moore
Ali MacGraw

Sisters:
Cindy Sherman
Wendy Wasserstein
Jhumpa Lahiri

Brother:
Sting
Robert Longo

Cousins:
Sam Shephard
Carole King
Fran Liebowitz
Diane Keaton

September 21, 2011

Inevitable

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I am back to it. The blog, work, home and kids to school. The return greeted by an earthquake, a flood and 9/11.

Earlier this summer I watched the last Harry Potter film, Deathly Hallows-Part 2. The final scene is of the adult Harry, Hermione and Ron sending their children off to Hogwarts, a place of magic and terror.


At the time I wondered if I would do the same. Voldemort is dead, so is Osama bin Laden, but terror remains. Would I do it? Send my kids off into the threat of evil? I thought not. But I just did.

Last week, as my iPhone flared with terrorist threat alerts, I escorted my daughter to her chorus performance at Columbus Circle in New York City for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. She sang “Give Us Hope” surrounded by visible police and undercover security. The next morning, I packed off my husband and son for an away Little League game. They left two hours early in order to pass through the security checkpoint stations as they cross a bridge to Brooklyn. It feels insane to live this way.

Earlier this morning my Facebook wall presented photos of the 9/11 Memorial and the name of my dear friend’s sister engraved in the wall. Other photos were of the waterfall rushing into a drain in the ground. An intense reminder which doesn’t seem to “give us hope.”

Death is inevitable. I am aware of the threat, the potential for harm, but the fear is not present. Not sure where it lives. Somewhere inside of me? Somewhere outside of me? I know it’s there. And I know that there is little to do in this moment, but stand on the platform and pray for the magic.

June 2, 2011

Hypothetically Speaking

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I was recently a guest at the New York Bar Association talk “End of Life, What You Should Know.” The “you” refers to lawyers. During the Q&A an attorney with an established estate practice spoke about how she approaches the creation of a will: “I always talk in the hypothetical.”

She went on to say that she is not Read the rest of this entry »