Friday, May 11, 2012


I feel incredibly lucky to have known my grandmother, my mother's mother. Transliterated, her name was Elizaveta. Most people called her Leeza. My father dubbed her the electro-broom, because she was everywhere, anything for anyone (except herself), and always without stopping. The best apple cakes and lemon cakes, perpetually concerned that I wasn't eating enough and that my jacket was unzipped. She would pick me up from school, tell jokes, and occasionally, ask me to count the wrinkles on her face. Lacking the tact of an adult, I would say, "Grandma, there are too many to count." But each line was a hard won victory in a difficult and big-hearted life, so she would smile, somewhat mischievously, and we'd continue walking.

She died when I was sixteen but the love continues to grow. I've thought, for years now, that if I ever have a child, it would have to be a daughter, so that I can name her after my grandmother. Elizaveta, or Za for [very] short. If I can pretend for a second that time does not exist, the future has already happened and the past is an evolving part of forever. Maybe my grandmother and Za are both close, sending butterflies and secret hellos.

I stumbled upon this singer, Elizaveta, tonight. I listened to her for about an hour, entranced, and I swear, the flowers on my windowsill opened. Hello, dahlias. Hello, you beautiful, hidden souls.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"I have never understood the saying 'To think outside the box.' Why would anyone sit inside of a box and then think outside of it. Rather just get out of the box."--Lawrence Anthony

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I am in India. Last night in Jaipur, the capitol of Rajasthan, I dreamt that a different male head was sticking out of all the vents, door cracks, windows, slits and switches. One was on the ceiling fan. Each man was frantically trying to sell me zippers, puppets, sandals, pants, tuk-tuk and rickshaw rides, masala tea, colorful elephants hung on string.
Jaipur felt exactly like this, swarms of people, all going after us, me and George, and trying to sell things. I woke up and threw up six times.

Today I am in Ajmer, recovering from food poisoning and Jaipur. Right before sunset, we ventured out to Ana Lake, a beautiful place to say goodbye to the daylight. Here, happily, people just wanted to take a lot of photos with us. They would ask, "one photo?" and proceed to take four or five, or seven, one with each person in their party posed awkwardly next to, or right between, the funny looking tall people from far away. It started with someone wanting a picture of us holding their baby. Then we posed with another gurgling baby. One more baby, a few more photos. Next, a photo session with a little kid. Gradually, we worked our way up the adults.

We sat down on a bench to catch the sunset, but groups of people kept coming up to us. "One photo?"
After it seemed like every single person in the park had multiple pictures of us on their cell phones, we turned around, walked out of the park, past a couple of cows eating garbage, and jumped into a tuk-tuk home.