We’re sitting here in the Menorah Chapel. Meh-NAURA is how all 'these people’ are pronouncing it. ‘These people’ is how my grandmother is referring to anyone apart from the immediate five of us. Mom, Barak, Paul, Gma and me. She doesn't call anyone by their name. It's always, 'him over there', 'her', 'the husband', 'that big mouth'. We’re in Staten Island. How I have avoided this place for most of my life. The Island. We could’ve had one of the longest running shows ever, called Slow Escape from Staten Island. We'd still be running. It actually kind of used to be nice. As it happens, there are still quite a few little pockets of beauty scattered around that my mom has recently discovered. If there is respite to be had she’ll always find a gem. We go and see these havens towards the end of our time here. We just sit there on the park benches, by the water, quietly, in our own spaces, not speaking. All of us.
How did we get here? What brought us together again? And why am I even asking? This shouldn’t be strange with families. This getting together business. Grandpa! Oh yeah, of course it was you. Your life here is over. And we have come together to tap into what is our common past. What was once our common past. Where we come from.
What a strange situation. Some of us are struggling with it more than others by remaining so very far removed. It’s painful to watch. Such discord. Me? Im feeling pleasantly perplexed. Comfortably uncomfortable. Playing with emotion and understanding feelings in one of my favourite things to do. It's kind of my thing. I am having some insight into how it is indeed possible to change the past. I never understood this before. Simple physics. The present effects the past in such a way as a side current from a ship can ripple through or override the wake of your own little boat. Watch the water. You’ll know what I mean. I think I am going to refer to this as somatic forgiveness.
As for the rest of us? Well we came for mom. Plain and simple. She is tough but she is definitely going to need the support.