Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bubbe Koretsky

I woke up from dreams today I couldn't understand and found myself musing on my grandmother Bubbe Koretsky instead. Again, I don't understand the connection and why I'd be thinking about her so strongly after all this time. She died when I was in college.

My mother speaks of her mother as a traditionalist. She grew up an Orthodox Jew in a village named Vilna Guberniya in the Pale of Settlement region of western Russia until she was 13 years old. Then she immigrated to the United States to be with her arranged husband who immigrated before her to find work and establish a home. When I knew her she still spoke Yiddish and cooked traditional foods. Homemade kreplach and blintzes, sweet and sour stuffed cabbage and old-fashioned Russian chicken soup made with large chunks of onion, a whole uncut carrot and stalks of uncut celery in every dish. When I visited Russia on a senior class trip in high school we were served soup made this exact same way. My classmates were horrified because they didn't know how to eat the soft whole vegetables in their dish (you cut into them with your spoon, of course) but I reveled in knowing that I was in the vicinity of where my grandmother may have learned to cook.

Even so my grandmother seemed anything but traditional to me. She loved watching old Elvis movies and pro wrestling on TV. She played canasta and drank schnaps with my sister and kept old dolls in horrifying condition amongst the plants she grew in her sun parlor. She crocheted wonderful woolen scarves with metallic threads woven in which I wore up until a few years ago when they were in shreds. When we went out to eat or to her favorite place, Salem Willows (she pronounced it "Salem Villows"), she always wore a garishly colored head scarf along with bright red lipstick and all the costume jewelry she owned looped around her neck all at once.

At least that's how I remember it now. I don't actually remember much of anything else. Just that she had a jovial attitude and was pleasant to be around. I didn't speak her language and she barely spoke mine so we never had a lot of conversation. But I felt loved and watched out for in her home and I suppose that's all any child really needs to know.

I suppose some client of mine will show up speaking of her grandmother some time soon or I'll learn something that makes this set of memories and why they showed up now make more sense. My life seems to be like that a lot now. Mysterious thoughts and feelings that come out of thin air and only make sense in connection to other people I meet or events that occur later.

I woke up earlier this week with the half-dreaming idea that this would be a great day to go to Vermont, not very easy to accomplish in a few hours driving from the far edge of California. Instead a few hours later my ex-husband told me an old friend of his had died and he was already making arrangements to fly to Vermont later this week to be at the memorial.

Things like that happen but I always find it odd. The heads-up sometimes helps in the course of a session but John going to Vermont is another thing again. It must be the personal connection. Telepathic communication? I don't know if or when I'll ever know.

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