If you are looking for a collection of stories that touch the heart and soul, I recommend Memory Wall-Stories, by Anthony Doerr.
Each story is unique, and not connected to the others. Yet, there is a soulful connection within them that spans the thousands of miles in their locations.
The stories speak of memory and how our memories hold life within them. My favorite story (actually a novella) is entitled “Memory Wall”. It is about an old woman, losing her memory, and a young boy who captures her memories. The story encompasses the positive aspects of keeping memories alive. Through memories, those we hold dear remain with us, and their lives are not forgotten. The young boy exhibits redemption, through sensitive and poignant visuals.
From a seed keeper of a village about to be demolished, to a teenaged girl who moves from Kansas to Lithuania, the stories are so diverse in culture and locals, yet there is constant sameness within them. That connection is memory, love, loss and remembrance of what is important to us, what once was and how it reflects in our present.
Anthony Doerr captures emotions and thoughts with precision and with poetic word-imagery. Memory Wall is a stunningly beautiful, evoking emotions within this reader, and filling my senses with life-affirming loveliness.
I highly recommend Memory Wall-Stories to everyone.
This is my second reading of this beautifully written book. I read it again, for a book club.
Yom HaShoah begins at sundown, tonight, May 1, 2019, and ends at sundown May 2, 2019. Let us never forget…
Here is a link, to ‘Velveteen Rabbi’ Blog where you can read twelve poems for Yom HaShoah that were written by different individuals, and also a memorial prayer.
If you want to learn more about the Holocaust, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
You might also want to visit Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
This poem was written during WWII, etched on the wall of a cellar in Cologne, Germany, by a Jewish person in hiding. It has also been attributed to being written on a wall in a Nazi concentration camp, in Cologne, Germany.
“I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love,
even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God,
even when he is silent.
World War II books have always been a passion to me, and especially books that cover the Holocaust. I am an avid reader, and feel that my continual reading of Holocaust-related books will keep me focused on remembrance, courage, love and loss, identity, displacement, assimilation, socialization, trauma, and the appalling and horrific events that consumed individuals, both in those who were murdered, and the after-affects and after-effects of survivors and their families.
Here is a list of some of the books I have recently read, that deal with World War II and the Holocaust:
The Wartime Sisters by Linda Cohen Loigman
Ashes in the Snow by Ruta Sepetys
All That Is by James Salter
The Taster by V.S. Alexander
A Brief Stop On the Road From Auschwitz by Goran Rosenberg
In His Father’s Footsteps by Danielle Steel
The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
News of Our Loved Ones by Abigail DeWitt
*Diary of Anne Frank
The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow… And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.
The bareness of winter lingers into spring
trees still unclothed, no sign of buds, blossoms
Snow patches cling to mountains, brownness hovers
Beauty exists in the realm between then and now
within bared trunks, branches, and nature’s quietude
illuminating my heart, my soul, with awe and joy.
“I think the most important quality in a birdwatcher is a willingness to stand quietly and see what comes. Our everyday lives obscure a truth about existence – that at the heart of everything there lies a stillness and a light.”
-Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Mother’s Memoir
“There is an unreasonable joy to be had from the observation of small birds going about their bright, oblivious business”
-Grant Hutchison, The Complete Lachlan
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.
-Henry David Thoreau
I took the above photo a while ago. I loved watching the pelicans glide gently on the lake, and walk up onto the grass for a short respite, sitting near double breasted cormorants.
A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?”
― Dixon Lanier Merritt