Larger than life, the house itself was an enormous place holding decades of memories joyous and tragic. When it was demolished last year, after being in our family for 50 years, I filmed and photographed its unraveling. I was struck during that process, how no matter what was being stripped, gutted, bashed, pulled apart and ravaged, the house still stood: regal, graceful, metaphorical of human existence. As it slowly fell apart to a pile of rubble, the memories and feelings melted into me and felt even more real. Sounds, textures, smells, all echo within me and cannot be removed, like scars and marks on paper, indentations of lifetimes endlessly repeating patterns and telling stories. What is left is the rain, wind, fire and earth with the wordless soundings of the flesh and blood that walked the passageways and sang the Shabbos songs.
The destruction of the house was a powerful symbol of all that had been lost in the time since my Mother’s death in 1998. The loss of illusion has been the most interesting. Illusions of expectations in home, security, marriage, religion and relationships have all come tumbling down like the house. What remains are the uncomfortable layers of truth revealing raw elements to their own exquisite beauty.
I am taken with the notion that, like the law of conservation of energy, nothing is lost in this world. All connection, time, space, action, word and thought are entangled and undying in their rippling, transferring and transformation through generations.
And You And Me Will See Each Other in Heaven Again