Breathing in the Past

I invited my dead grandmother into my kitchen this morning.

It was not intentional.  But there she was, arriving as the first in a long line of others, connected in the ether to her mother, her father, some long-forgotten uncles and a host of other shadow figures. They carried with them gifts from a world that I have lost.  Memories attached to place, senses, emotions.

Suddenly I am in our family’s German butcher shop in Passaic. Sides of meat are hanging from the ceiling, the large fan above calming the air with its almost silent whump, whump, whump. Continue reading