Category Archives: ancestors

In paradisum

Convoi funèbre au Boulevard de Clichy

Convoi funèbre au Boulevard de Clichy, Felix Buhot, 1887

It’s the time of year when the veil is thin. I think of my parents. I don’t pretend to know where they are now. I don’t pretend to know what I still need from my parents, much less what they need from me.

Although sometimes for an instant or two, I have a feeling. Continue reading

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The Daily Round

sibilla blog post title photo

La Vera Sibilla (Every Day Oracle), Lo Scarabeo

How to describe the Italian Sibilla cards?

It’s like going to your great-aunt’s house when you’re quite small, where the smells are old and the furniture ponderous. All is dusty and dim but for the brilliant light streaming in the kitchen window, spilling onto vivid purple African violets and red geraniums. Silence hangs heavy as brocade drapes, yet sometimes you think you hear laughter from another room. Your great-aunt is kindly, offering tidbits of unaccustomed food and conversation. She’s ancient, but sometimes unexpectedly, for an instant, her lissome, younger self bubbles forth. Continue reading

The Polish Cartomancer

This post is about a lot of things: my Polish grandfather, myself, and some way-cool cards–the pot at the end of a rainbow while searching for a bit of my heritage.

GT Grandfather june 2016

“Old Gypsy Fortune Cards” aka my Polish cards, c. 1920’s-1940’s; reproduction by L. Forestell

There’s no one to ask about my Polish grandfather. He died when I was 6 months old (so it’s safe to say I am not him, reincarnated). He’s a mystery to me–I don’t even have a name by which to call him. We called my grandmother “Busia,” but I never learned the Polish word for grandfather, since he wasn’t there to be called. I usually think of him as “mom’s father” or “my Polish grandfather.” His name was Jan. Continue reading