My first blog post was just about one year ago. Now the school year is drawing to a close which means I will have less time for writing and reflection over the summer. This blog has helped me to chronicle and process the incredible experience we’ve had as “a German American Jewish family in Berlin.”
The bumpy path towards my German citizenship, an expansion of my Jewish identity, and discoveries about both my ancestors and living relatives have stimulated my life enough to shake me out of the mid-life malaise I was in back in Bozeman. I haven’t shared all the emotional highs and lows of the past year: the fresh grief over the loss of my father (a quintessentially German Jewish man), the pain upon seeing the photo of a family member who perished during the Holocaust, the guilt and anxiety about how our choices have affected others. I’ve spent days on end gripped with an angst that never found its way into my writing. The moments of joy have been no less difficult for me to capture with words, what it feels like to find a cousin who needed you before you knew her, or to see your son put on your father’s bar mitzvah tallit for the first time.
I plan to keep writing and hope to develop and publish some of the thoughts I’ve recorded in this personal forum. I’ve just had a piece accepted for publication on a writer’s blog and will provide the link when it appears later this summer. I appreciate all of the comments I receive from readers (most come via email) and find a lot of support and inspiration from them.
Olivia, Sam and I went to Vienna last weekend to see our new-found cousins (see Shrinking the Family Diaspora) once more before they move back to Israel. The coincidence of our families living in Europe at the same time has been one of the best gifts of the past year, one that will sweeten and enrich our lives for years to come. Now I am looking forward to the next trip, back to Bozeman for three weeks this summer.