Reflections on Art and Life
Before my grandmother died, I had enough foresight to ask her to write down a few stories from her life. She left a beautiful diary describing her childhood, adolescence, and married years during the World War II in Poland. She wrote about pain, loss, suffering, survival, and dignity.
Food was scarce in those days, and often her diet consisted only of potatoes. My grandmother told me she was tired of the life of destitution, humiliation, and deprivation. She craved meet, vegetables, sugar, and butter. But she would be happy to forgo all these if she could only have one thing.
More than anything else, she longed for pretty china plates and silverware. If she could have those, her dignity would be restored and she could survive. The hated potato would taste like a delicacy if it were served on nice tableware. And maybe the killing, rape, terror, and constant fear could be forgotten for a moment.