Magical realism is nothing new for me. When you’ve spent your childhood watching “Bewitched,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” and “My Favorite Martian,” you assume you have special powers; or, at least, you might befriend an alien or genie who will grant wishes on your behalf. I’m glad to report that I have finally found my superpower – blogging.
However as Spiderman’s uncle said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I can use my superpower for vengeance or good. For example, I could use blogging to repeat absurd statements that irritate me. But I shall not be petty. I really, really want to be petty, but my husband, Harry, and my sister advised me it’s an abuse of a superpower.
Because I blog, I can change the world, at least, in a minuscule way. Words are appearing in the spaces in front of me as I push down the keys. I know that at least one person, Bonnie, will read my words. If Bonnie’s Mom, LouAnn figures out how to find her “newsfeed,” there will be two. Perhaps our fascination with Facebook and Twitter (however that works) derives from the speed and breadth of communication.
For me, writing offers a path to catch and refine thoughts. However, blogging gives me the chance not so much for self-exploration, expiation, revelation, or self-congratulation, but for connection.
What does this have to do with the book, Jewish Luck? Good question. I’ll know when I’m done writing. The necessary precursor to writing or blogging is the attempt to grasp the subject. It took time to understand Vera and Alisa’s perspective and story. With Vera, there were generally three or more go-rounds collecting the details of each story layer upon layer with corroborating information from RD, Lars, Lev, or Alisa. It was very complicated to understand Vera’s world even with a degree in Russian Area Studies and three trips to Leningrad/St. Petersburg. What I finally have comprehended are the skills it required to survive there.
Vera’s father understood the power and magic of communication. I’m still fascinated that his job was to jam Voice of America and Radio Liberty, the broadcasts from Western media specifically intended for Soviet bloc audiences. It placed him in an ideal position to collect information, which would help him discriminate truth from lies in the Soviet media.
Communication is a superpower belonging to each of us. With the word “svoi chelovek” (“one of us”), Vera changed both of our lives, connecting them forever. Alisa’s words and encouragement in the Carribean Sea motivated the book to be written. In our own friendships and certainly between Vera and Alisa, the words “I’m sorry” can heal years of misunderstanding and lost time.
Words are as powerful as this sculpture by Jaume Plensa, that conveys a very different meaning depending on the context. (See above and below). Words create a bridge, a link that connects us with the rest of humanity; or, perhaps, in the case of our blogs, with our readers.
Please feel free to use your superpower and respond below.
|My quantum leap footprint|
A full view of "Nomad” by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa in Pappajohn Sculpture Garden in Des Moines, Iowa. (I know, Iowa, right?). Partial view from inside “Nomad” looking up is shown to the right of the blog .