‘Trees, flowers, anything like that,
Mere sight excites you…
…it pours through your body
God am coming to life again.’
One woman at the Jewish care home spoke so fluently about feeling better. Her words created such a clear picture that it left me wondering what she was coming back from. This subtly hints at horrors that could have been, but still leaves huge clouds of uncertainty. There is a belief that silences speak so much about the Holocaust as words can’t ever fully describe the horror. But can our imaginations really fill in the gaps, and are silences there just so that we don’t have to hear it?
On a personal note, I noticed my own hesitation when talking to the people from the Jewish care home. When asking questions about spring and feeling better, I felt myself pulling back. I automatically assumed that their past contained something horrific and created this huge hurdle that stood between me and who ever I spoke to as I hide in the silences. Before I even knew anything about them, my own uncertainty around how I would respond to what I might hear, created a barrier and distance between us that just compounded the difficulty.
Writing this I don’t seem to have a beginning or an end around what I’ve written, just a lot of questions.