In January 2018, I participated in a group show at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY, called “Cloth and Memory.” 

It made me a time traveler, peeling back one story at a time until I found an old wound when the loss of my grandfather, Morris, in 1957, punctured my perfectly ordered world. This triggered memories of my grandmother talking about times she hid in the fields from the Cossacks. and singing to me in Russian and of my grandfather reading “The Jewish Forward” in Yiddish. I remembered tastes and smells of sweet apple kugel and gefilte fish. It brought back the joyful feeling of riding on my father’s wide shoulders. It also brought back the terrors of a post-Holocaust era. 

As Buddhists teach, we should keep peeling the onion so that we can get to an ever-deepening place. Even if we hit pain, we need to move through. These works represent pieces of the onion.