Ann-Christine and Lens-Artists are looking forward to seeing my, “Alone Time” posts. What are my thoughts, and what do I use my alone time for?
Alone time does bring about challenges for me. So today this blog will be more than a photo blog. I will take this time to do some reflection on my life.
By nature, I believe I am more of an introvert and like my time alone. I have many things to keep me happily occupied. My photography is sometimes used to get me out of my shell, and ready to explore. But I can easily enjoy quietly looking back at my library, reviewing, cataloging, and creating my photo blog.
Sometimes, I enjoy being an observer of people all around me. I am thinking about their solitude.
I like to take walks. My neighborhood has 4 courts, and a private road so there is little traffic and some up-and-down elevations. At first, Moxie, my Golden Retriever, had no trouble being my companion. Once a noisy garbage truck stopped next to us and wanted to meet her. This frightened her, and it has been a bit of a struggle to walk past our court ever since. I have tried to get her used to truck sounds. So, like my last dog, if I want to walk I need to first drive to a park trail. Not as spontaneous. Maybe as Moxie turns 2 she will grow out of these fears. She is also trying to contain her excitement when we walk. She pulls ahead then realizes that I have stopped and comes to a heal position. So our walks are more training than solitude until we take our nap together.
As a retired librarian I love to read.
I often find the subject matter ties into my family history. I am a child of two Holocaust survivors, and I am always reading historical fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction. I just started the last book of a trilogy entitled, The Tree of Life by Holocaust survivor Chava Rosenfarb. I am well-read on the subject, but these 3 remarkable books describe life in the Lodz Ghetto, and more than that they make me think about the meaning of life itself. I highly recommend these books to everyone. It is a tough subject, but there is a sweetness and clarity to each written paragraph.
This coincides with another passion – genealogy. Again this is both an alone project, which sometimes surprisingly connects me to my extended family. Next week I will be visiting New York City. Through Ancestry.com, I will be meeting a first cousin once removed who is coming all the way from New Hampshire to meet me for dinner. Last year, I met another first cousin once removed from Israel. Children of my first cousins. It is special to have a family connection. While in NYC I will also visit the Yivo reading room where I will see items from my Great Uncle Lazar Kahan and Great Aunt Rose Shoshana Kahan. I never had any grandparents, and my parents didn’t discuss their past often. I have my parents’ testimonies from the United States Shoah Foundation. My grandparents’ generation had large families (16 children), so it is easy to see how much the Holocaust impacted my family. On only my father’s paternal side, from 15 siblings and families 30-35 were murdered. On my mother’s maternal side, my grandmother had 8 siblings with families of their own, and only one survived. I haven’t counted all the losses. It is hard to take in. Watching the news today weighs heavy on me. I believe that there are no winners in war. Sorry, I got carried away with these heavy thoughts. But that is what happens when I have some alone time.
To lighter thoughts, I have not taken on any knitting or crocheting projects lately. I needed to give my hands a rest. I started to do some quilting, but training my puppy has replaced this for the time being. Looking forward to starting some new projects.
So there are plenty of ways I like to spend my time. As you can tell, all but walking and napping with Moxie, need the use of my eyes. And they are starting to fail me. I have macular degeneration and the ophthalmologist is trying to help save the sight in one eye. So far the injection has not changed anything, and my vision is quite distorted. So far the left eye is better, and the dry macular has no treatment but progresses slower. Luckily I use my left eye for my camera eye-piece, and my camera is set for autofocus. I can type ok, but reading back this post is tiring. The book I mentioned may be the last one I read in a paper version. From now on I will use my iPad.
So what do you do with your alone time? Deep contemplation, restful time floating in a pool, or getting lost in a book?
8 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #238 Alone Time”
I love your post, Marlene – so much life, so much history. I see why you love reading and I do hope your eyes will work enough to read. And all the craft work you do – of course that will have to wait a bit for training Moxie. A lovely company in your chair as well! Genealogy is something I would want to go into myself. Do you recommend ancestry? I found there are many sites to use, and it is difficult to know which one is the best.
In Sweden we had a couple of wonderful Holocaust survivores who worked in schools and wrote books on their history and experiences. But now there is only one of them left, because naturally they are all very old. Their importance is impossible to value. Thank you for your interesting story, and send my love to Moie too.
Love your images, Moxie and the lone child on the big beach are my favourites.
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Thank you for your comments. I started with Ancestry. – world wide subscription. With my background I became involved with a local group – Jewish Genealogy Society of Sacramento. Just added My Heritage.
After my mother was liberated from Bergen-Belsen she recuperated in Sweden and worked in a hospital there.
Ah, thank you. This means you have a Swedish connection too!
Thanks for sending Hope your vision improves, with G-d’s help.Have a Good Shabbos! Happy Purim!
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Happy Purim. Do you participate in a Purim Party? Bake?
Loved your post Marlene – and kudos for finding any of your remaining family. Thank you for recommending the trilogy, I will definitely give it a try. Here in the Charleston area we have a very active group of survivors who travel to the schools to share their experiences. I am so sad to see them reaching the end of their journeys, we so need to convince those who do not believe or who cannot fathom the horror. Hoping your eyesight is soon stabilized and that your pup is a wonderful companion. Thanks for joining us this week. Lovely images!
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Thanks for your kind words. I hesitated to open up about my thoughts while alone.
I’m sorry I couldn’t get to this post sooner Marlene. It’s a wonderful tribute to your family and honest about your current struggles. I’m so happy to have you in my life.