hen I was a boy Sunday afternoon dinner was always a school day for me. Outside the official classroom it was a day for education, a word whose loveliness is so apt here because it was the day when, unbeknownst to me, I was being introduced to and seduced into my life. This education was not about facts that had to be memorized and mastered. Nor was it about ideas or opinions about the events of the times.
Rather its lessons unfolded through stories told within the context of a ritual space and time. Seated between my Irish mother and Ukrainian father, I was invited with my two sisters into a sacred space differentiated from the ordinary, quotidian world. Sitting back in his chair, taking a slow, deep breath, my father would light a cigarette and the drama would begin.
The stories were always variations on the central theme of exile and homecoming. Of course, I did not know that these stories belonging to my parents were archetypal. But the stories, with their images and moods dipped in...
Via Bonnie Bright