Mama Floats Amidst Farm Images

Many times, the question has been asked, “Fishl, how do you come up with all these different stories about Mama?”

Some are inspired during the day when I hear or read a certain Yiddish word that triggers a thought or memory of the farm and Mama. 

Much more often it occurs during a long sleepless night, and I finally reach that stage midway between the journey to sleep when thoughts and scenes of Mama and the farm seem to “float” in and out.

Sometimes the next morning finds me full of fresh thoughts and recollections while at other times there is only a vestige of a thought and nothing to write.  Perhaps one of these days the well will be dry and Mama’s stories will be like a flame blown out by a wind in the night.

This morning was one of those times when I become fearful that this is the end of my creativity.  However, I am hopeful, for there seems to be a fountain underneath, and hopefully a gusher will be there tomorrow with a fresh, new idea and another one of Mama’s stories to tell.

Will the next story be of Mama in her European youth trudging to the farms and exchanging goods?

Will it be in her Bronx childbearing years?
Will it be on the farm as a berye (Mama referred to herself on the farm as a berye – Uriel Weinreich defines this word, of Hebrew origin, as a skilful person or efficient housewife), or will it be about that thin, pale, helpless old lady near the end of her life?

Whichever it is, it will be precious to me.