Friday, March 25, 2016

Meet Davita's Mamma: Annie!

Annie / Channah
Davita’s mother is a fascinating character. She possesses a great intellect; able to speak German, Polish, and English, she also studied Torah, Gemora and Mishnah in Hebrew. Words were important to her and she was a constant resource to her ever questioning daughter.

Annie is a “lapsed” Jew, devoted to social justice through the Communist Party and the Labor movement. She falls into depression periodically, yet she remains a strong woman with a central core that allows her to survive tragedy after tragedy despite her internal pain. She finds eventual comfort in her Judaism and discovers that it is compatible with her commitment to work for the rights of others.

I couldn’t help but “collect” her words as I read through the book:

“Everything has a name , Ilana”

“Everything has a past. . . . If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future. We are going to build a new world, Ilana. How can we ignore the past?” 

“Magic is a very old idea, Ilana. If you want it to rain and you say certain words, and if each time you say those words it rains, that’s magic. Words or things that control other things or people or nature. That’s magic.”

I wrote Annie's words in the strands of her hair using a kemper pen and gold ink. Writing this way is a challenge because it is very challenging to use this nearly invisible ink. It strikes its gold color when heated. Basically I was writing blind!

Annie also has some bird charms in her hair.....You'll need to read the book and/or see the play to make the connection isn't immediately obvious.

Her eyebrows speak other strong affiliation with communism which for awhile serves her much as any theology might...but eventually she returns to Judaism. Her nose is a mezuzah scroll. As she becomes reacquainted with her "yiddishkeit", her ritual practices increase.

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