Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Jedi Bill, Ali's (pirate) grandpa, Will's father, has passed away Monday evening in the Philippines. When he asked how to say grandpa in Czech, Ali responded, "deda." "Cool, like Jedi!" he exclaimed and it has been Jedi ever since. It is unreal as he was only in his 60's, but somewhat anticipated. (His health was in a poor state.) A calm presence, he will be missed to a degree not yet realized.
Concurrently, (not to be emotionally insensative with the massive event of the past paragraph,) plumbing in our apartment is being worked on so that the toilet doesn't leak, the washing machine no longer backs up into the kitchen sink with a thick lining of garbage, the tub no longer backs up if the water pressure is too strong. On Thursday the first load of my grandmother's belongings goes to recycling and I've started carving the first of the 120 soaps.
We need to make another trip to Praha to meet with layers about our visas and find housing there within this month. (Have to request apostilles on all of our birth certificates.)
Parenting for now has gone out the window. Leapster and dad are the main source of teaching and entertainment Hopefully some structure will resume in Praha.
Missing 'HOME' and missing William Dale Swanda.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
This month she shifted from one side of the world to another, has spent a week in Boston, a week in Zlin, a week in-between Praha and Jesenik. She has gone between English and a little Czech (or just communicating through body language.) And she has survived 24/7 with her parents! That alone is a huge accomplishment! I’m very proud of her.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
When I told her I was naming my daughter after her, she responded with uncertainty. She had never liked her name, she admitted. In Czech “ka” at the end of the word makes it a diminutive and although it is a very sweet way to call a child, she went by Alena throughout her adult life. (I chose it particularly for the ka, for the sweetness of it as well as the pretty sound.)
She married Jaroslav Sustek around the age of twenty and bore two children. She changed her name as is common to Sustkova. “ova” at the end of a name means "in the clan of" or "in the possession of." I dropped the ova off of my name as soon as we immigrated as the ownership did not make sense to me.
Friday, November 4, 2011
-at 33 I have returned for a yearlong art sabbatical to the country of my birth but one I had not resided in since I was a child. (My mother was the same age when we emigrated from then communist Czechoslovakia in ’86.) It feels like a poignant return on many levels.
-the history is overwhelming both public and private- communist, early modern sculptures supporting heterosexual family and work values line public squares. I find personal postcards and scraps of my grandmother’s past throughout her one bedroom apartment which I reside in. I will be delving into this personal history and documenting my grandmother’s items. (I am reminded of Leslie’s work from the Hooligan class.)
-I am reconstructing a home both literally and figuratively. With our migration I have never had attributed home to a space, place or country. (I more or less carried the notions of ‘home’ within me.) And yet now returning, I am reminded of the first smells and tastes I had known and attributed to the only home I knew as a child, those of the Czech Republic.