"I love you. P.S. I'll bring a bread home for lunch." Today it would be a text message, abbreviated and eventually deleted. I am touched by the poignancy of my Dad's handwriting, his little drawings, the gold stars stuck on these seemingly daily notes to my mom in the early 1940's. She had saved them all in a heart shaped Whitman's chocolate valentine box, which I discovered when I was cleaning out their apartment ten years ago. These love notes are documentation of a vibrant, loving, and sexy marriage, and also of the zeitgeist of an era. They are a treasure.
I started this altered book project using Sayings of the Fathers / Pirkei Avot, a compilation of Jewish traditional ethical teachings and maxims with many layers
of commentary over the centuries. My altered book is still a work in progress. The more I work on it, the more it feels like I am adding my own contemporary commentary, through the story I am telling from my dad's love notes and doodle poems and my mom's jottings. In Jewish tradition, commentary on any text is also an ongoing work in progress..
The two little girls on the right are my mother and my aunt Judy. I superimposed them on the text that talks about how arguments for the sake of heaven endure. They loved each other fiercely, disagreed and argued often, but held hands to the end of long lives and did anything to help each other.
I will keep you posted as this project unfolds!