These are some of my people, and some of their people.
Strangers whose blood runs through me.
Who resemble my uncle, my grandmother.
How fabulous they seem, trapped in their smiles and eras, silent and fixed there, unmoved.
But they do move. They date, age, expire.
I cannot explain what unease it is to tell a personal history – what it forces and corrupts, what it distills, propels, means – because its tribulations are difficult to express. But my youthful insistence to keep myself out, a matter of inexperience, proved to make this particular story more, not less, trite than I intended. So came the day that I listened to the patient editors and began to write the story of my maternal family. I read recently, “Any personal or family history, large or small in scope, can throw light on the human condition.” This is my toss, let’s see how far it goes.