by wjw on May 9, 2021

It’s Mother’s Day here in the States, so for your enjoyment I present a photo of my mother in conversation with our parakeet, Mr. Chips.

I perceive the ornaments of a Christmas tree shining in the lower right of the photo. So many of my old pictures seem to be taken around the holidays, so I think that was the time of the year when the camera came out.

I have written elsewhere of my mother’s rise from a childhood hedged with poverty and superstition, and of my appreciation for her part in granting me something like a perfect childhood. She remains an blueprint of determination and courage, and I feel her example every day

Derek May 12, 2021 at 7:33 pm

Walter, what a wonderful picture and evocative description of your mother. May her memory remain a blessing.

I always assumed that the Barkazil culture was based on the experiences of Armenian or Jewish diaspora, but now I wonder if Finnish culture and ‘sisu’ were inspirations?

wjw May 13, 2021 at 12:20 am

Thanks for your comment! The Barkazils weren’t based on any one culture— I intended them to stand in for any refugees living as second-class citizens in a foreign country.

Probably Finnish culture and sisu slips into everything though, since that’s the culture I was raised in.

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