November 5, 2010

Dear Abba...

Dear Abba,

You might already know this, but a few years after you passed away, I met a woman who re-ignited my love for beads, and I started learning how to create art with them.  Over the last 16 years, it has become a major focus of my life.  I started by making earrings, then necklaces and bracelets, and inevitably entered the world of beaded objects.  Before I knew it, I was creating picture frames, mezuzot, and even glass kippot!  I often wished you were still here, because I knew you would love them.

Eventually, I found myself making beaded covers for Yizkor candles. I was enchanted with the idea, and loved the way the candle slowly burned down, illuminating more and more of the beadwork. And I always thought of you when I designed a new one, remembering that primitive plaster-of-paris Yizkor candle holder you made at Camp Swig. It was cast in a milk carton, and carving the letters brought you such delight.

And then one day, I was looking at someone's website, and she had these very simple blue-and-white stripes representing a tallis. Suddenly I got very still, and was overwhelmed with the memory of your passionate love for stripes, and for that exact symbolism.  I knew I had to make a striped Yizkor candle cover, in your memory, and I knew I had to figure out how to include the first four words of the Kaddish.  The mathematical planning took awhile, and designing the letters took even longer, but it was a highly charged mission, and it had to be perfect.

So here is a picture of the finished product, reflected in a mirror.  I'm very proud of it, and it always reminds me of you and your passion.  It has been in my sales display for a couple of years.

But the reason I'm writing this now, Abba, is that someone bought the "Yitgadal" candle cover from me at our recent art show. It's a bittersweet feeling for me, parting with it. At the same time, I'm so happy to have found a really wonderful home for this creation, where I know it will be loved and honored and used.  The family who owns it never met you, but a little piece of your magnificent spirit now resides in their home.

Thank you for your continuing inspiration, Abba.  I love you.


Sparks of Spirit Glass said...

what an incredible way to honor your father and your memories of him. He is smiling at you constantly!

Anonymous said...

I am so deeply moved by this story, Esther, and by your naked heart revelation of it's deep love and regard for your Abba, for your Tradition and for your art. It has brought a flood of warm tears to my own eyes.

I don't normally post comments on other people's blogs, but after stumbling upon you via the Northwest Jewish Artists site, I feel compelled to share with you how much I appreciate such honesty,such tenderness and shared, reverberant memory.

Your beadwork is absolutely stunning. Breathtakingly beautiful. I'm also a beadweaver, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and newly emerging in my professional art. You have inspired me so very, very much, Esther.

I will be contacting you via email soon, as I would so love to connect with you! ♥

Happy Hanukkah!