Photo: Regina with Roman and Lilka
“The Neumark family, who owned a bicycle store in Bedzin, pose in the park in 1939, just a few weeks before the war." Ann Weiss, The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz-Birkenau Isn’t it strange that the trees behind me only become real when I look at them? And, that what happens in the trees happens only when I turn around to see them— that a leaf skeleton, a pepper moth, the nest of a wood ant exists in this world, rather than in another? That the universe is split into two, and that I live in only one part of it. When I talk like this, my husband listens. When I tell him I worry about what happens when I’m not looking, he says, things that you don’t worry about are the things that happen, which makes me think that I should worry about everything. The bicycle shop, my daughter, the possibility of war. When I smile for the picture, I hold my daughter’s hand. I feel her weight lean into me. I try not to think about what’s happening behind me, that I don’t need to know everything that exists simultaneously. I could go mad if I don’t stop. Everything is next door to each other, but there is no way to communicate. There are so many choices happening at the same time. But I’ll stop now. There is a decaying world among the leaf litter, but I won’t look. I won’t think about what hides. The ground beetles, the centipedes, what remains of the tree.