12/26/2013 12:37 pm ET Updated Feb 22, 2014



Yesterday I threw out my career.

Today I threw out my father and uncle's business. In his impeccable handwriting, my father kept all the books in longhand. All the numbers.

Yesterday I thew out my letter of acceptance to graduate school and today I threw out my transcripts from my scattered college years (a true loss... just kidding).

But I saved some stationary I found with my paternal grandfather's name on it, that of the sturdy man who ran the only grain business in their village in Sudentenland.

On my mother's side. I found her father's draft notice from the German army dated 1915. He fought for Germany in WWI then a bit more than 25 years later had to leave his home and homeland because he was not wanted. Creeping up on him and everyone else, his world was telling him that being Jewish made him unacceptable.

I found his naturalization papers and my grandmother's too.

I found the notice of my father's mother's death notice in the German newspaper AUFBAU, the paper every German-speaking refugee in New York City read. The paper is the color of slightly over-baked cookies and falls apart in my fingers not unlike my recent pecan dissolve-in-your-mouth sandies.

All along the way
I am trying to figure out
what to save, who cares anyway,
those lives have been lived
it's the past
nobody cares
just let go
it's too much work.

I am trying to figure out
what to use in artwork,
the next life I want to live.
Using what I am saving
in collages I can construct.
I see some of them already as I sort and find artistic narrative from the collection.

My Life and theirs.
A series of memorabilia.