I don’t know if many of us are where we thought we’d be at this stage of our lives (whatever stage that might be). I’m sure not. It’s not altogether negative but it is challenging to rejigger oneself in new circumstances.

On the one hand, I’m living a regular day-to-day life, with trips to Trader Joe’s and Target, moving around this apartment I’m in as though it’s really mine even though, at the same time, it doesn’t quite feel like it is. It’s the bare walls that feed this sense of not being settled. But it takes time to feel into a space and to start to see where things want to go. I know I went through it last year when I made the first big move from Seattle to Minneapolis but that doesn’t actively mitigate the feeling of personal displacement.

I am grateful every day for the beauty that is the Northeast in the fall. And I am aware that so many people I know and love in the Pacific Northwest, and the region itself, have been acutely suffering from the fires and smoke.

The whole process of moving — planning, packing, driving, unpacking and all the myriad details that those words contain — have kept me preoccupied and given me an excuse to limit my news consumption. But I am aware of the danger our democracy is in if too many election deniers win at the polls in two weeks. And I have seen the photograph of men with antisemitic banners giving the Nazi salute on a 405 overpass in Los Angeles.

Rejiggering oneself in new circumstances is one thing. Facing fascism, especially with the knowledge that is in my very bones, is another. One of the other things that moving put on hold was the family Holocaust memoir that I had been working on. I don’t know that there is anything I can add to the conversation that will have an impact on unfolding events. I doubt it. But I do know that it is time to get back to work.

And to start getting some pictures on the walls, actively claiming my history and my space.

Photo by Ruth Neuwald Falcon


  1. Just two days ago I wondered how you’re doing, Ruth. Thanks for letting us know. Today I checked out a Time Magazine from the library with an article on how Lincoln saved the democracy and “how we can too”. Steve says Heather Cox-Richardson has written about that as well. Looking for more hope and inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been thinking about you and looking for a new post! Settling into a new home takes time and energy. You have a beautiful picture window of changing leaves and autumn. It’s true that autumn only started here three days ago. Everyone is grateful for the rain after all the fires and unhealthy air, but clearly the leaves on the trees are confused with the sudden change in temperature and precipitation. A few leaves are changing but most are not and will likely fall in the much needed rain and cooler weather. Sending love. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish I was as optimistic for our democracy as I am for your creating a new home in an old, well loved part of the country. It is agonizing to see and hear the constant barrage of hate speech. I know it has always been there, but it as though someone has put a giant amplifier on it. It both frightens and pains me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have taken on yet another big project in moving to New York State, dear Ruth. I am in awe of your efforts and I know you will be making your apartment totally comfy–pictures on the wall and everything meaningful around you. Best wishes for your soon feeling at home! Lovingly, Ellin

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Ruth, I also had been thinking about you and wondering if and when we would hear from you again. Hoping not to lose the connection. It is exciting to be moving into a new home and new environment. It sounds like you have found a niche. Deciding where and what pictures to put on the wall is quite a project. It all seems so permanent and the Command strips don’t always work well. It takes time and thought. What a great adventure you are on.

    We finally got rain. I wasn’t sure if we would ever see it again. It had been so dry and the smoke from the wildfires presented quite a hazard. During that time, outside activity had to be curtailed. I decided to go through the storage locker in my apartment building and deal with the paper, photographs and multitude of color slides I had been packing around for years.

    I have always heard about the beautiful autumn colors on the east coast. Lovely to have nearby and to be able to enjoy their splendor. Great to hear from you, Ruth. Keep us posted when you have time. I know you must be very busy. L’Shana Tovah,

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s