For Bibi, and Jeremy
Celia, this is the most absorbing, wonderful piece of writing I’ve come across in ages.
Please do write a book about these fragmented anecdotal passages - better yet, you could weave them into a fiction should you desire.
The exploding rotten fish cans in Karachi had me laughing out loud and reading this section to Karen. When a reader feels the compulsion to share something they’ve just read with another person, that’s captivating prose. That’s writing. That’s storytelling.
You could so easily write fiction - just base it on the absurdity and intricacy of your own life - your observations and unique metaphors are simply astonishingly profound.
This little narrative reads like something from an Arundhati Roy novel - and she is one of my favourite authors, such is the enchantment and visceral nature of her work, all drawn from the supposed mundanity of simple family and social life.
In fiction or storytelling - it is entirely plausible to penetrate the ostensible there too.
Please keep writing this stuff. I absolutely love it. And you’re right - it’s cathartic. For us all.
Your life sounds like a J. P. Donleavy novel, but for women.
Thank you so much for sharing all this beauty, for seeing the beauty in it. You help me to really feel how such public sharing, which is almost anathema to me as an Englishman, is healing, replenishing, and even forward looking despite being nostalgic. And the romance truly serves, rather than confuses, the whole. Enhances it. Turns it into wealth, true wealth.
Soo unique and beautifull.Thanks for sharing 🙏🧡
I remember when your mother died. I still play “Does it have to be Christmas this year?” often. I also loved “White lights or colored?”, which may have had a bit of influence in our particular decorations. Thank you so much for sharing such feelings. I am sorry that I never got to meet Ulla, but I feel I have experienced her through her wonderful daughters.
Am thankful to be alive at this moment in time when I get to read, be a part of beautiful thoughts like this. Thank you.
“Ulla’s lesson was so sound: You don’t thank God when things go well, you thank God also when they don’t, even more ardently.”
Wonderful story, Celia. It's no wonder that you were such a threat to the darker forces.
Like Ulla's new visitor, your story breathed life into your mother so that we could catch glimpses of her for ourselves, while your father uncomfortably reminds me of my own foolishness.
My mother was also an "airline hostess" on DC3s and Lockheed Electras during the 1950s, flying mostly Rio - Caracas - Miami. That must've been an exciting time for such women.
Having grown up (Brazil) and married (India) into mixed families, I understand the deep cultural differences that bring life, humor, and misunderstanding to husbands and wives who are mostly unprepared for the adventure. I know that my children have stories of their own. They sometimes remind me of things I've forgotten entirely. I'm grateful for having met Ulla through you.
I'm currently reading The Viking Heart (Herman), which seems to explain much of your own heart. Something to read when you catch your breath.
Thank you Celia. You made my day, and so much more. There is a sad emptiness deep inside me that you touched, and I'm glad you touched. Maybe on my own I would seldom, if ever, go there. Yet I need to go there and am always richer when I do. There are certain movies that find that place deep inside me, and I tell myself to turn the channel or turn the TV off, but I can't. I continue to watch and need to watch. Thank you for sharing these warm, real, honest pieces of your life. I'm richer for having been given this gift.
What an absolute gift to read, especially today. I could read an entire book of this in one day. I hope somewhere there is a copy of the old manuscript that has not been recycled…for you.
Thank you for this written gift; I am really grateful to have gotten to read this. & echoes my own relationship with my mom, whatever she felt was unhidden, wide, wide emotional range, no zoos... You say so beautifully what I have been feeling about this suffocating time -- eros is the antidote, inhabiting our senses.
(At the end, the Yo-yo Ma... He is on the World Economic Forum board of trustees, not sure if you knew of that?)
Loved reading about your life, mother, father, sister, New York. It is a very unique and interesting story. I agree with the song. We have to find our way back to what is simple, and right. I'm not saying anything about your finding your way out of sugar blues, but generally I think the "other generation," the one that gave us the strength to be a nation, that actually did have fun, and delight; that generation; they didn't obsess so much about their body. I can't imagine anyone in that generation going bonkers over the covid 19 infection--such as it was for most of us, like I've seriously been sicker. But sharing as you do brings it all down a little into the normal, that there is that place of normal life previous generations lived, and we can find again.
What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Riveting! More please!
Thanks for sharing. Your Mother had a beautiful soul.
I love tender souls too. I love your writing.
Celia, Paul Murray beautifully expressed what I was about to say. Superb!
Thank you <3 This spoke to my soul, I had a beautiful read.
Wow, thank you. Yes, the only regrets are not loving more. Blessings.