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powazek productions
{ personal log }

stuck in between

It's a beautiful day in San Francisco. The sky is blue and full of fluffy clouds. It's warm with a cool ocean breeze. All the cars are big and stretched out. The streets are asphalt. The trees are tall and skinny. People are outside, washing their cars, walking their dogs, being American.

My mind is stuck somewhere over the Atlantic. It's before lunch, but I'm hungry for dinner. And emotionally, spiritually, I'm still stuck in between. Not quite here, not there.


Poland was the trip of a lifetime. A heavy thing, not a vacation. And something that is going to take me a long time to figure out what it meant to me, said about my life here, and means to my family. When I think too hard about it, my mind is overwhelmed with a machine gun blast of memories.

The runny eggs in the morning. The stones at Triblinka. Cobblestone streets. My dad and Barbara, walking ahead of me. The churches and churches and churches. The roads and their kamikaze drivers. The ash gray dirt of Auschwitz. The grainy black and whites of the Warsaw ghetto. Scratchy white sheets in hotel after hotel. The girl in Lodz who said, "Are you Derek?" The lush green of the Polish countryside. The gas station guy who said "Varsawa! Varsawa! Varsawa!" like the old SNL hamburger sketch. The bathroom that smelled like asparagus. The lights of San Francisco in the night, as the plane came down after twenty hours of traveling.

It's going to take a long time to put all these pieces together into a story I can tell. Or, maybe, this time, the story is just for me.

{ 11:11am }



» Welcome back. I hope you have some good stories and pictures !!! Uncle H

– Uncle H  { 6.5.01 @ 11:29am }

» glad you made it back!

amy  { 6.5.01 @ 12:50pm }

» ....somehow, a visit to the past, makes us more aware of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going - full circle in the ride of life.
Always good to come home, smell the flowers, and
thank god for being alive....... it was quite a ride.


– dad  { 6.5.01 @ 2:36pm }

» Happy that you are back and writing again, Derek.

– Agata, the girl from Lodz...  { 6.5.01 @ 3:01pm }

» As much as I enjoy your writing, maybe this is an experience best kept to yourself. Sometimes it's best not to have to explain or second guess things. Just let them be what they are in your heart and mind.

– Erica  { 6.5.01 @ 3:07pm }

» Some things are best if kept to oneself.
Some things are best if they are in the open, for all to see.

The hard thing can be in trying to decide which thing is which.

Fáilte ar ais (Welcome back).

Tom Cosgrave  { 6.5.01 @ 3:20pm }

» Welcome back.

Your life here may never be the same as a small part of you will always remain abroad. Cherish this chapter of your life, as I know you will.

vanderwal  { 6.5.01 @ 4:29pm }

» Welcome back. It's good to visit the place of your ancestors. For me, it brought up a lot of conflicting emotions...sadness, awe, inspiration, dread. Somehow I was able to feel the past. The weight of it all. It was a frustrating experience. I came away with a deep respect for my parents. They inspire me.

– lastus  { 6.5.01 @ 4:45pm }

» It's good to have you back, Derek. We've gotten our share of stories; take this one for your own until the telling forces itself upon you.

Dinah  { 6.5.01 @ 4:54pm }

» Somehow as you describe the SF weather on your return, Otis Redding's 'Sitting by the Dock of the Bay' popped into my head...

The flight back from Eastern Europe is indeed a killer. Although it's been 17 years since my trip to Yugoslavia, I can still taste the coarse bread, the coffee thick with milk and sugar and, or course, the Slivovitz.

You'll know in due time if this story ever needs to be told.

christopher naze  { 6.5.01 @ 8:35pm }

» Welcome home! It was a perfect case of 'Home away from home!'

I'm sure you have many stories to share with us.

Love and prayers...

– anisha bordoloi  { 6.6.01 @ 3:01am }

» good to have you back, yo.

ohad  { 6.12.01 @ 4:21pm }


« before     { current }     after »

{ news }
» Goodbye old friend.

» Don't miss the photos and audio from Fray Cafe 2.

» Psst. Hey kid. Wanna buy some swag?

{ me.elsewhere }
  My snail tracks on the web.
» DfC profile
» New Riders profile
» Amazon wish list
» {fray} is page
» Mirror Project pics
» FilePile profile
{ new in dfc }
  Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire
Sometimes all the widgets backfire, encouraging the very behavior they're designed to avert. The rules have a dangerous side-effect: they create a game.
{ new in fray }
  "I wanted to spend the 4th with someone who always knew the way back home."

Counting Flags by Kevin Smokler.
{ new in sfstories }
  the slow glimmering descent
I've been watching fireworks there for years, but last night was different. And not just because it was clear.
{ new in fray org }
  fray day 6
Fray Day 6 is coming to cities all over the world on September 14, 2002. Come tell your story.
{ see also }