Tag Archives: ancestors

What’s a pandy? Who’s the tucker?

Wed. May 25th [1892]   ….After tea we took a walk to the coal pit from which place we could see the Pandy & Alltiago farm. We got a glass of fresh milk at the Alltiago farm….Continuing our walk we went … Continue reading

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Off to Wales with my great-grandmother’s diary

My mother gave me my first diary when I was 13. It had a yellow cardboard cover and a tiny lock and key. I welcomed the chance to put down my secrets, especially to spill out the doubts and longings … Continue reading

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Playing games with the ancestors

Flinch, a game played with a custom-made deck of cards, was invented in 1901 by A.J. Patterson. He grew up on a farm in Michigan and graduated from high school at the age of sixteen. After working at jobs in … Continue reading

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Pilgrim versus tourist

In his book Spiritual Journeys of an Anarchist (Ardent Press, 2014), Peter Lamborn Wilson described “intentional travel” as a sufi tradition in which the traveler, to fix his itinerary, “waited for ‘signs’ to appear, coincidences, intuitions….” I read these lines … Continue reading

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Talisman of gratitude

According to Mayan shaman Martín Prechtel, all inspiration comes from the Other World. When we create something, we are supposed to give back to our ancestors in the Other World, using the form of “eloquent sound,” or by offering something … Continue reading

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A Cuban grandfather hands down his stories and poems

A guest blog by John Casquarelli Storytelling is as natural to humans as eating. We create our myths and epics as a way of expressing our perceived knowledge, sharing what we believe we know about an event or a person. My … Continue reading

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Charms–a shout-out from forty years ago (at least!)

The Facebook headline said, “Any idea who these charms belong to?”–above a photo of two flat metal cutouts engraved with the names “Kathryn” and “Bradley.” If I had seen the post, I would have immediately known, by the names and … Continue reading

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Interview with my father

My father died five years ago. Our relationship continues to evolve. Last summer, while brainstorming an exercise for a group at an artists’ and writers’ retreat organized by my friend Bethany Ides, I invented the ancestor interview. It turned out … Continue reading

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Pitman transcription reveals my great-grandmother’s secrets

Many thanks to my friend Josie Oppenheim, who responded to the previous blog post by locating a Pitman transcriber online. Tracey Jennings, a shorthand expert in the U.K., came up with translations of the four bits of shorthand text scattered … Continue reading

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Anyone out there know Pitman shorthand?

When my great-grandmother, Mary Davies, was 20 years old, she took a trip to Wales with her cousin to visit relatives. It was 1892, she was petite and pretty, and the Welsh boys flocked to pay court to two exotic … Continue reading

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