I loved Marian Marzynski’s “Dreamoirs” in this summer’s Boston Review, which focuses on “Crossing the Border”. Here is an excerpt:
The Making of a Dream. My friend Howard and I talk about the loneliness of his 40-year-old daughter, who cannot find a job or a man. Another friend, Andrzej, tells me about a 40-year-old woman’s battle with cancer.
People with flowers gather inside an old factory, the kind of factory that’s in my films about Communist Russia. An old woman comes to me and says, “My daughter died at 40, of loneliness. I am happy her funeral will be on television.”
Andrzej, a silver expert, tells me that an old silver proof has a lion’s face. Then I watch the funeral of Mother Teresa on television. People kiss her hands and her legs. Her eyes are open and striking.
I am inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, where the Cardinal of France celebrates a funeral mass. In the Russian Orthodox tradition, they open the casket with the body of the woman so family and friends can kiss her lips. Inside the casket, I see a stuffed lioness with human eyes. Her mother says, “These were the eyes of my daughter.”
The name of the cardinal is Maurice Lustiger. He was a Jewish boy in hiding during the war, as I was. After his mother perished, he entered the seminary and became a priest. I think that if my mother had not survived the Holocaust, I could have become the Cardinal of Poland.
Read more here.