Eduardo Chillida’s Cupped Hand 1924-2002
a different Havdalah?
he often drew his own hands. he wrote the hand springs out of the body. the hand is where the human body and space meet slightly opening the hand unfastens a piece of space around it and when the fingers close again slowly the “being” of this piece of space changes hidden within the fist space is the nucleus it gives life and volume from the inside I set the framed print of Chillida’s cupped hand next to my Havdalah things maybe this Basque artist is descended from marranos. he might not even know why or when to cup his hand, this very specific mysterious gesture. I never really understood the gesture cupping your hand so your fingernails reflect the light of those two flames. is it the flame is it the reflection? lamely I thought the flickering fingers are agitating for the work-a-day week. maybe Chillida’s cupped hand protects Shabbat space now it will open to free it like a bird till those two little flames once again free the cup of Shabbat space.
11 November 2014
Va Yoled… Va Yehi
(Begetting and Birthing)
Some time ago I had an experience with someone’s baby…a random occasion when innocent physical contact strikes harmonics old music long dormant awakens even prefiguring events to come. Little feet pushed against my ribs and belly Little hands pulled my beads and sucking amber set up quivers in my guts. the next one drooling smelling sweet or faintly urine may not be my neighbor’s but my daughter’s Bittersweet the feeling and recall Of others that pushed and climbed my thighs And drew long gulping draughts Curling perfect fingers and eyelashes Four generations of daughters each opening the womb Jo born to Ruth August Berman, 1928 Worcester, Mass Shira born to Jo Berman Milgrom, 1951 Newark, NJ Talia born to Shira Milgrom, 1976 Los Angeles Oren born to Talia Milgrom Elcott, 2009 New York City I began to take it personal the biblical genealogies The ubiquitous wearisome begats The hoary unpronounceable names And the rhythmic staccato Va yoled… va yehi He begat and he lived Va yoled… va yehi They are all masculine only the men do it? How about Va tahar… va teled She got pregnant She gave birth Va tahar va teled How does that feel How does that sound Equal pay for equal labor only the women do it
©2022 Jo Milgrom
All rights reserved
…is an artist and poet living in Jerusalem.