Category Archives: Debra Darvick

A Rosh Hashanah reflection

smaller-applesI was aware that I haven’t been writing much in this space this year, but was shocked to see that my last post was dated January 11, 2016. I’ve been blogging over at pictureaconversation.com, the website dedicated to a product my husband and I launched this January — a set of 25 conversation prompts designed to inspire more talking and less texting.  I’ve shifted from penning self-reveletory essays to writing about the experience of creating something from the wisp of an idea, getting one’s creation out into the marketplace, taking chances, and more. I am writing about the act and art of conversation, recounting notable conversations and the characters with whom I have them. I fear we are losing our facility for meaningful conversations, whether with others, ourselves or even God.

The one writing job I have preserved is my advice column for the Detroit Jewish News.  I’m now in my third year as “Dear Debra” offering no-nonesense advice on everything from vaccines  to tattoos to friends who want to text instead of talk. [I couldn’t be so self-serving as to advise they order a set of Picture a Conversation, but I was tempted!]  I love puzzling out the advice I think would help my readers most and would love to do more.  So I thought, why not post past columns here for your enjoyment and edification, and invite you to send your dilemmas my way via Read the Spirit?  You don’t have to be Jewish to have tsuris (heartache); you just have to have a problem. Write to me at debralex1 at sbcglobal dot net and look for answers here each week.

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Rosh Hashana is a time for self-reflection.

The Jewish new year begins soon.  It is a time of much soul searching, asking for forgiveness from those whom we’ve hurt or otherwise wronged. We commit to entering the new year having repented our missteps and wrongdoing. There are fervent prayers that God will hear and accept our repentance and grant us one more year to love, one more year to learn and strive, one more year to offer kindness, gratitude and help to those in need. Although I have shifted from one kind of written expression to another, I nevertheless pray for one more year to write, one more year to use my words for good and for healing whether spoken or written. Amen.

Debra Davick — Heaven’s Papers, Please Copy

Once you’ve lost a parent, or anyone close, there are times when little things crop up that you wish you could share. Some adult children, accustomed to daily check-ins with Mom or Dad catch themselves going for the phone and then realizing there’s no one left to call on the other end. Or you’ll read a book or see something fabulous that your loved one would have enjoyed. And all you can do is imagine their pleasure.  All you can say is, “Oh, Mom would have loved this!”

One of Emma's designs for chasingpaper.com

One of Emma’s designs for chasingpaper.com

I had such a moment today. Our daughter Emma has just had her first wallpaper collection mentioned in Vogue’s online magazine.* It’s been quite a big day. I was running around all morning when her text came through that the piece had gone live.  I rushed home and before clicking the link, I called Emma to share the moment with her as I first laid eyes on my daughter’s triumph. Savoring the moment, I told her what a charge her Grandma Dolly would have gotten out of this.  Vogue!  Vogue was my mother’s bible. There were copies of this slick and beautiful magazine with its stark models dressed in sumptuous clothes stacked on the coffee table in our living room and on my mother’s nightstand.  Every once in a while I’d come across tear sheets featuring Balenciaga gowns and Chanel bags slipped into books and random kitchen drawers.

And now Emma’s art has found its way into Vogue. My mother would have crowed with glee, pride and a bit of puffed up ownership that her granddaughter had managed such a coup. “I can just see my mother,” I fantasized to Emma. “clearing her throat and demanding the attention of all those present.  ‘You, over there! Put down that harp!  I’ve got an announcement to make – my granddaughter’s wallpaper designs are in Vogue!  And you! Straighten your halo! Brush that feather from your eyes. This is a red letter day. Have you ever seen such beautiful colors?”

Although my mother wasn’t a steady presence in my kids’ lives, Emma has much of her panache and fashion sense. She has my mother’s hand. The first time I saw one of Emma’s pencil sketches of an interior, tears welled in my eyes.  She draws just like my mother did — with nearly identical felicity and economy of line, with eerie echoes of my mother’s whimsy and emotional accuracy. Grandma Dolly would have absolutely trilled with glee.

Although never in Vogue, my mother was always au courant.

Although never in Vogue, my mother was always au courant.

But she’s not here to tell. There’s no number I can call and say, “Mom, guess what your granddaughter did today.” And so I simply enjoy this day and my daughter’s accomplishment on my own, knowing, hoping that in some corner of the Heavens Dolly Bourke is thrilled.

 

 

 

*scroll to page two to see Emma’s wallpaper                                                                                           Enjoy Emma’s whole collection at chasingpaper.com.                                                                       Click on each wallpaper sample to see it in situ.