Tag: Journeys

Adoption & the Journey to Healing


It was on Tuesday, June 13, 1967 — 54 years ago yesterday — that a nineteen-year-old girl gave me the precious gift of life.

Then, from a place of love and fierce protection, my birth mother gave me the precious gift of unselfish love and made the tough choice of allowing someone else to raise me as their own, in the hopes that I’d have a better life than she believed she could provide.

Hours of Transport


“What are men to rocks and mountains? Oh! what hours of transport we shall spend! And when we do return, it shall not be like other travellers, without being able to give one accurate idea of any thing. We will know where we have gone—we will recollect what we have seen. Lakes, mountains, and rivers, shall not be jumbled together in our imaginations; nor, when we attempt to describe any particular scene, will we begin quarreling about its relative situation. Let our first effusions be less insupportable than those of the generality of travellers.” – Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Let me attempt to describe the particular scenes we enjoyed on our recent journey from the flat, swampy terrain of southern Texas to the sandy shores of slower-lower (as the locals say) Delaware. The greater part of our first day was spent driving to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Arriving as the sun started sinking in the sky, we were rewarded with stunning views of Lake Hamilton from the road above. We opted to find a restaurant in the historic part of town and were again pleasantly surprised to find a delicious pizza at SQZBX, a place that showcases its origins as a piano store/repair shop. We learned that our friendly waitress was from Memphis, and she reminded us of the bridge closure that we’d have to navigate the next day. For breakfast, we found a diner that seemed popular with locals. We enjoyed the food, hearing the local accents, and taking in the lake view as we ate.

Journey to Jerusalem


I was fifteen the summer my folks took me to the airport and waved farewell, as their number one son set off on a journey halfway around the world. I had no traveling companions, there were no cell phones, but I had traveler’s checks, a suitcase packed to the packing list, and a clear set of written coordinating instructions from Tel Aviv to the hotel in the Arab sector of Jerusalem. I was the first of three siblings to take roughly the same journey on the same archaeological expedition over a bit more than a decade. Remarkably, my folks had no serious reservations about turning me loose on the world, in an era of hijackings and occasional Cold War flavor terrorism.


Where Have You Gone, Samuil? A Journey Through Identity and Exile with Vladislav Khodasevich (Borscht Report #9/Group Writing)


When it comes to pre-WWII Russian literary critics and poets, Vladislav Khodasevich is not well known, particularly in the West. Compared to someone like, say, Bunin or Tsvetaeva, he’s been largely ignored. But Khodasevich deserves attention, both as a skilled memoirist and poet, and as one of the few who chronicled the whole journey of his generation through the realities of WWI and the White exile, grappling with issues of right, honor, and Russian identity, especially for those who carried non-Russian blood in the vast multiethnic empire. 

Born in Moscow in May of 1886, Khodasevich was the son of a Polish nobleman and a Jewish woman. Unlike the union of Vera and Vladimir Nabokov, though, theirs was not an unusual act of mutual tolerance. Jacob Brafman, Khodasevich’s maternal grandfather, was a famous convert from Judaism to Orthodoxy, who wrote The Book of Kahal, a forerunner to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He entered the law faculty of Moscow University in 1904, then switched to history and philology the next year, staying on until 1910. It was during his time at the university that Vladislav met Samuil Kissin, a law student and aspiring poet from Orsha who was a year older than he. Twenty years later, he said Kissin, whom he affectionately nicknamed Muni, was “как бы вторым «я»” (like my second self) and reflected on how “we lived in such a faithful brotherhood, in such close love, which now seems wonderful to me.”

Despite his training, Khodasevich did not want to be a historian or a philologist, but, like Kissin, a poet, and dropped out in the final year of his course. He frequented Moscow’s literary salons and cafes, and published articles and poems for famous literary magazines, like Golden Fleece and Libra. Although he was the descendant of a noble family, his father had come to Russia impoverished, and Kissin, who hailed from an observant Jewish merchant family (he was trained in Hebrew and the Talmud at home during his childhood) actually had a much more secure financial position, though he was always willing and happy to support his friend along with himself. 

Member Post


It happened on Sunday, September 20th, 1992, around 3:00 p.m., while driving with my fiancé through Nebraska—during that long straightaway on the I-80 freeway that begged for cruise control. We were several weeks into a bliss that I had never experienced up to that point in my life. I had conversationally revealed something about myself […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Journey Over the Keys


Sometimes the journey is downhill: a gentle slope to aid our run.
Sometimes the journey is uphill beneath a burnished, scorching sun.

And if we move our feet each day (although we do not go so far),
The steps add up o’er months and years and memories of tears and fun.

Member Post


To set the tone for June’s group writing theme, “Journeys,” here is a short playlist of songs about journeys. I look forward to Ricochet members’ additions to the list in the comments below. Whatever your journey or travel plans, do stop by and sign up now for June’s theme: “Journeys.” Let’s start off upbeat, with […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post


This June we will play off of three or more meanings of “June” and “day.” Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially the reticent or keyboard shy, are heartily encouraged to join in our group writing project this month. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Radical Daughter


556756_10150877885149072_745932628_nOn September 11, 2001 I was sitting on the floor of my sister’s living room, babysitting her one-year-old daughter. We were lazily playing with the afternoon news in the background. The first thing I noticed was how the anchor’s voice changes. The normally-chipper woman was saying “Wait, wait,” while staring to the side of the camera. There had been a horrible accident, she said, as I watched the smoke pour out of the first tower. When the second plane hit, I hoped beyond hope she was right.

I had just gotten back from a year in France. A few months earlier, I’d been standing in a crowded bar on Place de Clichy, celebrating my 20th birthday. I remember that night, although several bottles of bad white wine say I shouldn’t. I was surrounded by my peers: other upper middle-class liberals who had fled to Paris in order to fulfill the fantasy of their existence. We had come to this historical city to live the life of songs and books and Technicolor movies. We were radicals. We were heroes. We were going to change the world.

The people with me in that bar were a random sample of the political atmosphere of Europe at the time. Members of the autonomic environmentalist movement, militant feminist, pro-Palestinians, and your run-of the-mill anti-government thugs. Having a friend who had been jailed for rioting was as necessary as a Malcolm X t-shirt and a backpocket paperback of Catcher in the Rye. I gladly picked up that uniform, just as I picked up rocks and banners knowing that this was the ticket to ride.