Tuesday, June 12, 2007

down a whispering well

Work Club heated up a little bit this week--in the broadest, vaguest terms, I got to see some Law In Action yesterday and today, and that? was awesome. Also awesome? finally seeing where Law and Order is filmed! Those iconic steps and columns! hee. I half-expected Sam Waterston or Mariska Hargitay to come charging out at me.

Anyway, we had an event at the Tenement Museum, and I'm breaking the Work Club silence a little bit because it was an incredibly meaningful experience for me. My father's parents were immigrants from Germany--they lived in Brooklyn until he was in grade school, at which point they moved out to rural New Jersey. I made a few trips to that house when I was young, and I remember a Singer sewing machine at the top of the stairs exactly like the one featured on the front page of the website. I remember that house vividly, from the heavy feel of the front room, the chrome-painted fixtures and bright red wallpaper. The old raggedy ann dolls upstairs, the twin beds, the window seat. The little bathroom with the radiator. The porch. The boxwood hedges with that distinctive smell.

The similar feeling of the rooms in the Museum evoked the kind of steely tenacity it must've taken to pack everything up and move to a foreign country, away from family and friends, swapping everything familiar for an entirely new life. The Museum reminded me of how many, many families did just that, how so many of us came from that kind of history. I definitely wasn't expecting that. I'm not sure how many law firm events will come with a side of self-reflection, but I'm very grateful for this little opportunity for quiet time in an otherwise overwhelmingly whirlwind summer.

Sleep club now? Yes, please.

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