What is the story I want to tell?
How do I start?
There’s the town, the shop, the house, the pianos, and letters…
…and the man, my God, the man….
I didn’t come from here. My mother and I left the Hungarian city where I was born in July of 1938.
My mother died in 1965, yet I still see her in my kitchen salting stocks, and kneading dough.
No one bakes in the suburban cul-de-sac where I live. I suspect few know how.
They buy their breads and cakes in quaint Midwestern bakeries and markets, and bring hot meals home in plastic containers, or bags, or cardboard boxes.
But I am a creature of old habits, and fill my home with the scents of my mother’s soups and rolls.
She was a conjuror, my mother, giving life to everything she touched. reading past, present, and future in the palm of a hand, knowing what was in someone’s heart before they uttered a word, or sensing nature’s whims with an index finger. She was connected to the universe in ways I will never understand.
Although she did her best to teach me, one line on a hand will always look like another to me. I cannot see the future. My only oracles are things that grow.
Still, people come to my Fortune Emporium seeking cures and spells and gypsy wisdom. And they come to talk.
Everyone has a story.
Even houses have them—tales absorbed from foundations, beams, and walls.
You can find a new home for a withering plant, but its roots will remember where it’s been, what it was.
The cells know. The earth remembers.
My name is Varna, and I am a weaver.
(Excerpt from Weaver)
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