Sunday, 3 June 2018

Lithuania Calling.



Dear loyal multinational followers,

Thank you for keeping on visiting while I've been silent for so many weeks.

How does anybody manage a daily blog??

I couldn't. At the moment I've got kittens and chickens and a blind cockerel  to feed, as well as drawings to draw, adventures to live, and so much more.



Since starting the blog,  thousands of you  in the US have visited (so love these statistics), and more than five thousand Russians and Ukrainians have looked at my paintings here.

Why so many visitors from Russia?  I'm thinking you must be 'resonating' with something in my art , but I doubt many of you are  reading the posts. Of course I could be wrong.

I've just discovered my Jewish father's ancestors came from your countries -  Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania and also Poland. What a surprise. Oh bliss and double joy to know this at last!
 
All my life I'd  had a suspicion about Poland.  Maybe it was just  poetic wishful thinking and a need to pin my dad somewhere on the world map?  I'd always imagined he'd escaped from a Polish concentration camp. Maybe Auschwitz?
Why?
Because I was adopted as a baby - and have always had an overactive imagination.

Every day I wake now with a wild quiet curiosity.  At last I know where I've 'come from.'  But it's not quite that simple.

These super brave ancestors fled to the US between 1850 and 1919.


Exuberant Drum roll...

on the 14th of July I'm leaving Spain for a 6 week solo 'pilgrimage' to walk on the land of my Jewish ancestors.

 My journey starts in Gdansk, Poland, then moves to Vilnius in Lithuania, then down to the south east corner of Lithuania to the village of Seirijai.   Then where ? I don't know.  Poland,  Belarus ,  Lativa , Siberia?

So far,  I have just one Lithuanian village,  just one man - a possible great grandfather or great uncle - and just one route to explore  - my ancestors  escape route to freedom..

This minimal info has inspired these drawings.

But...what if I only last one week in Gdansk and have to come straight  back to Malaga?

 No, I will not get sick or have an accident, or ... anything like that.  I'm determined to heal the new medical problem before I go. Si señor !

Not being able to speak the language is a real 'what if' that needs taming.

Yes, I have heard about the new translator app, but...

Chill Meg.  When intuition becomes the  inner compass, as it has already,  anything can happen.

 Think positive Margarita and  don't depend in electronic gadgets, depend on faith. Si senor.

I promise  I'll  share the highlights of this adventure.

Another drum roll... I just discovered : in about 1840 in Seirijai there lived a certain  Rabbi Rabinson and a man called David Robinzon.  Gasp.  Relations?

Lithuania has the fastest Internet connection in the world, and the highest suicide rate in Europe among young men. Two facts which may or may not be useful.  Weird what comes up when you start researching anything.

Meanwhile, I'm loving drawing my way into this mysterious story.




Lithuania.  Big sigh. I feel compelled to walk on the land of my ancestors, and I hope to find, if at all possible, the real name of  my never known, never met, Jewish farther.

All I have are his initials, L.R.

How  do I know this?  Well... that's a long story I'm not quite ready to share yet, except to say...



 my father changed his name on arriving in Ireland in 1944.  L.R became Leslie  Robinson.

 Apparently, most Jewish refugees changed their names but kept their initials when they arrived  in  a new land.

Because of his mysterious identity, and because my Irish mother wasn't ' allowed' to keep me, I was an orphan before I was born.

My life didn't start off brilliantly, but there have been many, many brilliant episodes ever since, and they're ongoing.

I don't know if my birth mother's life was so blessed. When I found her 30 years ago, she didn't have anything kind to say about my dad.
Hers was a terrible but  common story  of an  Irish girl not allowed to keep her baby.

If  I can find a name for my dad, I'll be ecstatic.
It's the missing piece of this  beautiful  multicolored  jigsaw.

And if I can't, life will still be beautiful.






Thank you Ancestry.com for bringing Lithuania, Russia and  Poland - and  3 brand new cousins-  quietly into my life.

How amazing.   All I had to do was spit into a tiny test tube two years ago -
to get this Jewish, DNA information.