An essay about my visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau is on The Rumpus today.
It took me a long time to write the essay. I started it twelve different ways and nothing I wrote seemed to express my experience with any degree of emotional truth. But sometimes when words aren’t enough, we have to write them anyway. Because silence isn’t the answer either.
Happy Hanukkah. It’s a holiday about bringing light into the year’s darkest days. I wish light and love to you all tonight.
We’re a greatest hits of world religions kind of family. We’ve got Hanukkah gelt in the candy dish and Christmas pajamas out the wazoo. On our mantle we have a Christmas angel next to a Menorah next to a statue of Ganesh next to a House Blessing candle cooked up for us by my pagan friend Lorna. On any given night, you’re as likely to find one of us reading The Tao of Pooh or The Sermon on the Mount (or Mr. Brown Can Moo). But what I love most about the holidays that converge during this time is that they’re all about bringing light into the year’s darkest days.
And with that, I wish you all a Happy Hanukkah, the festival of lights. I heard Matisyahu singing this song on the radio last night and I’m addicted. If you’re reading this on my Facebook feed, head over to my blog to see the video. I’ll also post it separately because it’s so darn good.
Oh, and speaking of holiday music, I heard a holiday album the other day that didn’t make me gag. In fact, it’s awesome. Check out Pink Martini’s Joy to the World.
And just to totally kill my holiday buzz, we’re heading to Disney Land this afternoon. May the force be with me.
Jillian Lauren is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and the novel, Pretty, both published by Plume/Penguin. Some Girls has been translated into seventeen different languages. Her next memoir, Everything You Ever Wanted, is coming out from Plume in 2014.
Jillian has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Magazine and Salon.com among others and has been anthologized widely, including in The Moth Anthology, True Tales of Lust and Love and Best of Babble Blogs.
She has performed at spoken word and storytelling events across the country, including being a regular on The Moth mainstage, and has been interviewed on such television programs as The View, Good Morning America and Howard Stern.
She is a popular and sometimes controversial blogger at MSNBC, The Huffington Post and Jillianlauren.com, which was named a Top 100 Mom Blog of 2012 by Babble Magazine.
Jillian is married to Weezer bass player Scott Shriner. They live in Los Angeles with their son.