02 - Swimming In The River

02_Swimming_1080.jpg

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Ruven and I swim in the river below our house, a tributary of the Vistula River. Mania and Leah tend the geese, while Chana stays at the river’s edge. Farmers are coming back from the fields at noon.

Embroidery on linen, 1978.

43-5/8″W x 44-3/4″H.

Transcript of Narration

After Esther completed the picture of her childhood home, she created a companion piece to give to my sister Helene. Here, she focuses on the children of her family, again on a beautiful summer day. The Tucin river runs across the field where she and her brother swim, Esther’s braids bobbing on the surface. Her sisters Mania and Leah are tending the geese, and Chana stands at the river’s edge. The farmers are coming in from the fields. The world as Esther remembers it is a beautiful place. 

Sixty years later, when Esther returned to Mniszek to see her childhood home, she was devastated to find that the Tucin River was reduced to an algae-covered pond. She had already grieved for the people she had lost in the war, but she hadn’t imagined that a river could disappear.