New York City based poet and activist Naomi Replansky who is 103 and her wife 95-year-old Eva Kollisch, have survived the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, the Holocaust, and the Great Depression as well as homophobia and spoke to the New York Times about their lives and resilience and how to survive in times that seem hopeless.
From the Times: Until the emergence of the coronavirus, Eva and Naomi were out often. On most days they took long walks. They were active in a Buddhist Sangha at a meditation center. They shopped at the farmers’ market and ate vegetarian lunches at Effy’s on West 96th Street. They find themselves longing for what has been lost more than they dread whatever might come, and they worry more for their “generation,” as Naomi put it, than they do for themselves, even though Naomi had a bout with pneumonia six years ago. As a poet, Naomi preferred the order of formalism. In the “Ring Song,’’ she uses light verse to convey the abruptly shifting rhythms of deprivation and contentment, the sense that happiness is ultimately a human reflex as much as it is an aspiration:
When I live from hand to hand
Nude in the marketplace I stand.
When I stand and am not sold
I build a fire against the cold.
When the cold does not destroy
I leap from ambush on my joy. …
Read the full story here.