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Barbara Myerhoff as a Young Girl with her Grandmother Sophie Mann

Barbara Myerhoff as a Young Girl with her Grandmother Sophie Mann

"One day I wept because the kitchen window was covered with frost. I thought there would be no story since we could not see out. My grandmother laughed, warmed a penny in her palm, pressed it against the glass to make a peephole in the frost, then informed me that I had all I needed there. An opening big enough to glimpse the street outside, transformed by this frame, this tiny aperture, providing the sharpest possible focus; the ordinary scene without be-came a spectacle, separated from the ebb and flow of mundane life around it. It was the first time I clearly understood that something magic happened when a piece of nature was isolated and framed. It was the beginning of some comprehension of the seriousness of paying attention to a selected aspect of one's life or surroundings."

Notes:

1. Barbara Myerhoff and Jay Ruby, Forward, A Crack in the Mirror: Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology, ed. Jay Ruby (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982) 32.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Barbara Myerhoff as a Young Girl with her Grandmother Sophie Mann." (Viewed on November 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/media/barbara-myerhoff-as-young-girl-with-her-grandmother-sophie-mann>.

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