Latest posts by Daria Silter (see all)
- Busy, Noisy, Fast-Paced – What’s Your Quality of Life? Vol. 4 - April 20, 2018
- Don’t. Turn. On. The. Lights. Vol. 3 - April 13, 2018
- The Race Issue. Vol. 2 - April 6, 2018
March 30, 2018
I know that I’ve been missing in action for a while. In fact, just staring at a blank, white screen gives me chills. How do I start writing from “scratch” again? Where do I begin? Can I just click “reset” and start all over again? Yes? Let’s do it then.
There are so many things that I wanted to share with you guys, so many things happened over the past year. The time, here in New York, flies so fast that you can actually feel like you are moving at the speed of light while standing still. Hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, into months, into years. Where are you off to, time? Hold on a sec.
While I may not be the most consistent ‘social media user,’ I’ve decided to give it my best try. From now on, every Friday – expect a “writecast” from me. Wait, write-what? Well, I recently discovered umm… how fun podcasts are, and they’ve got me hooked. I’ve subscribed to a dozen now, all with the word “criminal” somewhere in them. (I’m a big fan of the true-crime narrative genre, especially the kind of stories told in an intriguing and spine-tingling way. As a bonus, the podcasts even got me motivated to get my lazy ass off to the gym in the morning, since that’s the only time when I actually have *time* to listen to a podcast (or radio, music, or whatever) and what a great way to combine exercise with, err, an engrossing story).
So, where was I? Ah yes. Every Friday I will share with you a weekly brief – whether it’s a thought, topic, story, a memory or something entirely else. This way we can keep the ‘conversation’ going, and I will do my best to deliver. In addition to the “essay”-part, I will also share a weekly update of some of the most interesting things that I’ve read, heard or saw the previous week. I’ll cherry-pick some of the best (read: heart-wrenching, mind-boggling) stories that have stood out and left an imprint in my mind from the previous seven days. Just like this:
What am I reading this week?
An absolutely terrifying story of the genocide that’s been happening in Iraq against a small, ethnic tribe, Yazidi. Nadia, her mother, two sisters, numerous brothers, cousins and other relatives and friends, are captured by ISIS inside their peaceful and humble village. The men and the older people (including Nadia’s mother) are murdered shortly thereafter, while all the girls and children are taken hostage. Since Yazidis are not Muslim (they have their own ancient religion), the young women are then sold (and continuously re-sold) into slavery, where they are raped, abused and tortured, every single day by the savage ISIS’s fighters.
Our beautiful, strong and resilient protagonist, Nadia, not only survives the torture — she escapes it and moves on to become the face and the icon representing the unspeakable horrors committed against her tribe. A definite must-read.
- The Edge of Identity (The New Yorker)
A beautiful, spiritual young woman who is about to start a new chapter in her life – teaching a class at a public NYC’s high-school, suddenly disappears into thin air. Three weeks later she is found alive floating in the water not far from the Statue of Liberty, with no recollection as to what happened to her. A year passes by, and the same thing happens again. And then again. What happened to Hannah? What sort of a mysterious affliction or under-diagnosed mental condition does she have? Or is it something entirely else?
- Gorbachev’s Grandchildren (The Economist)
An interesting article with a different take on the current political situation in Russia. For those who think that everyone in this country supports the newly elected Russian President — this illuminating backstory will be an eye-opener.
- At Sea – Why Would Anyone Kayak Across the Ocean at 70? (The New York Times Magazine)
This guy. He not only kayaked. Across the Atlantic. At 70. Solo. He did it three times during his lifetime. I think I’ve said enough to introduce this article.
- This Is What I Do When I Hear the Bombs Explode (The New York Times)
An emotional, personal witness account of one reporter’s surviving a bombing and living under its constant threat in Afghanistan. While reading Fatima’s raw, terrifying and gripping tale, I could almost see myself in her shoes, searching for my younger brother (I don’t have one, but that doesn’t matter), sick with worries, shattered inside.
- Nothing Prepared Refugee Workers for the ISIS Sex Slaves (The New York Times)
If you’re still not convinced that you should read Nadia’s story (see the ‘Books’ section above) to better understand her and her tribe’s tragic plague, read this article. It actually prompted me to go browsing on Amazon, find and then buy her book.
What am I watching this week?
- What Will Happen to Undocumented Doctors? (The Atlantic)
An older video, which I haven’t seen until now, telling the story of young, smart and ambitious medical students pursuing their degree at a U.S. university. One might think that they’ve got everything going for them – well, except one thing.
These young adults were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents when they were little kids. By no fault of their own, they are now in a political limbo, in a perpetual state of anxiety, contemplating their fate. Will they be allowed to stay and pursue their zealous dreams, or will they be crushed, and kicked out of the country that they consider their motherland?
- Yerma with Billie Piper, based on Federico García Lorca’s play
Last Saturday I went to see this interesting show, which just came to us from the UK. I have to confess, I’ve been a fan of Billie Piper, ever since her first album (“Honey to the Bee”) came out in…1998! She’s not only astonishingly beautiful, she is also an incredibly talented individual.
The play portrays a young blogger in a loving relationship, who slowly becomes obsessed with the desire to have a baby. Well, there’s one problem (aren’t there always?). She can’t get pregnant. She tries and tries, while the time, frighteningly, just passes by. Until, boom, there’s a *shocking* finale! Yeah, I won’t spoil the ending – come and see for yourself (the show only runs until April 21st so you better hurry).
What am I listening to this week?
- Female Criminals by Parcast Network (Episode: 3 and 4: “Little Old Lady Killer”)
These two episodes are based on a true-crime story which involves a notorious female Mexican killer, who “specialized” in killing elderly women. She was so prolific in her “profession” that she actually managed to kill around 48 victims (and that’s only the ‘official’ count). While the story is gruesome, the detailed psychological profile delivered by the two narrators is soul-gripping and is full of insight.
* * *
It’s 57F degrees (+ 13C) in NYC today. Though it was raining earlier, my shoes are muddy, the trees are still naked, it’s bleak and grey outside, it actually feels like a ‘real’ Spring is just around the corner. Well, yeah, in two days it will be April. But then you remember – ah, it’s NYC, and well, anything is possible.