elizabeth ferber

Essays

Men, Woman, Mountains, Barnard Magazine

Ambient sound is muted when ascending a snow-covered mountain. You must focus all of your concentration on making it to the top alive. I discovered, much to my surprise, that once the group was climbing towards the peak, the arguments and self-aggrandizing ceased. We all had the same objective, and there wasn’t time or energy to waste on individual chest-puffing. We were a single, human machine – neither male nor female – just pure movement and purpose, venturing where we knew a mistake could be fatal.

 

Because I am Not my Father’s Religion, Literal Latté

This incident, like others I can recount from childhood, rests at the very front of my consciousness, ready to be recalled at any moment. It is one of the small pieces that comprises the puzzle of my relationship with my father, a puzzle that I doubt will ever be complete or one that I will ever truly understand. What my collective memories present is a series, a downward spiral of events, which lead to the eventual departure of my father from his profession, his family, and, ultimately, the Western Hemisphere.