Landed: A Yogi’s Memoir in Pieces & Poses, Vine Leaves Press, October 15, 2024
American-born Jennifer Lang traces her seven-year journey—both on and off the yoga mat—reckoning with her adopted country, inherited religion, midlife hormones, and imminent empty nest. During the first five years, she’s emotionally volatile, besieged by missiles, sirens, and stabbings. She resents how their daily lives are dominated by the Jewish calendar, how their household is controlled by her husband’s Sabbath-observant practices. Year six, she crumbles. Her eldest moves to California. Her younger two contemplate studying abroad. Should she stay or go? As she distances herself from her spouse’s Modern-Orthodox lifestyle and as she teaches yoga, Jennifer reconnects with the woman she once was. Then, year seven, she understands the words her yoga teachers had been offering for the past two decades: root down into the ground, stay true to yourself. Finally, after decades of moving across coasts, countries, and continents, she understands home is more about who you are than where you live.
He got religion. She got yoga. He got the homeland. She got her MFA. We no longer live in a world with clear direction. What does it mean to maintain a marriage, a family, fidelity to differing nationalities, differing ideologies? Against the backdrop of Middle East conflict, Jennifer explores these questions. Questions basic to relationships, but written within the bigger picture of her life as an American woman in the State of Israel, “a paltry piece of land” where dualities abound and bifurcation is a daily part of life. “We are more than war here,” she writes beautifully. Both in marriage and geography, Jennifer’s memoir-in-mini chapters shines a light on the human struggle for relationships, personal and political.