Ronit Plank is a writer, teacher, and podcaster whose work has been featured in The Rumpus, The Atlantic, The Iowa Review, Writer’s Digest, The Washington Post, HuffPost, and The New York Times among others. Her stories and essays have been nominated for both the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net and she is author of When She Comes Back, a memoir about the loss of her mother to the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and their eventual reconciliation. Her short story collection Home Is A Made-Up Place won Hidden River Arts’ 2020 Eludia Award and will be published in 2022.
I met Ronit at an event a couple months ago and had an immediate connection with her. As I’ve read her book, When She Comes Back, I feel like we are long lost sisters at times. While we had different experiences growing up, we both had parents who abandoned us, creating this void of confusion in our lives that left us constantly questioning how to take up space.
If you’ve watched the docuseries Wild, Wild Country, some of Ronit’s story will be familiar, as the cult featured in the docuseries is the cult her mother joined.
Listen in to hear Ronit share:
Her experience of being born on a kibbutz in Israel and living separately from her parents as a baby and toddler
The effects of her mom leaving her and her little sister to follow a guru
How she maintained a relationship with her mom in spite of being repeatedly abandoning her
The challenge and conflicting emotions of having her mom be close to her after her daughter was born
What it’s been like for her to mother after not having a mother role model
The difference between the vulnerabilities we choose to share and those we must carry
How knowing someone’s story creates space for compassion in spaces where compassion might not otherwise exist
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