Monthly Archives: April 2011

Freedom

9:01 pm

Passover is my favorite holiday.  I don’t know how it started.  When I was a little girl in Russia, we were not allowed to celebrate Jewish holidays.  My dad used to get Matzah secretly and hide it up on top of the closet in preparation of our secret celebration.  I would crawl up there when no one was around and eat little unnoticeable pieces.  I loved it.  I loved all the Passover foods.

I learned more about passover later in life.  I learned about Moses.  I cannot say that the story resonates with me as much as the matzoh ball soup and the gefilte fish.  One thing stays resonant.  I am reminded of the essence, freedom and humility.  The rebirth of spring time.  It is the perfect time to celebrate.

My friend told me that she did not think she would ever get married because she could not see herself loosing her freedom.

In twelfth grade my history teacher Mr. Marks pointed out that there is a “freedom to” and “freedom from”.  Freedom from hunger, for example, freedom to speak your mind.  I also did not want to lose my freedom.  Being single I had freedom from everyone, I had freedom to do what ever I wanted, but I did not have the freedom to have a family of my own.  I felt less free than I do now.  I wanted the freedom to be a mother and a wife and perhaps a grandma.  The freedom to outweighed the freedom from.

Freedom takes on different meanings at each stage of life.  It is always relevant.

I always hear people after a breakup saying, “I feel free to be myself now.”  It is a reminder for me each time, to be my free self … now.

9:34 pm

sorry for the video, I had to do it!

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Jesh

My friend Jess got married last night.  The build up has started in October when Jess and Josh got engaged. The countdown to the greatest party of the year for us friends.

I put the invitation on my fridge.  I alerted my nanny.  My parents came to sleep over so that my husband and I could sleep in the next morning.  The wedding started at 5pm.  Everyone was ready for the celebration.

Somewhere around the 12 am, I started to feel tired.  I saw some people were slowly disappearing. When I was getting married, I heard that you not supposed to say goodbye to the bride and groom when you are leaving their wedding, because to them it will feel like the party is over and they don’t want it to be over.

When half the people left, I turned to my husband and said.  “It is just starting.”

The typical American wedding is five hours long.  Long enough for a cocktail party, ceremony, some toasts, drinks, food, light dancing and desert.  That is what I call a boring wedding.   A part of me would rather tuck myself into bed and get an early start on my day.  But the other part was saying, some things just happen once.  To have fun at a wedding in Jewish tradition is a mitzvah, a good deed.  You are supposed to entertain the couple.  During the wedding, the couple takes on the role of a king and a queen.  Everyone is there for the purpose of their fun and joy.

I love this idea.  Ever since I learned this concept, I adopted it.  I remember at my own wedding.  I was thankful to those friends who stayed up for the after party.  It was just few of us dancing in the back tent to a little stereo.  In my mind, that is still my favorite part of the night.  That is when it started for me.  We used the play list I made on my iPod.  We went skinny dipping and we did not go to sleep until 4 am.  It was not the planned party, it was something that erupted out of the joy of those who wanted to celebrate.  I don’t know what the food tasted like at my wedding but I remember the feel of that pool. I remember all the people who stayed up with us that night and jumped up and down in a sweaty circle throbbing with the moment.

Last night was the same.  The ones who saw the importance of the job we had, stayed.  To party hard not just for ourselves but for the queen and the king.  They worry about the flowers and the minutia but the only thing that the bride and groom want, is the best party… ever.

For us, the wedding lasted 10 and a half hours.  I could not walk anymore.  We danced wildly most of that time.

Around 1am, Jess said, “I feel like it is just starting.”

I don’t want to be grumpy

9:10 pm

I tried to nap today but all the writing was looping in my head.  The untold stories.  My writing teacher said today that if you don’t write for three days in a row, you will get grumpy and start attacking your husband.  You need to do something creative.  I had an inkling about this phenomenon so it was good to hear her confirm my theory.

I am only happy when I live out of inspiration.  Inspiration for life and its infinite capacity is the source of it.  Expressing this in some way is my purpose.  Expressing it well feels intoxicating.  My theory is that it is happening with everyone.  We are created equally, believe it.  We are creators by nature.  If we are left restless, we become destroyers by nature.

I saw this played out in Russia, when I was a young girl.  I left before Communism ended so I only know it that way.  People stripped of creativity and whipped into fearful submission.  There are good memories but most of all I remember the angry faces.  I am reminded of them when I go to Brighton Beach or Little Odessa of Brooklyn.  I love the Russian food but not the mean clerk who sells it to me.  They think that being rude is having a sense of humor and if I don’t get it, I am the dumb American who smiles too much for false reasons.  Even in light of their new freedom, they have been so beaten up that they come here without abandoning their old mentalities.  Their mentality is survival.  Survival, if they have to lie, cheat or steal.  Survival if they have to work their whole lives in a job they hate.  Survival because they were taught that they were not special, but mediocre.  There are only a few special and gifted.  These are divine and if you are one, you would know it.  Otherwise, you should keep your thoughts and ideas to yourself because they have all been said and better said than you can say it.

They took the “we are created equally” part and flipped it.  Instead of meaning we are absolutely unique and special in our equality, all capable of greatness.   They translated for us into, we are absolutely conventional and mundane.  It is easier to rule “the masses” if the masses have no face of their own.

I felt this way most of my life.  Now I know that if I am not growing, I am shrinking.  If I am shrinking, I resent the world for it.  Because at the end it does boil down to self-love.  Love thy neighbor the way you love thy self.  For me, the saying would be more useful if it said love yourself the way you love thy neighbor.   The prior assumes an inherent self-love.  I am pretty sure Jesus did not want us to tell our neighbors that they need to lose weight or work on themselves harder.

9:49pm

 

The Gut

2:55 pm
I hate to be repetitive but life seems to repeat itself.  Until I learn a certain lesson, and even then, I get reminders.  Sometimes I am allowed to pass through the  gates into the next repetitive lesson.  I thought that ones my career is figured out, I would transcend into a new state of being.  A realm where I am happy all the time, frolicking to work.  I would get there and make shiny jewelry that everyone loves.

Since I started making the jewelry seven years ago, my life is filled with positive affirmations from the outside world.  “You are so talented, I love your jewelry, it is the only jewelry I wear, you are so creative, how do you think of your designs.”  I smile and I am truly thankful for the gifts.  I love all the pieces that I make.  When I see people wear them, I am in heaven.  On top of it, I have two greatest helpers with my task.  What more can a girl ask for.

Apparently more.  I bumped into a friend of mine, who is a musician.  Since I’ve known him, I was amazed at his talent.  His ability to perform on stage with ease and humor.  His music inspired me.  I bought the cd and listened to it at home, I knew the songs.  When we started talking he told me that he is rethinking all his music stuff.  He told me that he did not think he had real talent.  His instrument came very hard for him, he practiced a lot.  I told him that everyone has to practice.  There is no such thing as just talent, it is only hard work that makes a talent into a pro.

We had a gut calling in life and we answered the call.  I responded to jewelry and he responded to music.  After exploring our gut, we found that the gut has another gut.  The gut of the gut, as he said that day.  We laughed.  I agree.  Lost in the gut of my gut and trying to find the gut of all guts.  There is no gut, it is just one long tube.

Just write, she said.  Read the last paragraph and write more.  You can have things come up but not things like procrastination.  No avoiding it.  Why would I avoid the thing I love the most.  I gave up on improv when it got hard.  I could not sleep anymore.  I feared the shows.  I lost my edge.  I was told I had talent but I did not work for it.  I was too nervous and I gave up.  I loved the classes, the learning and the laughing, but the stress of getting in front of people with no script was too much.  Now I get to improv and edit, it seems right but it is not funny.  If I was at a bar reading this, maybe you would laugh.  It is after all the comedy of my life.

Do not end it for people.  Do not wrap it up into a story with a moral.

The Prophet

I love eaves droppling.  I was walking with my son in a stroller, a friend with a baby and my favorite mother-in-law with her boyfriend behind me.  A woman on the phone at full loud volume said, ” Those fucking bitchy park slope bitches have their nose up their ass.”  Maybe out of someone else’s mouth, we would cringe.  She had the audacity to say it in front of the children too.  But there was something so light about her chubby spirit that we all laughed.  What she said was heartfelt and I agree, there are so many Park slope bitches with their noses up the their ass.

I wanted to say, “Right on sister!”   I think some Park slope bitch offended her friend and she wanted to comfort her with her humor.  I did not even mind the cursing in this context.  Maybe you have noticed, I am experimenting with light cursing myself.

I want to be a Prophet.  I think about them a lot.  Can you imagine a parent coming into a tent and saying, “Dear wife, I have to go up the mountain and sacrifice our only son to God.”  Everyone would think this guy has lost it.  Well, that is what our Patriarch, Abraham announced one day to his wife.

A prophet’s  life is a radical one.  Making critical calls usually that no one likes to hear.  I like people who say things that other’s don’t like to hear.  Only when those things are true, of course.  I used to hate doing it.  My friends used to come to me for advice or let me rephrase, my friends told me their life stories and I gave advice.  My advice was usually, “Take the bull the horns, speak up!”  I prepared my friends to carefully compose themselves so that their message comes across loud and clear without the emotional baggage of accusation and guilt.  “Be calm, be strong.”

In my own life, I do not do that.  I get upset and cry in my bed.  I get angry and blurt something mean out in return.  I jump into combat before I my mind even registers what wound triggered the pain.

But there are those glorious moments.  The prophet within me, speaking god’s words. “Let there be light, and there is.”