March 29, 2010

On this First Night of Passover, 2010

How could I not dream of being in my paternal grandmother's kitchen today. The roasting, cooking, and making would be intense. My grandmother Janka, as grand maestro conducting her daughter Rozsa, and assorted sisters and their daughters. Easily six, maybe more in her kitchen, working to create a masterpiece meal. The chopping, slicing, paring, sorting and washing, taking out and putting away, placement, preparation, the small, significant decisions of each step, repeated over a lifetime which happen automatically, precisely, exactly, with such total assurance, conviction, that the act of the decision and the carrying it to completion is so ingrained, repeated thousands of times in a lifetime, that knowing how much salt to add, where to make the cut, the slice, knife skill, the apples, honey, raisins, the exact blend for Charoset, the color of the onions, the smell which tells how it tastes, matzo balls able to float in soup, the stirring to the right consistency, the mixing, knowing when it's done, exactly ready, timing, timing, hot staying hot, timing, all becomes part of who we are, what we do, how we make things happen, how we create. The thousands of unconscious decisions made necessary for creating the masterpiece meal. My grandmother Janka orchestrating.

This meal which is served at the long table, which is dressed in crisp, clean linen, with the finest china, crystal and silver as beautiful buttons and sparkling ornaments to her pressed linen dress. Wine, matzo, food telling our story sprung from slavery leaving captivity knowing again freedom, tasting sweet, bitter, salt. The familiarity and easiness of family, of Csalad, Mishpacha, relatives. Dressed finely as the table. Happy to be together. Grateful for this yearly time to hear our story, share our story, tell our story. We taste together, eat and drink together, enjoy together, laugh together, speak and share together. Eating the masterpiece orchestrated by my grandmother.

This meal made year after year, passed down mother to daughter, father to son, generation one Jew to the next, each partaking of Tradition, Haggadah, Knowledge of Liberation, Divine Intervention, Compassion, Awareness of Misfortune, Gratitude for Freedom. Gratitude for Life. Sharing Awareness, Happiness, Hope.

My grandmother at this table, before Hitler, before losing husband, son, sisters, brother, nieces, nephews, before the Ghetto, before needless death, before mass insanity, mass insanity, war, before leaving all she knew, before her long, deep depression. My grandmother vital, alive, passionate, sure, knowing, supremely capable.

My grandmother who I never knew.

March 27, 2010

Alice in Wonderland - The Movie

Alice becomes the Heroine of her Life. As we are all charged with becoming. She uses her vivid and enlightened dream world to allow her to shape who she is becoming. And she trusts what her dream world shapes as her essence. She trusts the blossoming of her Self Knowledge, the Shape of her Self, defined, clear, direct, powerful, aware of her Strength.
Alice's tale is the classic tale of The Hero, but told from a purely Female perspective. The animals manifest the Divine Feminine, all of the protagonists are female, the story is told with only one man whose Soul is revealed, and he is a Mad Hatter. The other men are either powerless, or allies of Alice. Alice slays the vicious Jabberwock, the Red Queen's Negative Fury. The White Queen is able to not violate her vow of non-violence. She banishes, does not kill, her sister Red Queen's negativity. Alice is delivered back to Her Life to extend the Power, the Clarity, the Direction given and taken by Her Dream State, by The Divine.

We are all charged with the same task. To trust in our voice, our knowing, our strength, our power, our purpose. To trust our manifestation of Divinity which is our Selves.

March 18, 2010

Being Held

When was the last time you were held,
not sexually,
just held, lovingly.

Simple human touch, but more
than a hand on yours,
or on your shoulder; rather
the fullness of an other's body holding
yours.

The pureness of contact, just holding
and feeling being held. Releasing into
the pureness of being held, becoming
vulnerable. Becoming open.
Letting yourself be held.

When last did the shower of oxytocin and endorphins
cascade down your being releasing in you
the huge, pure sigh of release, letting go.
Pure relaxation.

I would love to give this to you.

March 08, 2010

I Will Leave You Signs

You told me, indirectly of course, you told me
when we first met.
You told me you wanted Signs.
Leave Me Signs. You shouted, ever so softly,
I could not hear until now.

Could I comprehend, could I truly understand
the sheer complexity, depth, power,
uniqueness of you.

Would I ever comprehend, would I ever truly understand
the uniqueness of you.

One foot rooted firmly in the distant past of parents'
pain, agony, horrific, inhuman events.
Never forget, become very religious, almost a Rabbi,
carry the sacred traditions, teaching, learning,
lighting candles, blessings, prayers,
always Faith, always Love of God.

One foot in the present, always the rebel,
always surprising, even yourself, with new places,
travel, movies, books, events, new friends,
open to growth, open to Joy.

Always wishing to capture the exact word, phrase,
expression of your always active, always critical mind,
on paper.
Fascination with words, plants, people, earth,
soil for your ever fertile mind, planting, growing,
knowing the patience of cycles.
Your cycles of darkness and despair, the times
your soul buried deep in words, deep in pain,
buried in the dark season of little winter light,
nourished with weekly Sabbath and Torah, tradition,
candles, bread, prayer, Faith.
Knowing the growing light brings new birth.

I will leave you signs of my fascination with you,
of my loving to be around you,
of my loving to talk with you,
of my loving how you listen and comprehend,
seem to want to understand me.

I will leave you signs of my desire to bask in the complexity,
depth, power and uniqueness of you.
One foot rooted firmly in the distant past,
the ghosts of pain, suffering of souls, unimaginable horror;
the other carrying you to a future of quiet rebellion, surprise,
Joy in each and every cell of your being.

I leave you this sign of my desire to want to understand you.

March 06, 2010

Maya Angelou and Black Women of her Age

I was explaining to my grand nephew, Alex, who I love so very dearly, that he has exceptionally long fingers because his great grandfather had very long fingers, as are mine. And I told him that his great grandfather was my father; his mother's grandfather.
As I spoke these words, I realized for the first time, the real meaning of the very short distance in time between a great grandson and his great grandfather. It hit me, this incredibly short span of years, and here I was bridging the gap. It hit me square in the heart. This 12 year old was talking to me, his grand aunt who is his grandmother's age, and our father is this beautiful boy's great grandfather.

Then I remembered hearing on NPR, a true story about an embroidered pillow case being donated to the soon to be National Museum of African American History and Culture. This story struck my heart, I cried hearing it; its poignancy has stayed with me. For days now I've been thinking about Black women of Maya Angelou's age. Their great grandmothers would have been slaves.

A young slave hastily embroidered a pillowcase, to give to her young daughter, telling her that she will always be near her, she is precious to her, she will always love her. She will always love her. She knew she was being sold the next morning, and would never see her beloved daughter again. The pillow case was the only way she could be sure her daughter would know she was loved, she had a mother who loved her, who would always love her.

This story has stayed in my heart for days now, and makes me shudder at the sheer dread, fear, pain, heart and soul pain, earthshaking pain, howling pain, unbearable pain that the great grandmothers of women of Maya Angelou's age went through. Maya and Black Women, African American Women of her age are so very close to a sort of pain, a societal brutality and callousness that we may never appreciate. A ruthless disruption of bonding, the dear human need for continuity, love, bonding. Such ruthless disruption made normal. We may never know the depth of the scaring of lives and souls, as close as a great grandmother.

March 03, 2010

Lovers of Love

The Lovers of God are just helpless Lovers of Love. Big weepy saps, open to their hearts and souls, open to their hearts and souls being open. Being open, honest, having integrity, revealing one's heart. Rumi and Kabir revel in Divine Love, romp in the bed of the Divine, make love to the Divine. (As Keith Jarrett makes love to his piano....) The Lovers of God have intimate talks with Goddess and thank Her often minute by minute for Her blessings, for Life, for Her Love.