Staying connected to our souls as the Tuesday end of summer goal. With adventures displayed daily through the eye of photo shop on Instagram and Facebook, we travel guide through someone else’s life-at the moment. As the carpe diem magnet stares back at us from our refrigerator door we scroll and scroll some more. Bastante! Daily pictures of growing (up) vegetables on the terrace and strangers newly painted front door become as routine as the morning paper and orange juice. The flowers in Lady X’s garden or the smile on Mr. B’s grandchildren’s no visiting day faces have replaced “All My Children” and our voyeuristic interest in Erica’s choice for an eighth husband. So when one your grandchildren returns from camp, comes over for Legos and Lunch and says -” I love being here so much, it feels like I never left,” you take it as a defining moment to log out of anyone elses newly painted front door and walk through your own with your head high and your smile big. Grass greener seekers need not apply. Where’s the sign up list for tomorrow? Make someone else’s day.
Robert Redford turns 85
And Kim Cattrall 65
When Sex in the City
Becomes the “Way We Were”
We hit the ground running
It becomes one big blur
Get your mojo in gear
Make the most of the year
With rapid fire speed
No time to heed
Don’t give up your day job
Add Frolic and Fun
Age only matters if your not doing the most
So get out there each day, raise a glass with a toast.
With promise to hold our loved ones so dear
Giving it our best adding warmth and good cheer
Nothing trite about blessings to count
Let them all pile up and mount and mount
Together we’re Better without any doubt.
Let’s do it Thursday we are down for the count.
The room was comfortably full, not packed. The A/C offered a Brrr so any remnant of heat left over from Indian Summer was left outside our “four walls.”Rabbi Lookstein walked up to the podium with his particular cadence I’ve come to know through the years. I was appropriately clad in the “right” length skirt. And so the stage was set, the evening began.
I was at KJ Synagogue to hear Dr. Rabbi Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University speak. The write up about the evening caught my eye and the kids set me up to gain entrance. He spoke on Sin, Self Perception and the Art of Living.
The timing for me to hear this was propitious. Yes, G-d offers no coincidences. I walked away from the evening a little more fine tuned on some immediate issues that have been dealt to my extended family.
He touched on the distinction between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He detailed the difference in prayer between looking at and embracing your sins, your misgivings and your wrongdoings. He was light on the emphasis of sins necessarily being terrible shandas worthy of punishments and more on ways we have wronged others. He moved on to the meaning of wearing white on Yom Kippur and praying for the forgiveness of the past year’s behaviors that we feel we can better. He was straightforward, his words flowed with a pleasant melody and his sincerity offered comfort. We, as Jewish people are factually in the minority.
Our importance and roles in society however, quite the contrary. What was in the minority last night as well, were cells phones beeping, ringing or being accessed. We were there to listen, perhaps learn and be respectful of a very busy man sharing his knowledge and wisdom about keeping the peace pipe moving. L’dor V’dor.
I left the Rabbi’s sermon feeling comfortable, embraced and that my well being was cared about by a virtual stranger, an ordained man.
In the love your neighbor category and a look after your own way, I question why it is often easier to be more kind to strangers than intimates. As a divine order play out, we are placed in positions, in families and situations that because we are “just humans” will inevitably offer conflict and need for repair. So perhaps just for today, four days short of wearing a white outfit and maybe even sneakers why not look to our left, glance to our right and say we are sorry to an intimate we may have wronged. Perhaps if we begin to own our piece of behavior we can move on in a healthy way to the sounds of cell phones ringing and beeps of texts coming in. Amen!
Dear Ordainer of Weddings and Funerals. Would we still have tried as hard? Perhaps we would have given it more effort.
Please stand on that long line over there. That’s the one that says “Weddings and Funerals only.” You don’t see it? It’s the longest line in the room. The shared celebrations and the pool your sorrows with tones of mandatory invites and show ups.
The terms Kismet, Destiny and Beshart offer the concept of “the meant to be’s.” How much does luck or chance factor into who we go the distance with? We were raised believing our family of origin and blood relatives are the people who will be our first and forever friends. Does forever mean until the holiday meal is over or when someone moves off the block?
Early on we come to learn Holiday Anxiety can exist all year long .The dread of the “do we have to,” kicks in.
As social media has connected us to our past, we have become voyeurs into the lives of the people we met through our “chance” encounters. Reunions, cousin clubs and catch up events offer the second time around opportunities. If we try hard can we champion our first time around defeats and turn our once in awhiles, into the more oftens.
The trepidation of “will we be understood” and the “will they like us feelings” enter the room before we do. Phew, we got that over with is the relief emotion as we feel the rapprochement went really well.
So we learn back to the future isn’t always in the canasta cards. Equally, the surprise of the well blended double date shows up. We walk away, look at one another and think yes, a take two would be very nice.
On Thursday the pharmacist at Duane Reade referred to the type of flu shot he was administering to us as the “upper classman” strain. We thought what a gentle way of saying senior discounts accepted.
So as a member of that category we got the shot, took our senior day discount on our over the counter Nexium and went home and took a nap.
My take away is, we can dwell on missed opportunities and bemoan our fate about who has stayed and who is gone, or we can accept that our time with them was inscribed as exactly what it was “meant to be.” Make it a reach out to someone you love day. I just did.
Booster shots, children hanging from planes as their fate to evacuate Afghanistan, hospital beds being scarce for variant filled patients, explosive numbers of innocent people taking bullets rickshawed into their bedroom windows, all share the same headlines with, you are kidding me, Brittany Spears conservatorship dilemma. As we forego “guilty pleasures,” frills and over the top celebrations we pray for a return to our yesterday’s.
Dear G-d, this year as we zoom services while searching for our words, we will be praying on our knees. Our world is so far from a semblance of order we held on to. We have stored fears and doubled up anxiety levels. Just when we stopped cleaning the outside of our avocados and didn’t buy toilet paper every time we went in for a container of milk we found ourselves standing in a puddle with our new sneakers on. Doom and gloom, naysaying and negativity seeped into our most evolved and positive attitudes. So just for today Hashem, we will Evan Hansen it and “Step out, Step outta the sun
If you keep gettin burned
Step out, Step outta the sun
Because you’ve learned, because you’ve learned.” Let’s do it Saturday, buy the ticket, take the ride!
The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the self nor of the other; the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.
We are Wonder Women. We wonder how time flies so much more quickly nowadays. It seems as if watermelon, cantaloup filled with cottage cheese (shout out to Linda Dietz) iced coffee and new white Keds sneaker season lasted ad infinitum. Buying Brand new blue loose leaf folders, colored tabs to divide social studies from algebra and colorful pencil holders came less quickly. We looked forward to wearing our new first day Villager outfit that sported our circle pins. Did Ginsburgs and Wechslers sport alpacas and madras blouses second week in July? Who remembers new T.V. Shows being advertised in July? This summer June and July lasted 10 minutes. We sprinted activities we missed out on last year. Our dance cards were jam packed with make up dates. Come on over and we will order in offered a new excitement. Did the street lights go on so much later in the summer than they do now? Father Time slow down Dude we need to take a breath. With self help books adding chapters on “recalibrating the soul” after being indoors for a year plus we anxiously pulled out plugs and hit the ground running. Temple is on Labor Day this year. This abbreviated summer we took long walks, did yoga on the beach and our games of play led the way to let’s have a cocktail before 5:00, add a little Guacamole toast and sum it up with red velvet cupcakes. Got shisito peppers anyone?
As long term memory takes center stage we fondly recall the days of climbing monkey bars, wearing very tight white rubber bathing caps to ward off the chlorine effects when we swam and how they added peanut butter to the ring ding formula and called them funny bones. So as we find ourselves in the first week of August with air pods in place (finally) I quote- Calling out around the world are you ready for a brand new beat.? Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street. So just for today as we eat half of a well toasted raisin bagel with cream cheese we’ll sing along as Frankie Valli croons late December back in “63” and Betty Buckley reminds us to “let the memories live again.”
Hang around someone’s laughter
Your days will carry a bounty worth the price
Without much effort in the absence of
We only live once, unfortunately not twice.
As adventures roll out 10 for a dollar
Make them work the first time, it doesn’t take a scholar
Visit arcades, take pictures, ice skate galore.
Fill the days with penny candy
You can’t ask for more.
Go bowling, have parties, Dream Big, and sing songs
As life marches forward bring memories along
Pick daises, make wishes, play kick the can
A Grand Life worth living – Dancing as fast as you can!