What day is this...?

From year to year I forget that participating in this conference is like entering The Twilight Zone...

I experience time distortion, occasional psychic bleed-through, the high of music or davvenen, the elevation of mind, the warmth of friendship.

It has been such a full day that I barely remember this morning.

I am so grateful for this wonderful quirky collection of seekers, finders, creators, experimenters, dancers, musicians, davveners.

And at this moment I am suddenly so exhausted that Mishka the cat yawning next to me is sending me straight up to bed.


After ordination

Each year I think the OHaLa conference, that wonderful gaggle of wild and wooly Jewish Renewal clergy, cannot get better---and each year it does.

Today, I came stumbling in late for a session I begged to lead: I had tripped and fallen, and getting back together took a bit of time. (Don't worry; all is well.) I found myself drawn to teaching things I had done many years ago---things we can do to bring the body present, to release some levels of tension, to inhabit ourselves. I am not entirely sure how it went over, but I enjoyed it.

If this level of unexpectedness keeps up, I will acquire a reputation for you-never-know-what-she-may-do.

The ordination ceremony was touching---and it was, as always, REAL.

That is what is so unique, I believe, about the Aleph ordinations: there is a real transmission of authority and power, for the sake of deep service to the soul of the world.

This was followed by a delightful dinner with friends (old and new), and a marvelous session of music led by Joey Weisenberg. I had heard about his work, but had not experienced it before.

Sheer delight.

Now, I am ready to leave the sleeping Mishka the Cat curled up by my right arm, and sneak off to go to sleep myself.



I know it is an hour into Sunday; but by me it is still Saturday night.

A good shabbat---more stimulating than restful, perhaps; but still beautiful.

It is always wonderful to see the chevrah---such a remarkable collection of people.

Tomorrow begins the conference proper, and I need to be there early.

My eye is healing slowly and well. I am continuing my friend Shelley's wise masking-tape-modification of a pair of reading glasses, so that my left eye is not exposed to the lights from the computer just yet.

Mishka is curled up contentedly beside the laptop.

I am heading up to bed.



It is the end of a very full day.

I am grateful for doctors, for friendships, for Thai food for lunch, for my housemate, for Mishka the cat and for the friend who came in from Philadelphia to make sure I healed well after the surgery. I learned a lot about my fear of losing competence and independence---insisted, stupidly, on doing whtever I could.

I can feel and see my eye improving.

I am listening to the wind, dozing unintentionally, greeting the visitor-for-the-conference, petting the cat...

I wish us all a good shabbos.


Blessings and thanks to all of you who have been keeping me in your prayers; it is working.

I am getting better slowly and steadily.

Shelley has been angelic, both in tremendous helpfulness and in patience with me.

I am now in that state of not-realizing-how-tired-I-am, in which whatever I hear is unintentionally transfigured into something else---for instance: a friend who was just teaching an intensive course mentioned what I heard as "the pillows of Islam" and "jelly beans".

(Actually said: "the pillars of Islam" and "angelic beings".)

That is a clear sign that although it is not yet even nine-thirty, it is time for me to go to bed.

(O, heaven! No face-cradle! I can sleep on my back!)

Sweet dreams, everybody...


I'm upright! What a relief.

Today I no longer had to be face-down. Last night I could sleep without trying to wrangle the face-cradle. (Yay!)

Mishka the cat is settled atop Zalman's favorite recliner.

My friend has been taking good care of me, and making sure I don't overdo.

Kind folk have been bringing food.

And I am beginning to contemplate the upcoming conference and the incoming travelers. It is such a gift to see old friends and colleagues, even through a metal eye-shield that makes me look like a pirate.

Good night.

A next day

I am convinced, now, that I will be able to function mostly normally fairly soon.

So now I can relax and allow my friend to help me as much as she wanted to.

Friends have also funtioned as food-angels, since i am not really up to cooking.

Today I was allowed to be upright. The face cradle (which reminds me of the stanchions sometimes used for miking goats) is off the table and off the bed.

("Oh frabjous day!

Calloo, callay

They chortled in their joy"

from "The Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll)

Late in the afternoon, we walked the small loop at Viele Lake. (Beautiful.)

We hung the birdfeeder a few days ago, and the birds are rediscovering it (after the squirrells.)

Grateful to my friend for help; grateful to folks who are bringing food while I am still not up to cooking; grateful for health insurance and a good doctor.

And for all the expressions of caring and support, and of friendship and healing prayer.



I was good part of the day.

Visitors, Indian food, wonderful cd's, excellent company, guardian angel who will not let me overdo do do...(reminding me to get off the laptop.)

Said guardian angel has insisted on sleeping upstairs in the chaise lest I trip in the night. (She sleeps soundly.)

Tonight is the last night I have to sleep face-down in the f---ing face cradle. (Awful.)

Threading food through the face cradle at the table is interesting too.

(Friend brought Indian food...Also chicken for tomorrow.)

Improving bit by bit. See doc Friday.

Meow for now.

Eve's dictating...

Journal entry by Eve Ilsen — 9 minutes ago

...because she has to look down with one eye and it's flickering. All sorts of apparatus to keep her face parallel to the floor. Will surely need a massage next week. The nursing personnel were wonderful, the doc was great, thank G-d for Shelley, grateful to Esther for to and from.

Thank you for all your good wishes & prayers.

For those contemplating bringing food, it's simple: Think vegetarian with an occasional fish and dairy.

Wishing you a good Shabbos in advance.

Next report G-d willing on Saturday night.

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Friends, I may not be on line for the few days after the eye surgery (tomorrow)...

Or maybe I will.

Possibly, my friend Shelley may write entries...

Or maybe not.

I received a visit this morning from the gentleman with The Equipment: a face-down chair, a face-down thingie for the dining room table, and another for my bed. I really will, by the end of a few days, have an intimate view of carpet, floor, dust-bunnies, friends' socks...

Many thanks for all your encouragement and prayers. It all helps!

Now I am going upstairs to set up the cd player near the massage table...maybe a wide-mouth Ball jar & lid near the bed...

Ay ay ay.

Many thanks for all the encouragement, prayers, suggestions.

Blessings and much appreciation for your presence.