Cat bath

---taking place here on the desk, by my right elbow.

Now she has curled up on her side dozing, snuggled up to my forearm lightly purring, one paw over her nose.

The day began with an appointment with the eye doctor. One eye received its monthly injection. Then, a surprise: the doc has a concern about the other eye, and thinks it might need a surgery.

I will get a second opinion as well, before deciding.

No getting around it: I am a sissy, and this scares me. The idea has not yet found a place in my mind to settle.

And isn't it funny how our minds work, because the very next thought is the shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner, and how to child-proof the house, and pray that the toddler is not inclined to try to taste the cat food (not kosher.) Then on to the purring cat herself, and my appreciation for her company. From there to the laundry waiting to be turned on (morning), and reminding myself to put the trash out early...

Anything but think about a surgical knife headed towards my eyeball. Even typing the words makes my teeth feel loose.


I wish us all a good shabbos, in which things sort themselves without our interference.

Good night.


It is quite wonderful how a big snowfall muffles the sharp sounds, and everything is soft for a while.

This afternoon I joined a group of elders for lunch; it has finally occurred to me that I will turn 70 in a few months, and I am beginning to sniff the air for the place that I belong...

These are very awake and interesting people, and I hope to stay in touch with them.

I am aware that I am swimming, in my mind, in uncharted waters now. That awareness has mostly been served up to me by my body, which is showing wear and tear---particularly by the diagnosis of wet macular degeneration. With treatment, one eye is beginning to improve; the other is not, so far.

I seem to be dealing with this new reality with equal parts practical optimism and denial.

Of course the medical treatments; and of course, prayer. (You are welcome to add yours, if you are so inclined: Chava Rochel bat Batsheva.) Then it also seems likely, to me, that nutrition would make a difference; so out go most simple carbs again.

I am remembering the relative grace with which Zalman faced what he called the inevitable diminishments. I watched him do this over the years...and I am now older than he was when we first got together.

Now that's food for thought!


Back to...¿normal?

Not quite...but heading there.

Mishka is curled up by my right arm and the laptop.

I spent some of the day taking care of practical things that were way overdue: new cartridge for the printer, bills, two leaking toilets (with the help of Netanel and new flaps,) mail, durable power of attorney signed and notarized, medical information (prescriptions, doses, etc.) up on the refrigerator door. The election is over, and it is time to put my house in order.

I put the seeds of the pumpkin that I carved for Hallowe'en on a paper plate on the back deck.

Today, Mishka got to watch the equivalent of cat TV as a tiny mouse began stocking up, seed by seed, for the weather to come, dragging each to the crack in the deck (mouse cupboard.)

I am falling asleep at the computer.

Good, blessed night...

The day before and the day after

It is the day after hearing of Bernie Glassman roshi's death. (The world is not the same.)

And it is the day before the election must finish. (The world will not be quite the same; better,

G-d willing.)

Mishka the cat curls beside me on the desk, and pillows her head on the edge of the laptop. For her, I think, the world is pretty much the same.

I am praying like crazy. I have learned that trying to choreograph details on G-d's behalf is not the best way to go about it. Who knows how the greater good can come about? I pray for the result: please, G-d, let things get better. Let there be a return to civility, to deep ethics and morality, to tolerance and generosity of mind and heart. Open our hearts to hear Your instructions.

Mishka the cat snuggles her head up to the edge of the laptop and partly beneath my arm, quietly purring.

If I consider the etymologist Fabre D'Olivet, who put forth the theory that Hebrew words are made of overlapping BI-letter roots, then praying and purring are related, and perhaps (¿purrhaps?) I should quit kvetching, and PURR to the Ribono shel olam more...

On that thought, I will close this laptop, switch gears, and go upstairs.

Hearing my beloved: "Hartzeleh, sorg sach nisht; s'iz doh a Gott in der velt..."

("My dear, don't worry; there is still a G-d in the world.")

Good night.