Late,late, late

I am falling asleep, but did not want to enter shabbos without having noted:

a friend is visiting, and we went to see the Naropa production of The Vagina Monologues tonight.

They did an amazing job.

Then we came home and talked until 2 a.m., like girls.

I am absolutely ready to go upstairs, and cannot put whole sentences together without great effort.

I wish everybody a good sleep, a good shabbos, a good weekend...

Meow.

Wind

I am loving hearing the wind go through the the row of fir and spruce trees in back.

I know I am safe and cozy inside; but the wind out there can blow things around inside me anyway.

What is dislodged comes to settle in unfamiliar spots. Memories are uncovered and suddenly sitting there in plain sight, after having been in shadow.

The wind tonight has taken me to rural Alaska, where I was lucky to have spent almost a year and a half. I am remembering the first time I saw the Northern Lights. I thought someone at the party had spiked the punch with a psychedelic, until I realized what I was seeing: a miracle of Nature.

I was told that if I clapped and whistled, the Lights would dance; and it was so.

Then I float from there and then to here and now, watching Mishka the Cat groom herself on the desk next to the laptop, and think: another miracle of Nature, so ordinary and daily a ritual. Not to be taken for granted any more than the aurora borealis.

Remembering a few words snatched by my memory from a collection of poems called Earth Prayers:

"...my paw...

everything is holy..."

Good night.

Happens with no warning

A beautiful day, rabbit in the snow in the yard, creation of a good and hearty mushroom soup, a lovely visit with a friend over lunch at the beautiful Tea House, return to a welcoming cat and a homecoming housemate...

...and here it comes again: an intensity of missing my beloved, with whom I want to share the mundane delights of the day, and cannot. I can certainly tell friends about it. But it is different from snuggling next to a dear one and transmitting those delights. And perhaps sharing the purrs of a cat draped over adjacent laps.

Still, the tears do not obliterate the delights of the day, but add themselves into the mix; they are also a part of this day.

Good night.

Sunday Sunday

This was a day of catching up, of retrieving a lost necklace (a loved gift from Zalman) from the hardware store where it had dropped, of belatedly deconstructing the shabbos dining room table, of a welcome tea-visit from a friend bearing flowers and a book for belated birthday celebration. Mishka the cat, snuggled by the laptop in the morning then later on my lap in the other room. A long phone visit with a friend from Denver, punctuated by the quirkiest meows from her cat. Calls with family.

Grateful, grateful.

Missing my beloved.

Grateful nevetheless.

Good night.

Snow, snow, snow

How wonderful: snowing; cold. Perfect time to stay home, warm, with tea, leftover birthday cake, a cat and a wood stove.

Only I did have an appointment downtown, so I went, praying all the way.

There was supposed to have been a reading of one of our local authors at Boulder Book Store, but when I had parked the car and walked to the store, there was already a sign that the reading had been cancelled due to the weather. It has been rescheduled for May. (Some snow!)

I got safely back to the house, and comforted myself for the misssed reading with tea, leftover birthday cake, a bit of the newly-delivered birthday babka-gift sent from New York, and a fire in the wood stove.

Now and then we would sit, the two of us and the cats, watching the flames and sipping hot tea or cocoa, singing niggunim or talking, massaging each other's feet or just listening to the crackle of burning wood.

Good night.

February 5, 2019, and I am 70 years old!

This has been a beautiful day in very many ways---calls from friends old and new, the playfulness of Mishka the cat, beautiful weather, squirrels and rabbits in the back yard, making an apple cobbler, and ending with friends who came and brought dinner, warmth, cheer, a gift of my first ever jigsaw puzzle, and some splendid cake.

Mishka came out and politely introduced herself to all the guests, then curled up on Zalman's recliner and napped.

Best of all was being together with friends.

It is not the same as family, but is quite wonderful all on its own.

Blessings, blessings...

Erev Birthday

Today was one of those full-spectrum days---everything from playing with Mishka the Cat this morning through to writing this blog in the evening.

And what most touched my heart was this evening's shiva minyan for the member of our community who just died. We got to hear stories from her sisters about a woman who led an atypical life, and who faced death with open curiosity and sense of humor rather than fear.

(Meanwhile, I had approached this evening with my own trepidation, because I had never led a shiva minyan before. Thank goodness, rabbi Tirzah had given me the material she uses.)

Perhaps that was just right: that the family required a minyan, which pushed me to do something for the first time on the eve of my birthday.

Tomorrow I turn 70. I'm supposed to have acquired some wisdom.

I don't know about that.

But at least I still have some guts.

Good night.

A full-spectrum day

Our friend Eliana had a two-part funeral today.

First we gathered at the synagogue, and heard stories from her family members. I got a picture of someone full of life, and of opennes to the unknown. It seemed she did not cast her impending death in the light of tragedy, but, rather, approached it with calm and optimistic curiosity.

Later, at the graveyard, I was touched and comforted to see that she, like my beloved, had chosen not to have a casket.

*********

It was almost disorienting to go, then, this evening, down to Denver with two fellow-musicians, for a last rehearsal for next week's concert. I was suddenly some five decades younger, when I used to play---and sometimes perform---folk music. But really it was the playing part that I loved: listening, blending in, harmonizing, introducing a new musical idea, hopping onto someone else's musical idea; building that improvised musical creation where for a few moments we are all part of one musical organism.

Dontcha wish we could get Congress members to sing in chorus?

Of course, to do that, you actually have to listen to each other...

Good night.

Later than I thought...

Today was a sweet and slow shabbos. I appreciate this punctuation of time more and more. I spent time feeding the birds, playing with Mishka the cat, reading, just sitting quietly. Thankful for this beautiful world.

The laptop and I both had a rest from each other during shabbos, for which I am very grateful.

Tomorrow, the funeral of the neighbor and community member who died last week, z'l.

I am remembering all that my beloved used to say about harvesting our wisdom, as elders, and giving it into the world before we go. She gave us all the gift of seeing her great equanimity and sense of humor, facing her own death with what looked, at least to us on the outside, like lightness, curiosity and tranquility.

Blessings on this week...