The week balances itself around Wednesday.
The repairs of the house are continuing: the concrete of the repaired front walk is drying; I bought the necessary new low-flow toilet to replace the one irretrievably broken in mysterious circumstances.
(I can't get the two boxes out of the car; too heavy.)
A meeting happened here to discuss some teaching I will do in the coming season. I was forgiven the baking experiment that turned out to be inedible, and instead taken to Indian food lunch.
Bumped into a fellow SLC-graduate with whom it seems I have much in common that I had not known before. And saw others I know at the Farmer's Market. Donating money to the three or four familiar schnorrers fels like normal, almost familial, interaction.

Confession: I did not watch the debate tonight. I will listen to the reviews on NPR tomorrow.
Sweet dreams.

Everything changes

yet again!

The (relative) chaos attending the house repairs evidently alarmed Mishka.
She disappeared.
I looked everywhere, I called, I set out an early dinner.
No Mishka.
I put a notice out on our neighborhood list serve.

I finally looked beneath the bed in the guest room...and saw two eyes looking back at me from the dark. And heaved a sigh of relief.
It is amazing what heart-space these little creatures occupy. I thought I was rescuing her, when her person died. But really, her need for a certain stability (breakfast! dinner! clean litter! lap! meow!)
is rescuing me.

She is now curled up on my desk beside the laptop, one paw on the edge of the keyboard.\

She types.
If anyone cares to offer an interpretation, by all means put it in Comments.

Good night; meow.

Todo Cambia

The dear folks who can repair house things came today.
Everything's a wreck: drop cloths inside; boards over drying cement outside.
Furniture in unaccustomed places.
Mishka the cat has been taking refuge in the few undisturbed pieces of furniture, and on my desk beside the laptop.

As I am reading of fundamental changes in friends' lives, I discover that the mother of my old friend, with whom I stayed in Philadelphia, went suddenly from enjoying her new place in an excellent elder-residence, to having suffered, perhaps, a stroke. Her husband died very recently, z'l, and she may wish to follow.

I understand that wish.
I'm still here.
And still, some days, I feel that wish.

Not today.
Today, I sought out Mercedes Sosa on youtube, singing "Todo Cambia"---everything changes.
The song will accompany me upstairs to bed.
Good night.


Journal entry by Eve Ilsen — 3 minutes ago

Good heavens, much of what I wrote last night never made it onto CaringBridge or here: I got interrupted in the middle, lost track and failed to send. My apologies.
I think it may be the first time I have missed a night that was not a Jewish holiday.

It was a quiet and peaceful shabbos: a visit from a friend and his new bride; another friend here for lunch. Sprinkles of rain on the skylights, then sun. Mishka staying close, on my lap or by my side.
Today was the beginning of re-starting, of catching up, groceries, laundry.
I am anticipating a full, rich week---meetings, planning, cleaning up.
I am preparing to fly into Oakland at the end of the week to join the reunion of the Aquarian Minyan---the place where I first met Zalman way back in the 1970's, and first experienced Jewish practice that was intense, deeply spiritual, celebrative and open-minded. (Yes! All that together! No wonder I was impressed.) It was a gathering of what Zalman called "the wild and wooly Jews"---which was true at the time in any number of ways.
Then years later we met again at the Jerusalem home of my teacher Mme. Colette, z'l...but that is another story.

Good night.


I just fell asleep at the computer.
Must've caught the vibs from Mishka, who is snoring-purring beside my right hand.

I had made a date before this trip to visit a friend up in Gold Hill this afternoon---a real pleasure; another world. I then dropped in on another couple, also friends in Gold Hill, for an unxpectd treat of a visit. And driving down is always so beautiful.
Then---coming home to an appreciated house guest and a purring cat.

I hope to waken in time to get to morning minyan tomorrow. This might be a challenge: evidently both battery alarms were going off twice a day, and housemate came and caused them to cease and desist. Now I don't know where they are.
I guess if I'm meant to get to minyan, I will...

G'night; and a purr from Mishka.


I just re-read last night's entry, and it sounded as if I were saying "my beloved, Mishka the cat."
Oops; shoulda put a semicolon...
(She is currently curled up on the desk by my right arm.)

I left my friend's house at 6 a.m., and she angelically led me, in her car, to the entrance of rt. 95 south towards Philadelphia International Airport.  
A friend picked me up at the Boulder bus terminal, and I have been home catching up on mail, picked up the repaired car, went to the market, etc.
I have rediscovered that less sleep means less mind, and will say good night now.

On the eve of leaving

I had an unexpected adventure this morning when I discovered that I had not remembered my departure day the same way my airline had.  On the other hand, my airline always sends a notice and a printable boarding pass, which they had failed to do.  A telephone and the right people at SWA rescued me; along with the exact right words to say, written out by my friend and hostess.

Then two wonderul events:
loading and moving my friend's large collection of the impressive paintings she had done over the years from her parents' unoccupied house to her own home; and a visit/walk/dinner together with her and my friend Shelley.

Rich, fulfilling.
And grateful to be going home tomorrow, to friends, mountains, the house where I lived with my beloved, Mishka the cat...
Good night.


It is a great gift to visit with an old friend for long enough for the layers of stories, from past to intensely present, to unfold.
Also a gift to rediscover the city of my origin anew:  both of us have changed.  A lot.
And a gift to pay a longer visit to the cousin with whom I have often stayed.  Staying there is not a possibility now:  the guest room hosts a full-time helper.  But we did have a lovely, long  and leisurely visit.
Later, I rediscovered the benefits of not having a smart phone with access to lyft or uber:  I walked all through downtown to get from my friend's house to the restaurant for dinner with my cousins; at least a mile and a half.
And then this evening exchanging deeper layers of stories, history, memories.
This is and is not the city I grew up in.
I am and am not the one who used to live here.

Good night.

After shabbos, in Philadelphia

It has been an unusually rich day---visiting with cousins:  seeing my wonderful cousin with whom I often stayed while in Philly, along with my cousin-the-lawyer and her son, my contemporary; and a cousin who now also lives downtown, and also worked as a psychologist.
The other rare treat is visiting with the friend with whom I am staying; we've known each other since i was twleve years old, and have seen each other through all sorts of things.  (Her:  marriages, divorces and kids; me, travels, living in different countries, and marriage relatively late.)
She lives on a short, winding and very narrow street.  In the short time I have been here, I have seen that this is truly a neighborhood.  It is richly varied, and people actually know and talk to one another.

It is taking me time to get used to City; and I am finding it interesting.
Navigating is not as easy as it once was:  the patterns of the city have changed, and I so have I.  
Still---I am liking the great variety.

We have stayed up talking until quite late, and I've used up all my words.
Good night; good week.