Spencer has asked me this question more than once. As it is rhetorical, he is not expecting an answer. But I reply anyway.
“I believe in a God of magic and serendipity. Of coincidence. The master quilter pulling together disparate pieces and weaving something gorgeous,” I explain. “I don’t believe in a God who can love me.”
Spencer suggests I try leading with my heart instead of my head.
A few days later, I mention this to my meditation teacher, Paul.
“Oh she does love you,” Paul replies … continuing on to tell me, in the most loving way imaginable, that I have a habit of “getting in my own way.”
This is not news.
When I ask him what I can do about it, his answer is simple. Consistent. The same answer he has given me for nearly 15 years — the amount of time I have known him.
Meditate. Twice a day.
For a long time, I have sat only in the mornings.
“Try twice,” he says, reminding me that meditation is “plugging in to the source.”
I offer up a few reasons why I cannot, but they fall flat.
“Just do it.”
So I do.
I sit. I close my eyes. And very gently, I begin to say the mantra. Pleasurable, physical sensations wash over me in waves — as they often do when I meditate.
Twenty minutes pass quickly and I open my eyes refreshed, recommitted and wondering why I haven’t been doing this all along.
Less than an hour later I receive a donation to my Go Fund Me campaign, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain.” It is more than generous. A game changer. The donor asks to remain anonymous, listing the funds as coming from “The Kind and Generous Universe.” Because really, they do …
Is this the God of magic and serendipity and coincidence? Perhaps. Regardless, I’ve been meditating twice daily ever since …
I’m still $307 away from my fundraising goal. My campaign ends in 16 days — when I leave for Girona, to attend a writers retreat with the intention of manifesting blog into book deal, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain.”
Want to know more about”They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — How 52 Artist Dates healed my heart and landed me smack in the center of my own life. A post-divorce narrative offering the option of a happy ending, no partner required — and how to support it? Click here: https://www.gofundme.com/awanderingjewess
With gratitude for those who have supported my Go Fund Me campaign, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — a post-divorce narrative with an option for a happy ending, no partner required. And for those who have invited me into the intimate spaces of their homes, their families and their lives.
In putting together my manuscript, “They Don’t Eat Alone In Spain,” I’ve had to revisit every single Artist Date.
As I read, I noticed the tenor of the pieces changing over time … becoming lighter, more optimistic. And that the story coalesced. The trajectory to Madrid naturally unfolding through my Artist Dates.
I am delighted.
It was always that way in my head. But turns out, it is that way on paper (or screen) too. The story telling itself. “This leads to this leads to that.”
I find it is often that way with people too. Like Janet Horn.
I met her sister Caroline in Los Angeles, working a one-day chair massage job at Bonham and Butterfields auction house. When she discovered I lived in Oakland and not Los Angeles, she took my card and passed it (and me) on to her sister Joanne. Several years later, Joanne bequeathed me to Janet when I moved to Chicago. As if the universe was conspiring for us to meet all along.
Thank you Janet for your generous contribution to my “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” campaign. (And for allowing me to feel like the fourth Horn sister.)
Some days Facebook’s “On This Day” breaks my heart. Seeing photographs of my ex and me driving from Chicago to Seattle five years ago. And then driving back in the opposite direction with a dear friend exactly one year later. Gut-wrenching.
But other days, I am tickled and inspired seeing the kizmit, magic and synchronicity in my life.
Like today … when I was greeted with 30 photos of a dinner with my friends Melinda and Craig at Diver XO in Madrid, taken one year ago.
This photograph of me being fed a spoonful of cheese — one of more than a dozen courses at this three-star Michelin restaurant — has been a backdrop to my “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” campaign.
Today … less than an hour ago … I submitted my manuscript, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain,” to my mentor at the Rocaberti Writers Retreat I will be attending next month in Girona, Spain.
“My manuscript” … the words floor me.
I always imagined I’d write a book. I just didn’t know about what. Until I did. And then I only talked about it. Until I was pushed to do more.
Challenged by an email with just one word, “Interesting?” and a link to the retreat website. Coaxed by its call —
“This retreat is for you if…
*You’re working on a book/screenplay combination or have an idea for one.
*You have a book and want to turn it into a screenplay or vice-versa—or sell it directly to Hollywood.
*You’re unsure how to get your book/screenplay in front of agents and producers.
*You’re serious about completing your project and making your dream come true!”
Sometimes it takes a nudge to get from here to there. And a little assistance.
Friends, family and colleagues have helped me raise $2,725 to defray the costs of the retreat and travel. Among them, Allie Vernasco.
Thank you Allie, for your support — both financial and energetic! You know the power of “more than one,” better than most.
The first time I met Sierra Veenbass I was birthing a new career. Although I didn’t know it at the time.
I was working as a director in a technology public relations firm — and hating it. On a whim, I took a 100-hour massage course on weekends at the McKinnon Institute in Oakland, California.
Sierra was the first student to put her hands on me. I still remember lying face down on the table and feeling her fingertips massaging my scalp. “Nice opening,” I thought. “She has the touch.” (Quite a compliment as I had recently married my massage therapist.)
One-hundred hours later, I left my career in public relations.
But it would be several years before our paths crossed again … and when they did, Sierra was a student in a pre-natal massage class I was teaching.
Not long after, she came to my studio … and I had the honor and blessing to work with her through her first pregnancy.
(I think it broke both our hearts a little when I moved to Chicago and was not there for her second. )
It has been a joy to watch Sierra’s girls grow via Facebook. And a wonderful, full-circle surprise to receive her support for my own birthing — of a book, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — and a return to my work as a writer.
Muchas, muchas gracias, Mama Sierra!
Want to know more about “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — how 52 Artist Dates saved my soul after divorce and landed me smack in the middle of my own life — or how to contribute to my Go Fund Me campaign? Click here.
Muchas gracias to those who have supported my Go Fund Me campaign, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — a post-divorce narrative of how 52 Artist Dates healed my heart and pointed me in the direction of my dreams –- and my goal of manifesting blog into book deal. It is a joy to share three more of their stories and how they touched mine.
October 2015. Valencia.
I am enjoying my first solo holiday since moving to Madrid. A pre-birthday celebration.
I’ve rented a bike. Treated myself to a day at the beach — complete with lounge chair, umbrella, and a massage. And feasted on paella with the friend of a friend, and her family. (A real treat — as my air bnb host has informed me restaurants do not make fresh paella for one. Solo diners have to make do with a ration, cooked up earlier in the day — mostly for tourists who don’t know the difference. Remember … “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain.”)
It is my last evening here. I’m strolling the beautiful, winding streets when I hear … American! Not English, American.
My head spins around, as it does every time I hear my native “twang.” Except this time I am surprised by a familiar face.
It is Gail Mathis. We met just a few weeks earlier in Madrid. And now she is here, in Valencia.
And here, nearly a year later, supporting my “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” campaign.
Thank you, Gail! For your generous donation and for maintaining the connection of chance meetings and serendipity.
I regret I won’t see Gail when we both return to Spain this fall. Our itineraries don’t quite overlap. Plus, I’ll be at writers retreat — with the intention of manifesting a book deal for “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain.”
The Rocaberti Writers Retreat I will be attending this October in Girona, Spain is paid in full!!
Many thanks to Angie Hubbell for donating the EXACT amount needed to help me achieve this auspicious milestone.
Angie has been a co-creator in my life for as long as I have known her.
We finally met in 2007 (We’d shared a mutual friend and had heard about one another for close to 20 years.) when she hosted my then husband and I, visiting Chicago from California, in hopes of finding a home.
After two days of real estate”touring,” we agreed on a condo we wanted to call our own. Problem was, we weren’t sure if we could afford to.
I still don’t know what kind of voodoo mathematics Angie did … all I recall is her scratching down some numbers on a margarita napkin, and showing us we could.
That same weekend our mortgage broker went AWOL. Again, Angie swooped in with a solution — connecting us with a friend of hers who brokered the deal with speed, kindness and grace.
We lived in that house for four years. Rented it for a few more. And sold it last July — days before I moved to Spain. It was the last piece tying my ex and I to one another.
I left for Madrid less than a week later, truly unencumbered. Truly free to inhabit my life. And to discover “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain.”
I feel a bit like a political fundraiser penning a “Thanks for your donation … but there’s still work to do” email.
Yesterday I gleefully posted that the Writers Retreat I will be attending in Girona is now paid in full. What I failed to mention is I am still about $1,500 from my “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” campaign goal — as was made apparent when a friend called this morning and exclaimed, “You met your goal!” Aww … “Well, a milestone piece of it,” I responded. (Detailed cost breakdown here.)
… but there’s still work to do.
Isn’t there always?
I am a firm believer that each person we meet changes our world in some way — large or small. I also believe that, if we’re lucky, a few people change the way we live in the world.
Christine Frazita is one of those people.
I showed up in her San Francisco office in the mid 1990s, not long after parting ways with my previous psychotherapist — the one who had briefly dated my then boyfriend. And neglected to tell me about it.
Christine’s couch provided both a literal and metaphoric soft place to land. And while she was, and is, kind beyond my personal understanding or ability … she also pushed me to work hard to change the way I saw the world and myself in it.
I remember telling Christine about that then-boyfriend. How he had lived in Paris for a couple of years. How I dreamed of doing something similar, but for a variety of reasons, didn’t believe I could.
Twenty years later, I not only believed I could. I did!
Muchas, muchas gracias, Christine! For your contribution to my “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” campaign. And for your help in doing the heavy lifting that got me there.
Christine sent me this sculpture of the Hindu Goddess Durga as a wedding gift. She remembered my religious studies professor at university had mentioned a Goddess particularly appropriate for and inside of me — Durga, Goddess of Power and Strength.
Want to know more about “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — how 52 Artist Dates saved my soul after divorce and landed me smack in the middle of my own life — or how to contribute to my Go Fund Me campaign? Click here.
My commitment to the Artist Date began as a response to pain. To a man I affectionately referred to as the Southern Svengali and the short, sweet romance after my divorce that I couldn’t let go of. I sometimes forget that.
I forget because the weekly, solo play date as prescribed in the book The Artist’s Way, healed me from obsession I only hesitantly admitted.
I forget because two years of creative commitment, coupled with other work, allowed me to release him. Us. And my ideas about the way we should be in one another’s lives. (Which looks dramatically different than I had imagined. And while our contact can now best be described as sporadic, the connection remains strong … sweet and satisfying to both of us.)
I forget because it gently nudged me into becoming the kind of woman I dreamed of being. A woman engaged in life in interesting ways. Who does interesting things. Who has interesting conversations about more than relationships.
But today, I remember.
I remember as I find a hole in my schedule and watch my mind like a rubber band – snapping back to thoughts of the man I dated before I left for Madrid.
While I know there is no slipping back into one’s life as it once was, I had hoped we might explore dating again when I returned. But it hasn’t turned out that way. And in these quiet, alone moments, I find myself once again struggling with letting go. Of him. Us. And my ideas about the way we should be in one another’s lives.
And so it is grace when I hear the whisper that perhaps now is a good time to re-commit to my creative self again. That an infusion of new stimuli might once again quiet my mind and lead me back to the woman who has interesting conversations about more than relationships.
(While a year in Madrid seemed to have the makings of one grand, extended Artist Date, my days were filled with the stuff of life. All occurring in a language not my own. And Artist Dates became, unfortunately, sporadic.)
I peruse the movie guide — more concerned with time, location and the act of going than what will be projected on the screen – and choose a film.
I cut short a phone call. Say no to a text from a friend asking if I would like company. Both occurring after I’ve made the decision to go. The universe seeming to ask, “Are you sure?’
And I am.
I hop on my vintage 3-speed cruiser and pedal to the Music Box Theatre. Artist Date 1.2. (Officially, number 117 … renamed for congruence with my rededication to the practice and my return to Chicago.)
Grinning ear to ear, I purchase my ticket. Giddy to be with me.
This has always been the magic of the Artist’s Date. A turning inward. A return to myself.
Ironic, as the movie I have chosen – Life, Animated – is a documentary about Owen Suskind, a young man with autism and the tools he and his family use to pull him out from his personal world.
How Walt Disney movies become the lens and the lexicon for connection. The language for articulating what we all want. Friends. Romantic love. Work. A sense of purpose. And what we all feel from time to time, what Owen calls “the glop.” The inevitable pain when the things we want elude us.
We join him in watching scenes from Bambi on his first night alone in his independent living apartment – after his mother and father have left. And later, TheHunchback of Notre Dame when his girlfriend of three years ends their relationship.
Heartbreaking moments punctuated with joy and hope, most evident when Owen connects with his own passion and a sense of purpose. His “Disney Club” – where he and other adults with developmental disabilities view and discuss their favorite films. And experience an unscripted visit from Gilbert Godfrey, the voice of Iago from the movie Aladdin.
I sob witnessing their squeals of laughter, excitement and disbelief … as I am reminded that the universe is full of surprises. That it is always willing to conspire with us. And that our greatest joys often come packaged in a way dramatically different than we might imagine them.
That gorgeous moments of serendipity occur when we turn first turn inward – connecting with our tenderest truths – and then out – vulnerably sharing them. We allow the world to join our party. And sometimes even Gilbert Godfrey shows up.
I’m sitting in a big upholstered chair at The Book Cellar, a stack of children’s books in my lap. Tears streaming down my cheeks – red from the warmth inside.
There is a discussion panel about the Arab Spring just a few feet away from me. Every seat is filled – except for mine, tucked away at the end of the stacks. A couple of people are standing.
I’m supposed to be choosing a gift for my friend Clover’s yet-to-be-born baby. Her friends are throwing her a shower this weekend. And she and Andy have asked guests to bring a book for the baby’s library. I’m pretty sure I’ve chosen hers – Friends, by Eric Carle’s. The words are simple, the illustrations lush. I think about our friendship. That my wish for her child is to have a friendship like ours.
On the inside back cover is a photograph of Carle and his friend. They are three-years old. The month it is taken is written in German, by his mother. Carle never saw his friend again. “I often wonder what happened to him,” he writes.
I think about people leaving and having no say in the matter. Powerless. My adoption shit is all stirred up.
I am reading The Velveteen Rabbit. I sort of know the story – my friend Rachel used to reference it, talking about being real and having all the fur loved off of you. But I don’t think I ever actually read it. Or had it read to me. Until now.
“ ‘What is REAL?’ asked the Rabbit one day…’Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?’ “
“ ‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. (Named for his bald brown coat and missing hairs of his tail.) ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
Loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with…I let the words wash over me.
“ ‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.”
Yes, I whisper, to no one in particular.
“ ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ “
“ ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ ”
All at once. Wound up. That is my history – mostly. All in love. Insanely inside one another’s skin. Until now. I’ve been getting to know some new someones, bit by bit. It is new.
“ ‘It doesn’t happen all at once…You become. It takes a long time.’ “
“ ‘That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
So we don’t all become real?
Do I break easily? Because I cry easily. Because I hurt easily. I decide that it is not the same thing. Although pieces have certainly chipped off in transit. I am soft, at times ridiculously so, free of sharp edges. And despite my seemingly fragile nature, I do not have to be carefully kept.
“ ‘Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.
“…but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.’ ”
Yes. I think so.
Except for when I am not. Not Real. Twisting myself inside out to be who I think you want me to be so that you will love me. It is more infrequent now. Subtle. But it still happens. Awful.
The way I make myself small, without even knowing it, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by me. My desires. My needs. My emotions. I found myself doing it today. Unconscious. Until I wasn’t.
“How sick to be small and to sit by and wait until you can accept more of me,” I wrote in my notebook.
“The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him.”
Me too. But so far, these “uncomfortable things” have been the wellspring of change in my life.
I remember once saying to my girlfriend Julie, having again gained back all of the weight I had lost and then some, that if someone could wave a wand and make me a healthy weight, I was certain this time I would maintain it.
I doubt it.
The Rabbit does become Real. Not just to the child who plays with him, but to everyone. Real with real hind legs – no longer made from just a single piece of fabric – the kind that allow him to jump without the boy tossing him in the air.
And one day, when Autumn became Winter became Spring, the Rabbit saw the boy again – playing in the woods.
“ ‘Why, he looks just like my old Bunny that was lost when I had scarlet fever!’
But he never knew that it really was his own Bunny, come back to look at the child who had first helped him to be Real.”
Come back to look at the child…yes, sometimes they come back. High-school friends I never really knew. Birth parents. And old boyfriends – 18-plus years later – just to say they are sorry.
I pick up both books and take them to the register. I have one gift wrapped for Clover’s baby. The other I keep for me – the one with most of her hair loved off.
My friend Dina calls it “shaking the Coke bottle.”
That feeling when “nothing” is going on. When life doesn’t feel sexy. When I am going about my business doing what other people do. Grocery shopping. Paying bills. Taking out the trash. And, seemingly, not much else.
I don’t like it. Given my druthers, every day would be my birthday, New Years’ Eve and the 4th of July all wrapped into one. (Actually, I don’t really care for either of these holidays, but they speak to the notion of fireworks and something shiny, new.)
I want to make “something happen.” Anything. Ergo, Dina’s Coke bottle. I imagine it as glass, and filled with soda made from sugar, not corn syrup – before it was retro. My thumb covering the opening. Fingers wrapped around the body. Shaking violently and knowing when I let up a spray of sticky sweetness will shower me, and anyone in my midst.
Sounds great, actually. The sweet spray, that is. Trouble is, the mess. And the dreaded clean-up. Sticky residue.
Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way series, writes that “too much drama equals not enough work.”
There is no drama right now. Not enough work either. Correction, it is there. I just don’t seem to be doing it.
Entering billable time for the past month. A tedious and mundane task that will take me, at best, 45 minutes.
Submitting two pieces – already written – for publication. Their titles and the word “pitch,” scrawled on my white board months ago and never erased.
Tackling the looming job search.
What I am doing is writing. This is a good thing. (Consider that the word “write” is tattooed on my right, inner wrist. “Left” on the opposite.)
Except when it keeps me from taking small actions that chip away at what appear large and overwhelming tasks. When it keeps me from making those satisfying little check marks on my to-do list.
This morning, while journaling my morning pages, I gave words to the hidden fear that the Coke-bottle fantasy seeks to remedy, or at the least, cover up.
That I will run out of subject matter to write about. My blog will grow dry and fallow. My life will grow dry and fallow. I will grow dry and fallow.
There is no romance. No big, new job. No decadent travel in the works. There is “nothing” going on.
What I forget is, when I do what’s in front of me, the rest, somehow, seems to magically take care of itself. And often, sexy little gifts from the universe emerge – if I choose to see them that way.
Strangely, it is not a linear process. A plus B does not equal C.
It is like weight loss.
There are weeks when I do everything “right,” the scale registers a gain and I call it a liar. And weeks when I do everything “wrong.” It shows a loss. And I thank the weight-loss goddess and keep on moving. When this happens to my Weight Watchers members, I remind them that it is what they do most of the time that matters.
Or like marketing. My spiritual business teacher insisted that we students reach out to 20 people a day and speak our vision – what we do, what we offer, what we promise.
“I am a massage therapist and bodyworker. I help people fall in love with their bodies, take care of their bodies, and do things they never imagined possible.” Twenty times a day.
When I did this, clients came to me. Not a single one directly from the outreach. But from other places. The universe answering my call. Proof that energy begets energy.
Or, as my friend Teresa used to tell me, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Or, eventually something is going to happen.
So today, I will do what is in front of me. I will lead two Weight Watchers meetings. Meet for another informational interview. Go to a friend’s gallery opening.
I might even drop an email to my friend Steven about a trip to Italy we’ve been considering.
As I commit to this not-so-sexy stuff, the footwork, I feel my grip loosen – fully aware that the sticky, sweet will go flat. But that my life has not. Even if it sometimes feels that way.
Post Script. I met a milliner at tonight’s art opening. She shared that she used to make hats full-time, but that she had to get a “real job” when she got divorced. She found one, with great benefits and vacation. And that leaves her time and energy enough to continue to make hats.
“We’re looking to hire,” she offered. I smiled at the synchronicity. I told her our situations are strikingly similar, handed her my card, and asked if we might talk further.
Sexy little gift from the universe. And no clean up.
The side of my face is pressed to yours. I feel your beard against my cheek. The bone of your right pelvis against my own. Your leg gently, but firmly, straddling mine.
You dance tango. But we are not dancing tango.
No matter, it is the sexiest dance I’ve ever had in my life. I’m certain of it.
I have not danced like this in more years than I can count.
I am referring not only to the leg between mine. Or the man, 10 years my junior, to whom it belongs. But to the friends surrounding me. My farnow, the Kiwi word roughly translated as “family of choice.” Farnow I’ve known for 20 years. Farnow I’ve known for just 20 minutes.
We are dancing to Patti LaBelle. Donna Summer. The Cure. New Order. All of us. Like we did in Detroit. In San Francisco. When I was 20-something and it didn’t feel like “a thing” to stay up late to go dancing.
I am sweaty. Low to the ground. All hips and legs. I feel vital. Sexy. Alive.
“You are in a very good place,” my friend Steven tells me. He is right. I am.
But not for the reasons you think.
This isn’t a story about sex.
This is a story about recognizing another one of my teachers. About the universe tapping me on the shoulder, inquiring exactly where I am with the old idea I tossed into Lake Michigan – along with stale bread. the ritual of tashlich – on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, just a few weeks ago.
The day I muttered, “I let go of the idea that I am only good for sex.” Over and over, like a mantra. The notion being that I might be attractive to men for more reasons than this.
Prior to my marriage, I used my sexuality like a calling card. A year outside of its dissolution, I’m not sure what is. Or if I have one at all.
Earlier in the evening, we did a different sort of dance. Flirty. My ass to your ass. My back to your chest. Your leg between mine for the first time.
“Is this ok?” you ask. Yes, I nod. It is more than ok. I cannot stop grinning.
And then…you are sitting on a stool, no longer dancing. I am not quite sure what has happened. I think it has something to do with the girl sitting next to you, but I am not certain.
I do not want to interfere with anyone’s real life. I am on holiday. This flirtation is fun. But I do not want to hurt anyone. So I leave it be. I leave you be. Mostly.
I dance with Steven and Tim. Anja and Derek. Anne-Marie and Tom. Everyone but you. I ask G-d to help me to be to be present to the people who are with me and not to worry about those who are not.
Later, when you are alone, I apologize for possibly getting you into trouble with a girl. You insist I have not. But that you are certain I am one to get into trouble. You are teasing me.
I tell you it is incredibly sexy when you reach down between your legs to tap on the cajon – the box drum – which I saw you do the other night, playing music with my friend, Tim.
I notice you don’t drink. Neither do I. We talk about living life feeling everything. “EVERYTHING,” you say slowly, emphatically, with a knowing smile.
We talk about G-d. That yours is like Star Wars, “The Force.” That mine is magic, poetry and serendipity. The kind of stuff I couldn’t think up myself.
You ask me about my work. My Judaism. My writing. We talk about your music, the religion of your upbringing, and our friendship with Tim.
I tell you I enjoyed dancing with you. You smile and reply that you enjoyed talking with me. I am flummoxed. It is as if the universe is asking, “Remember your taslich mantra? The one about being attractive for other reasons…Are you paying attention?”
We dance that slow, sexy dance, and say goodbye. I kiss either of your cheeks, feeling your beard against me again. I ask if I will see you again on this trip. “G-d willing. Allah willing,” you say, and list a couple of other names for G-d, but I do not hear them. I am touched by your response.
And you are gone.
I go back to the floor and join my farnow and dance until DJ Gerry can play no more. I think about you whispering in my ear that I could surely tango. That I am a good dancer, but I must know this already.
I do not see you again. I am a little bit sad, but not at all surprised. It isn’t necessary. I have received your teaching.
I want to tell you this. And that my meeting you is a wink from the universe – is G-d. But I do not. It seems too intimate. Too much.
So I blog instead. My sober artistry. A kind of “love letter,” sans stamp. Destination: Dublin, Ireland. I sign it,
“Until ‘the force’ conspires for us to meet again. In gratitude, Lesley.”