[The Shabbat Edition 002]

Once again, I say… Hallelujah, it’s Shabbat. If this is the only day I ever continue looking forward to, it must mean I need a lot more adventure in my life.

A Small Synopsis 

-Once again, this past weekend was spent with CL cast. We had sold out shows at the CH. Tech on Saturday and strike on Sunday was a little chaotic, and I completely missed GP’s Pride Festival set up inside the Casino (on Sun), which was a real major bummer. 

-After walking around GP and realizing I missed everything, I headed on up north to TBI for the Purim Spiel rehearsal. I wrote about that a few entries back.

-On Saturday, I received my new beautiful hamsa necklace. Picture is on my Insta. 

-On Monday, my writer’s group decided on a new name. We have a website, but I need to complete it, and make the logo. We also have a new time (Monday evenings instead of Sundays now). We still need permanent place to have meetings… and we’re still sticking with our jazz theme to be sometime in April. After that, anything goes. 

-There’s a meeting supposed to happen next week that might alter everything in my life. I’m kinda hoping what I think will happen will happen. Like, really pushing the Universe to let it happen, because otherwise, I’d stay stuck forever and hate it and I’m owning up to that (key words: need adventure, want to put on gypsy running shoes). I need a little shove. Not little, huuuuuuuuge. And, can I mention how done I am with meetings? I’m literally burnt to the crisp, like that piece of bacon I finally never ever have to eat again…..hallelujah for that. 

-I added 7 new (get to know me deeply) facts to my jewishmaeby.com/meetjewishmaeby page. You should go read it if you haven’t!

-I apparently don’t have anything else to add, because I’m a) super boring and b) can’t even remember (yet again) what happened this week…I have to rely on notes and pictures now! 

Lessons Learned 

I realized that I can’t learn Hebrew (for my Intro to Judaism class) by sitting down and looking at it, because I know I’m pronouncing it wrong in my head. It’s weird how my ways of learning things have changed. I used to be all-book, but now I have to have song, or sound, or even by experience. I need to experience Hebrew, and I’m not quite sure how to take care of that. 

Events / Special Moments 

I went to see Leslea Newman at Temple Beth El on Valentine’s Day! She was delightful and I very much enjoyed listening to her read from her books, talk a little bit about herself, her coming out, what happened within her and her family’s relationship at that time, and how many ceremonies she and her wife had to make their relationship legit. I think it’s so beautiful. You know, she hit a point about being different when you’re Jewish, and keeping to that factor when you add in being Lesbian as well. All of my life I had been different than everyone else, but now that I’m leaning towards Judaism and following that path, I feel like I belong—and I actually fit in—somewhere. But this world is completely new to me, so having the memories like everyone else I don’t, but I recognize a whole lot that I was never exposed to… everything’s so strange! I also won’t say more than I need to, but Judaism also opened up a whole other chapter that was either deeply embedded inside me, that was possibly hidden by myself as a child/teen, or something….and that’s worth keeping to and exploring one day. One thing, one step at a time. 

So, SHE DID read A Letter to Harvey Milk. Her version (the original) is in 8 parts over about 25 pages. I could see and hear the musical in my head as she was reading. I got so teary eyed through most of it. I’m sitting there.. not being able to see, my nose just running, trying to sniffle lightly, telling myself… don’t cry, YOU HAVE GLITTER ON, you knew you would cry, WHY DID YOU PUT GLITTER ON YOUR EYES? 

She had so many Yiddish words in her work, and so much Jewishness it made my heart soar. (That part duh because she is Jewish.) She talked about family moments and Shabbos and symbolism and all of the things and I’m like.. I know what that is, or…and I’m sitting there like, yep, I really found my thing that I am whole heartedly embracing and loving every minute of it. And also sitting there thinking… how in the world is everything so familiar when none of my blood family are Jewish. HOW DOES ALL OF THIS MAKE SENSE? It goes back to souls again…. then, flips back to real life…..how can I have these moments that she is speaking of??!!! I want those moments! I want those memories! Do I have to live my memories through future characters of fictional novels I might write one day? 

I had a thought while sitting there though: I need to actually write a poetry, prose, and short story book about my journey….Something real, something concise, along with my Jewish based art and sell them. I need to thread the weeds of past hints of Judaism to the present where I’m finding out everything is coming full circle. I think that’s where my future is, and how I can actually help those, maybe even inspire them to want to come to Judaism one day. Or, just in general… want to tell their story—raw—and not hide their truths behind a wall when stripped bare. 

After it was over, we all went to another room for chitchat and to purchase books. I bought two books (A Letter to Harvey Milk + poetry book, Lovely) and Leslea signed them for me. She said, “It’s always nice to see someone buying a poetry book.” I said, “I love poetry! I write it!” She said to me—as I walked away—“Keep on writing poetry!” I will, and thank you Leslea, you will probably never know, but this experience tonight will be written as part of my journey towards conversion. Yet another step towards knowing I’m making the right decision. 

Random fact: (from what I can recall in this terrible memory of mine), I have only met two authors in my life or at least had signed books from them. 1) Tonight was Leslea Newman 2) The other author I have a signed book is from Sue Ellen Cooper – the founder of The Red Hat Society. (Yes, I was also a pink red hatter back in the day—like during college years—and I’m looking forward to when I have free time to join again.)  

What am I looking forward to this week? 

-One last weekend performance of CL and it is over, over, over….As much as I really enjoyed working with this family, we’ve been doing it since October (well, I started in Dec and that’s long enough). After strike Sunday, we’ll have the cast party and we’ll say our goodbyes….until next time. 

-Seeing what missing songs show up for Purim Spiel this week when I attend 2/3 rehearsals, and I can finally catch up with my podcasts since I have such a loooooong drive to/from. 

-I really honestly have nothing else. I need some adventure like pronto. Big changes. I need/want big changes. Something crazy. 

But….all I really want is my matzo ball soup. It’s the remedy to make everything better. It’s the seasoning to a very plain day, it’s the schmear to the bagel, it’s the sprinkles on the cookies.

Much love, Karen Maeby

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