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The philosophy of my journey, writing and TV shows.

I have an idea. Yes, you should be scared when I say that, because it’s almost like when Lucille Ball said she had an idea. We’ll get to my idea momentarily though.

This weekend, I binge watched almost every single episode of all three seasons of Kim’s Convenience Store which follows a Korean-Canadian family who owns the store and deals with the day to day life. I love it. It shows character, culture, and is superbly relatable (in situations / relationships) and yet again, is one of those shows that the world needs.

Now point the focus back to Jewish-based shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Mrs. Maisel and–shows that I haven’t seen but read about–Broad City and Shtisel. I’m sure there’s more to be had. From where I stand, as a future Jew, I really sincerely felt like we needed more Jewish soul in television. Now, before my journey, I hadn’t paid attention to any of this but now that I’m on my journey, experiencing and embracing Jewish life, I’m falling so hard and I want to watch tv shows that embrace Judaism or have Jewish characters to relate to. Again, I think the timing is kind of perfect, because the Universe needs to call out to those hidden Jewish souls and allow them to find themselves being drawn to (like I was), and then, for those who were born into Jewish families but no longer practice… they should be revived. This should be Judaism’s revolution–and we should stand tall to antisemitism–be brave to stomp the hate out. It’s more than important that we remember our history–traditions from way back when all the way to forever teaching the Holocaust even when there are no more survivors left. We have to be ready for that.

Last night when I was trying to go to sleep I was recalling the moments I’ve had the past six months or so….and here’s my idea….as I am writing the book about the beginning of my journey, I should also write my story into a TV show. With 50% fiction/non-fiction….and why not let it be Anna’s Serendipity that I continue writing on? I already have story lines, true to life characters, and I’ve been writing down ideas for the future of that, even when I didn’t really know where I was going to take it. (Thinking it’d be a full length play then movie, but why not a continuing series for a while?) I could write some of the more important characters in remembrance to a few close friends/family members who have passed on. It would be in dedication to my grandma and aunt who were both G-dly people and of whom I had a strong bond….. And I would get to share my vision from a future convert’s point of view. How beautiful would that be? I could fill up an entire notebook right now just for the holiday episodes.

Watching the ending of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was partially the inspiration for my idea. The ending was amazing, even though, it was kind of predictable (but in a more of a life lessony sort of way, if you were truly into studying the characters and story line) the way that she found herself after all that time and came face to face what she really wanted to do. It was a beautiful ending, really, and for those of us who are tethering on the edge of something or another: it gives us hope.

Rachel Bloom, the writer and one who played Rebecca in this show, said she saw her series as 4 seasons. I admire that. She wrote it, her story, and made it happen.

Now, I am going to do that with mine… and hope that Rachel Bloom and her team will one day see the scripts of my TV show and want to do something with it. One can only hope. Here’s to sending my dream out to the Universe.

Always,
Karen Maeby

Journaling thoughts through the school of something plus poetry.

I have taken Shabbat for what it is this weekend..… I literally didn’t move from the bed or couch the last two days (well except run a few errands). I guess that’s what happens when you’re so mentally drained and don’t know which way to go…but now I have to shove everything that I put off into this upcoming week which will not be fun. I was supposed to go to one of the weekend Yom Tov morning services which I guess that means I absolutely have to do it next weekend. I reread my previous post: I seemed pretty fun that night. It was a good night. As far as my diet while no bread this week, I went and bought a lot of veggies and fruits (and yes, pickles, which is already almost gone…oops), so I am literally doing a diet this week from all things not that. I am taking my first Passover (food requirements) seriously. 

Since I did miss Yom Tov services, I am watching/listening to Central Synagogue’s services online right now as I’m working on this blog entry. I’ve missed watching them, I need to put them back into my weekly tradition of things I must do or I’ll go insane. I love them very much. I haven’t been able to find another synagogue to watch online that’s as amazing as them.

On a more serious level—besides playing by the rules of what foods we’re not supposed to eat for the next week—I have been thinking about what I wrote a couple of blog posts back about writing personal enslavement and writing it down so that I can work towards freeing myself. But I’ll tell you something, this is so weird, I felt a wave of freedom when I got home from our Seder. Is this how it’s supposed to feel? Is that what’s supposed to happen? It’s so strange, and I am new to all of this. 

While thinking about what I want… I’ve been thinking of Vegas again: city lights, the desert, mountain sunsets, there’s a serious growth of a Jewish community and several Kosher places. Maybe the tracks to the train? Maybe a bridge? Maybe the future? I feel like I’m having my 3rd midlife crisis. I had one at 27, 30, and now 32. Is this ever going to end? I want to change everything. I need to map out my Jewish Journey along side of what I want in my creative world and do as a job. Helping clean up after our Seder really made me think about how much I want to get into the food/catering/event business. Not sure where to start, but I need to start somewhere before I go absolutely (more) insane with what I’m doing currently. I love all things to do with events. There’s a satisfying part to setting events up and then tearing everything down, the prep and hard work that goes into it (shows). (For 6 years, I was always the set up / tear down team at school events. I completely forgot until this moment.) There are things I’m really good at, things I need to improve on, and things I have never done. I should put my focus on that list and go after my new dream…Working as a stage manager in the theatre, I have learned so much that helps with the real world. It’s amazing. I’ve been doing computer and admin work for 17 years, I feel like it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. I probably wouldn’t even be having these thoughts if it weren’t for my Jewish journey… CHEERS to that. 

On another note… as soon as I woke on Saturday, I watched the Rugrats Passover. I swear it is the best cartoon we’ll ever have on this planet. There’s so many lessons, it’s completely pure, and with it being the first cartoon to really introduce Judaism to the world, who wouldn’t think it’s the best? I will love it until I am no longer on this Earth, and when it’s time, it will be so embedded into my life that it’ll live within my soul wherever it’ll go. Oh and while we’re taking about TV, I finished My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I’ll talk about this again some other time, but wow, what an ending. This show is definitely very Jewish, and all kinds of life lesson-y sort of things that the world absolutely needs.

Random thing: I opened up my super sacred Jewish drawer nightstand to pull out a book that I wanted to read the Passover portion out of and came across a gem that I found at a yard sale. I was extremely drawn to it – an Egyptian clutch purse. It only has a very small opening almost like a larger wallet with browns and golds with images from Egypt and Pharaohs and such. I should’ve remembered to use that for the Passover service. There’s always next year. I have a Passover and Hanukkah bag now. What is it with me and themes?! 

An Ode to Yesterday 
2019 © Karen Maeby 

Part I. 

Easter bunnies and baskets, hiding plastic eggs 
with treats inside for the younger soul to find. 
Family time dedicated to decorate boiled eggs. 
with glitter and lots of color… 
only to be devoured moments later. 
An instant thought goes back to when Ralphie 
unwrapped a pink bunny suit at Christmas.  
I smile, but this was yesterday. 

Part II. 

I’m already beginning to feel like a minority, 
as I see Easter everything lined in the stores 
and absolutely nothing related to Passover. 
“Happy Easter” they say, 
and I nod saying, same to you, 
but it made me uncomfortable…. 
I wish everyone understood that not everyone 
celebrates the same thing as their neighbor. 

Part III. 

There’s a part of reverie in free: a bitterness and sweetness. 
A blank map can’t lead you to the treasure, 
you can’t find the treasure without a key. 
Is your destiny already written,  
or do you continue write it every single day? 
Like a stack of cards in the Casino: 
you play by fate, press your luck, and gamble on your journey, 
and win: it was written in the stars to be this lucky!

Part IV. 

Will I be completely free when I kiss the lips of she? 
We embrace in front of a sunset that pours out poetry, 
and we toast with wine glasses to the city lights,
and our lips—together—sing songs of honesty 
that rips the chains off, the ones that hid our identities for so long,
and we’re feeling free..free…free.. on this Passover. 
Free from our past, free from our now, and free to live our future. 
and our silhouettes become one in the name of Judaism. 

Almost midnight thoughts after my first Passover Seder.

Forgive me G-d for I am breaking two distinct rules of Shabbat: writing and being on technology but there’s no way I’m going to remember this once I wake up because of my almost awful memory these days. And, wine. Much. Much. Wine. 

Wow. What a first Passover Seder. I don’t have any idea when it actually started nor ended. So I have that going for me. I got lost in time! Too busy making memories! And laughing for the first time in a while.

The food was so freaking delicious and there was so much foooooood. Soooo much fooooooood. I’m trying to sustain my weight here (a year or two after a major weight loss) and the food just kept coming out! My normal food schedule is eating a meal once a day! (Or very small things all day if I need to eat that way.) Oy vey. At one point, I told the guy who was handing out food “NO MORE!” and he’s like “Are youuuuu tapping out?! THERE ARE NO QUITTERS HERE!” Haaaah.  My entire table was laughing so hard. Yes. I had whine. Much wine. Bwahha. 

But anyway, on a more serious note. My 3rd family sure serves up some super duper delicious food. I can’t believe this entire time I’ve only had soup there (and turkey sandwich at the beginning)…but it’s my tradition to have *my* soup, conversation and do a little writing! But some traditions were made to be broken, right?! Well, Maeby. (But I did have the matzah ball soup and oh yummmy…..! That was so good and hit the spot just right that I wanted to cry. Yeah. Weird. Maybe wine?)

I have been craving pickles so badly and I got them! OH AND THAT EGG I WAS TALKING ABOUT? It didn’t come with glitter or colour, but I got it! I got my one egg. My entire month is made. I’m very satisfied. See? That didn’t take much to make me happy. Pickles and one egg. And soup! 

So, the wine. I am not much a wine drinker and by the end, I was toast. I ended up staying after and helping the helpers clean up. Met some amazing people that I didn’t know and had amazing conversations. Met the president, and he recognized me as a writer (which I’m not quite sure how people know this? Sometimes I’m happy being recognized then I get a little freaked out in another sense. It’s weird. I guess I just need to get used to it.) 

Overall, what did I think? 

What an awesome experience. I sat with my intro class. We told the story, sang a bit, ate and went back at it in the Haggadah. We all shared a lot of laughs, had great conversations and I can’t wait to do it all again next year. 

I even tried gefilte fish for the first time!!

This won’t be the last of my Passover blog entries, we’ve got an entire week left to talk about it. Oh and on the same topic….no bread all week. This’ll be interesting of what kind of menu I’ll be coming up with….Stay tuned. I might live off pickles for a while! 

Always, Karen Maeby 

PS – I might also have to sober up this post. 

Shabbat Shalom: Passover Edition

Shabbat Shalom, my loves. It’s my really late weekly (thankgoodnessitsfridayorelseiwouldgoabsolutelyinsaneandlosemymind) ‘I love you, Friday’ post…which is even more meaningful today because I will be attending my first ever Passover Seder tonight at CBI.

First things first, though. Since Hanukkah, Purim… and somewhere in between those holidays for Shabbat, I have found there are (themed) songs for everything on iTunes. I have a playlist of a few songs going for Passover: Passover Song (Parody of Beatles of Hey Jude) by Judy Tellerman, Passover Songs (Mashup) by Elliot Dvorin & Key Tov Orchestra, When You Believe by Maccabeats, A Lion King Passover by Six13, Pesach Shop by Six13 (3 generations of songs get passed through this five min song, it’s the best on my playlist) and then Go Down Moses by The Pacific Pops Orchestra. I also need to watch the Rugrats episode one more time before Passover is over.

The more I read into Passover, the more I am beginning to think my crazy mixed up feelings of being enslaved are legit for this season and maybe there isn’t too much wrong with me after all (maybe that part is pushing it, but still)… could this be the explanation for why I have felt this crazy every single year for as long as I can remember? Because after April I feel a release of something or another and free and I go about my year perfectly fine until Sept/Oct. (I had always hungered for the new year to start in Sept/Oct…and I found the reason why….Rosh Hashanah…makes perfect sense to me to have the new year start then, and made me happy to realize what a coincidence.) Thankfully my younger self kept a lot of my online journal entries (and some poetry) from the last 20 years or so and I seemed to have the same feelings/moods/entrapment from March – April. I think that at this point, I should write a guide of some sorts telling people they should really look into Judaism if they constantly feel the way that I do at this time of the year, especially those who do not have a religion and have not recognized themselves as Jewish souls yet. It just helps to have some sort of explanation, even if it’s not certifiable.

I don’t know how I happened on it, but I found this amazing website aish.com–it offers many, many things Jewish and it is yet another marvelous place to visit on the webby. The question of the day on their site: From what enslavement do you want to break free this Passover?

Not feeling like I can be myself. My ‘bossiness / getting things done’ self has been lost and devoured by negative vibes and the sadness I have consumed within my heart/soul. Doing the same things every day, and not what I want or love. The wall that goes up when I’m hurt. Not feeling like I can reach out to someone that I love very, very much. Shutting off the world due to my imperfections. Writer’s block. Or better yet, thoughts pertaining to ‘am I even a good writer?’ and ‘should I continue writing?’ If not writing, what the hell am I supposed to do with my life? Then, it gets to be a zillion of questions that lead to Alice in Wonderland finding herself staring at a world upside down with funny people and the like. So yeah. Maybe this week I should privately write down my enslavement issues/feelings and see what solutions I can take charge of, and turn things back around for myself….personal freedom. Maybe that’s the answer, and the question is “Passover?”

Ever since I was a teen, I had always been about life lessons, and I love the fact that almost everything Judaism is life lesson-ish….because I realize and learn things even as I’m trying to write out some of these blog entries. Things make a little bit more sense than before….especially this Passover. In another thought, I can’t believe I still have May – Sept/Oct to really say it’s my “first” of the holidays as a semi-practicing-future-Jew. When we come around to Sukkot, I’ve celebrated almost everything for the first time… and I can’t wait to celebrate every year for the rest of my life… doing something different every year (hopefully, unless I just enjoy it so much to do it again and again). It’s exhilarating.

There’s a really good article on Jewish Journal that talks about personal freedom. It’s worth three reads, especially if you’re feeling somewhat like I am right now.

Apparently I missed out on backing an LGBTQ writer on his Haggadah posted on KickStarter a while back (it ended). I bet his booklet contains glitter. There was a mention of a disco ball. *_*

What it is with me and glitter???!!!

Anyway. There’s a lot of info in my email about Passover and comings/goings/etc of all the things and people I follow…but I haven’t read them. Yet.

Going back a couple of days…. we don’t have intro to Judaism class next week but the following week… guess what? It’s the last. The final class. Minus our review class whenever that’ll be, shortly after the last I guess. We will do a Shabbat dinner together and go to the Holocaust Museum. Then it’s….over. We still need to meet with our Rabbi over what’s next for us. What’s next for me? I just know that I want to go where a Jewish opportunity will be will fairly open to me. I’m not sure if there’s anything here. There was at one point, but… I don’t know. What’s next? In May I will be taking a Thursday class with TBE Rabbi, and doing various things with each of the synagogues after that. I’m not sure what’s next with my conversion, that’s something I have to find out. The future is unwritten, and I’m kind of embracing that right now….it allows me to be open. Wherever I end up, I will be embracing my future Jewish life so hard.

Anyway. Happy Passover. I will gather my thoughts throughout the next few days and have a couple more entries dedicated to Passover… hopefully. As far as am I feeling better since the last blog post? I don’t know. I’m just trying to get through Passover.

Next week (Friday) if it works out…I am stage managing my first movie shoot. I’m a little nervous, but ready to get back at it. Being boss and all.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

PS: Even though I don’t believe in anything to do with Easter, there’s one thing I wish I could have: a hard boiled egg decked out with a rainbow of color and some glitter for an extra sparkle of happy….so I can peel the egg and eat it. That’s all I want.

I don’t know what to say.

These last few days have been a serious struggle to even get up out of bed, as I have been swallowed up by the big black darkness of depression once again. I guess it’s not like it’s anything new. It’s something I’ve been trying to hide for a bit…thinking just one more day and I’ll be okay…I realized something was wrong yesterday when I had plans to go to a meeting, I cancelled, then went to bed at 5:30pm. Granted I watched a movie, but still, in bed? Before the sunset? I was so numb that by the time the movie was over, it was still early, and I told myself I had to get up and take a walk. If anything, take a walk–smell the Florida water and see the sunset. It fed me some sort of energy, but still, instead of staying up and doing something I went to bed.

Once again, I’ve withdrawn out of all of my worlds almost. My friends. My friends turned family. The places I’ve considered my homes. I’ve dropped off the social media planet. The once Queen Bee of Social Media has died, disappeared, something. I haven’t answered anyone back in emails, social media, barely any texts and no calls. I have a long to-do list of plans and goals and they go untouched because as soon as I leave whatever I absolutely have to do for the day, I go home and crawl into bed. I made promises that have yet to be fulfilled. And all I want to do is go to the person of whom I considered to be my most fave person on this planet and tell her how much I want to fix things and make them right so that we can really talk again….but I have absolutely no energy to do any of that, because I’m just so broken… I am just so sad inside. My soul has been wanting to cry for days, but my body just won’t let it. Or vice versa. Not sure which. I just feel so trapped by something and I just can’t crawl out of it. I am just so full of sadness… I don’t want to be. It just happened that way. I miss the days where I was super woman, and did 450,000 things and got them all done. I survived off barely any sleep…working until midnight, waking at 4am…sleeping only when I needed to or got a chance…I miss when my every minute was scheduled and I couldn’t waste time. Where has that part of my life gone? I want that back.

I’m not sure what the solution is… I guess getting myself together enough to participate in all things holy will work. Keep following the light through G-d, and think of this as some sort of life lesson as it is around the time of looking for freedom. Maybe I’ll get mine. Maybe this is what I need to write about, a story, or something. Personal narrative for myself for next year. I need to do more Mitzvahs. At least in end of May – end of July I know my evenings will be pre-determined… so I’ll be focused on something. Maybe it’s because my schedule isn’t jammed packed. Maybe it was a huge mistake to drop everything. I always feel like this when I drop everything. But do you continue until everything snowballs and you explode? Or do you step away and feel for a little bit? I’m so confused.

I’m also having a moment with this writing thing. Second guessing myself. Am I a writer? Am I even good at writing? Am I right when I think I am? Am I eventually going to get somewhere? Have I produced good work thus far? Will I ever finish anything I’ve written that hasn’t ended yet? Am I going to get it together enough to produce a fantastic show sometime before the year ends?

So many thoughts. I’m lost in so many thoughts. I just can’t. I just want to cry but can’t. Thank goodness Passover is Friday. There’s this thing I used to say last year… just another month if I can get through this, then it turned into a habit of if I can just get thru x and x and x…. then it’s like, I said that last time. What is happening here? I don’t know, but I really hope I can make it through the next few days, weeks, month. I don’t even know which way to go at this point.

PS. Started reading this article from Forward after posting this. It somewhat declares what I’m feeling. Just somewhat.

The Temporary Stay (poem)

The Temporary Stay, 2014 ©️ Karen Maeby

From the moment you are born, 
you become a constant tourist in this lifetime. 

Learning and exploring new things, 
meeting new people, visiting new sights 
while collecting memories and treasures 
along the way. 

When you develop a vocabulary 
and you learn what you like and don’t, 
your personality develops,
and you begin making a life of your own. 

You can spend your entire life 
searching for what you want, 
where you belong 
and where you call home—

but the chances are
you don’t know home until it finds you.

*

Is home within another person’s soul—a deep look into the eyes of whom you are destined to be with for all of eternity when you finally meet again after cleansing of all bad karma? Is home a place, or many places? Is home within yourself? Is home defined by the light that guides you like a gypsy around and around until you find where you belong? Is home what you define at the time until it changes? Is home something that changes just like everything else? Is home where your blood family or friends are located? Is home where you make memories? Is home where you feel pain? Is home where you lay down your head and cry? Is home where you run from, or to? Is home a city, where you lay your head, a piece of land or where you watch the sunset? Is home a particular day where you rest, or when you were born?

Did G-d create an entire smorgasbord of things in our lives so that we can question the things that we really don’t have answers for? It’s just like my theory of reincarnation and where do our souls go. I truly believe the reason scientists are finding life on other planets is because once our souls are done on Earth, they travel through certain states (planets) to be recycled to start the journey once again. Hence the reason you feel like you’ve known something or someone before, you have been there—that would be thru past lives. That’s why. 

There are so many questions to this poem that I wrote several years ago. I needed to find something that describes what I’m highly questioning at the moment, and here it is…

Is home where our bodies are, or is home where our soul is? A journey of questions that’ll probably never be answered…or at least while we are alive, then at that point, it’ll be too late and we’ll be caught in the answers of what we’ve questioned. It’s almost like poetry there. 

I’ve been thinking about all of this traveling and the definition of home, especially while reading about Passover and Egypt and the more I read into Judaism. It is the season, and definitely something G-d has placed in my mind to ponder for weeks now, and believe me, I have a thousand questions and absolutely no answers….other than feeling like quite the tourist in my own life these days. 

Love Always, Karen Maeby 

Looking back at a written diary entry from 12/16/17.

NOT 2017 yet. First of all before I write what I was going to write, if you are reading this and you know me, you will agree with this statement: I am a complete mess… in more ways than one. Okay! Okay! Stop nodding, one nod was enough~ha!! Anyway, the reason I even brought that up is because yesterday I went to Marshall’s (which is dangerous for me) and found a glittery notebook, andddddddd we all know that glitter is my weakness, so yes, I bought it. What am I doing with this notebook? I am transferring a thousand tiny notes/ideas for writing into it. Besides being a glitter hoarder, I am also a bag and notebook hoarder (for all those ideas that I also hoard)….so I’m having one heck of a time transferring notes from a thousand notebooks, email drafts and iPhone notes into this one. At least I’m cleaning up my mess, or containing it to one spot. The point of this paragraph is I made a terrible boo-boo about yesterday’s entry. I found out that I was completely wrong about when I bought the book that I weaved into Anna’s Serendipity…I’m posting the entry here so that I can shred the paper and have one less thing hanging around.

12/16/17.

The other day I started looking up Jewish culture/religion/etc. It’s weird how much I’m being called to study it. I attended the first night of Hanukkah at GP. I went to 321 Books last night and found some books about it as well. (More on the books later.)

Some of the belief systems that I’ve come up with over my studies aligns with Judaism. I almost cried. There are situations like mine out there where I feel closer to Judaism than others and the reasons behind that is amazing.

Signs of a Jewish Soul – after looking up online
1. Like to ask questions and question everything.
2. Trinity never made sense. Praying to G-d vs. Jesus.
3. Relate well to Jewish people.
4. React emotionally more than others about the Holocaust.
5. Learning about Judaism – traditions/heritage attractive, ideas/values are sensible, and feel more at home.

There is belief in reincarnation. Soul enters body during 2nd trimester. Gilgul – recycling of souls.

I don’t know my calling or reasoning as to why this keeps coming back but I am very happy to have found it again, and to be put on (possibly) the path I was meant to be on. I have been searching for a while knowing that Christianity is definitely not for me.

No one really knows my desire to convert at this point but I have to study and be satisfied. Lots of rules and I’m in this for the long term. In fact, it’ll be what saves me before I die. Returning “home” to my people, and my person of which I shall leave this world.

Last night while at the bookstore I came across a book with what ends up looking like a suicide note or something. I thought it was just a dedication of thanks to a friend, but there’s 4 pages that’s marked with quotes and they’re depressing.

Needless to say, I think this was my “last chance” for inspiration to doing something for the people to help them by writing. I do need to do that.

*

I love it, I love it, I love it.
That’s all, really.
Always, Karen Maeby

PS. I actually un-privatized my Twitter account for the first time in years. twitter.com/karenmaeby

One year ago.

It’s so hard to believe that one year ago, I was prepping for [our] first writer’s group show. Instead of a real production with lights, sound, props and acting, it was only a stage reading of several different pieces. We did bare minimum with lights (rainbow colored with the exception of white light so people could read) and then chairs so everyone could sit as they read, and a podium for those of us who had monologues or poetry.

On April 13, 2018, I was only a quarter of the way into my pre-journey of Judaism, but–of course–I snuck it into one of my plays–Anna’s Serendipity.

It was written in dedication to my aunt who had passed away in January, the same aunt that I told I was finding G-d through Judaism, and I wanted a way to document that in a different way. The play is a good percentage of truth because I included real feelings of my own and real comments (from my aunt) in this.

I’m not going to spoil the whole thing but here’s the jest of it… The two main characters–the grandma and granddaughter–live in a small town in Illinois (a true place where I would spend my summers with my actual grandma). The grandma would be huge into Christianity and was the head of a church (also, once true about my grandma) and one of the things that her granddaughter was hiding from her grandma was the fact that she was seeing a Rabbi about Judaism. Shortly into the story, the grandma finds out some bad news about her health (this part was true about my aunt & almost all of a sudden news), and she tries to tell her granddaughter, but then she sees how happy she is about her own new findings that she buries it. She and her granddaughter end up talking about taking a trip somewhere and they work on putting an itinerary together. (The place where I wrote to them to go is somewhere I’ve always dreamt of and wanted to go for many, many, many years… and I write about often.) Before they leave on the trip, the granddaughter opens up to her grandma about something she’d been afraid to talk about–an entirety of jumping around subjects around a meeting and she’s suddenly questioning her sexuality. Grandma is super supportive of what she thought she heard and mentioned a book that she had on her bookshelf (this in a minute, it’s a real book I found shortly before the show and I wrote it into this play). While on their trip, there’s more that the granddaughter finds out… and anymore than that will spoil it if you haven’t read it already or didn’t get to see it that night.

Now that it’s been a year, and I really haven’t looked at editing it, I did want to turn it into a movie or full length play but I think my heart is set on novel first then movie script. Still not sure which one will be easier to start with, but I’ve got a ton of notes on changes to make and things to add, since a lot of backstory and future pieces were left out. There’s going to be so many twists to this story!

Back to that book I mentioned– it’s called “Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?” – I found this book while trying to search for answers about my writing. I didn’t see what I saw until a few days later when I opened the book at home to fully inspect it. This note was written in the very back of the book. I’m assuming it was a gift from a friend to a friend, I couldn’t read the names very well. The note is from September of 1975.

It has become almost impossible to offer myself to anyone due to having been ignored, rejected or ridiculed in the past. Except for a few really black moments, it has been less painful to remain hidden.

This person also underlined several different quotes that she wrote pages of on the opposite page. The last one has this quote underlined: He will come to the end of his life without ever having lived.

You can imagine–me being so emotional and intuitive–that I went from somewhere in my mind where this person wasn’t accepted for who they are to a really dark place.

On the back of the book are three other books from this author and what’s circled is “Why Am I Afraid to Love?” and in parenthesis this person circled: “We want to give ourselves to others but fear our gift will not be accepted.”

If you want to know why I am writing about this on my Jewish-based blog, here’s why: there are a million emotions that lighting the light in my soul has nearly unravelled. Think of having your favorite sweater for many, many, many years and it’s basically a part of you and it is completely intact, then, there’s a snag…and it unravels, unravels some more, and more and more… until you’re looking at a huge mess. That’s what finding the light has done for me. But–it’s good–it’s a good thing. I’m looking at feelings and possibilities that I have either never experienced before in my life or was never brave enough to do, accomplish, see or dream up. 2018 was the biggest unravel of my life but the best year. It was like the whole beginning all over again. Like being reborn.

I repeat over and over again that I am becoming and finding myself more and more through this Jewish journey, but it’s true. It’s so true I have to say it because I can’t believe just how much has changed. How in depth I am becoming with my soul. There were so many years that I was so buried within the day to day of life that I never gave time for my soul or to be as intuitive as I am today. I am so thankful for this journey.

“It has been less painful to remain hidden.” — I have believed that ever since finding this book, and ever since writing this into my play, it was no coincidence that I found it. I feel like my eyes were meant to see this, to help others who feel this way, to make them come out and show their soul instead of hiding. It is really painful to love and to feel to be rejected, lied to (whether its truth or cover up) or hurt in spite… I totally get it, but man, to be open and to be free you are no longer bound by chains that’s keeping you in a place that you don’t want to be. So what that someone doesn’t like you, you’ll always find your people in life that come from your tree… the ones that’ll love and support you. Always and forever. I feel like Judaism is 99% of that–community, family / friends who become family and forever support.

I am here on this Earth to help others, I know this, and hopefully that’s through something in person…but if not, I hope that some day people will be inspired by my writing and somehow it help everyone who needs a little help to see their own personal light to move forward to change their life for the emotional health of themselves, and to live true to whatever G-d’s layout plan is for each and every one of us to follow through… to meet and find those along the way… to live our true destiny.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby


[The Shabbat Edition 008]

I swear, this website business is making me grumpy. I schedule (some) of my posts on here and they’re not posting at the right time! THEN my other website is shut down until I have a full day to devote to it to find out why spam is leaving comments….which will not be until forever and twenty years from now! Oy!

In other words…. SHABBAT SHALOM! my ultimate… I LOVE YOU FRIDAYS.

A Small Synopsis

Going backwards…the last two weeks…

Thursday (yesterday) the LGBTQ portion of GPlibrary was putting on their monthly film night, so I got to see “We the Animals”… which was a very interesting and poetic film. I’ve been wanting to go to film night since forever and I finally went. Check-mark.

Mon – usual writers group, Weds – J*class, a week ago, Thurs – 2of2 prayer class

Sunday – fantastic Mitzvah Day

One week ago Friday – I got to crash rehearsal for OBC and that was a fun time and welcome back. I also received my Midge Haggadah in the mail!

Don’t remember what else. I’m still reading a lot of books, currently reading one about a woman who used to work in a call centre in the UK. Hilarious customer stories. I’m about 60% done. 

On a sad note: I’ve been missing my baby Sir Eisenhower so much. I can’t help but to wonder what his soul is up to now. I miss him being so loud hitting his plexiglass at 3am that he would wake me up and I’d have to yell at him to go to sleep. He’d actually listen. Every time. I miss him. A lot. I miss staring at him and watching his little eyes, and seeing how cranky he’d get when I would tell him no. He would slant his eyes at me in the most grumpiest way. He had personality. I guess I’m going to get a few more crabs to give Havali company since I’m never home to teach her like I taught and spent time with E. It’ll never be the same, I don’t think any other crab will become as spoiled as he was, or taken every where like he was. But we’ll see. I need to come up with 3 more Jewish names. Essentially, 2 males, 1 more female.

Event/Special Moments

Mitzvah Day! It was the bestest!

What am I looking forward to this week?

-All of the Passover things, including Friday night Seder at CBI. (My first Seder ever, ever, ever… yay!)
-There’s some classes that my Rabbi is teaching about Passover and I think I’m going to attend those.
-I see that TBE is actually going to have Mitzvah Day at the last Sunday of the month, so I’m going to sign up for that. Can’t do enough good deeds in the world!
-There’s also some classes this weekend at TBE that I want to take.
-Gotta get organized in a thousand ways, relax and do more reading… and possibly writing on this book that I need to write.
-I need to work on my schedule, to-do lists, and etc.

Bye all!

BookISH thoughts.

Last night instead of doing our actual intro class we combined with the journeys history video class after Minyan once again. It was actually mine and another classmates idea last class after we heard that the woman who is over the Holocaust Museum was going to be there to speak, and the video class was on schedule to talk about the Holocaust at the same time we were, so it worked out. The topics were divided between talking about the Holocaust and feminism in Judaism.

There were several different questions and comments to the class last night that I wish had written them down or recorded it. Besides our Rabbi, I think I might’ve been the youngest by a decent number of years, so answers were provided with experience and some major change over the decades. One comment that stood out to me was referenced to the feminism part–that if things in Judaism weren’t changing to be more gender neutral, she wouldn’t even be sitting there right now. I get it. Oh, I totally get it. It had always been pressed that women had their place in the home, taking care of the kids, and that was that… in Orthodoxy, women are separate from men. There’s a whole other thing that goes with Judaism from years and years ago that I haven’t even looked into yet… and may not want to… I can’t help but to think how sexist all of that is. I mean, ever since the day I was born, I wanted nothing to do with the typical female assigned roles… have kids, have no dreams (other than that), bend over to your man, give him everything, have you seen the actual ads from 1950s-1970s that relate to that? Oy vey. What were those people thinking? Yuck. It should always be–equality for all and treat one another with respect and love and kindness. When one gives or takes or needs or does, roles reverse, vice versa. It’s only fair.

I think honestly I found Judaism at a good time…where LGBTQ rights and feminism is (coming back) quite strong and acceptance is more tolerable (maybe not the right word) but I’m seeing Judaism opening a whole lot more than other religions at this point in time, and they’re trying more than others it seems… or maybe it’s because Judaism today is open for a lot of questions and that is the actual answer, because we can question everything without being hung up to dry on a clothesline, so to speak. One could also argue that we’re falling back in time to a more darker age again with the new age antisemitism and challenging of rights for certain groups and etc. I won’t go there today though.

Because I’ve been trying to stay focused with my intro class’s topics or what falls within the holidays at the time, I haven’t even looked into the feminism part of Judaism. I would like to read more on that and find the fem-Jewish writers, I would like to do so much more on a lot of what I don’t know or haven’t read… but I have to choose my battles right now. I don’t want to go on brain overload or become burnt out like everything else.

Back to the Holocaust though… It’s official, I can’t even be in the room while talking about this anymore without my eyes welling up with tears. It’s so close to my heart. I had to keep looking up at the ceiling so I wouldn’t cry. I think that before class is officially over, we’re going to be taking a trip to the museum. I am definitely going to save private time for myself to go on Yom HaShoah again.

The other day I was going through my writing and came across pages from a journal that I had to write in 8th grade English. I posted the letter on Instagram, but if you were like me at first, I couldn’t even read what I wrote. I want to post here because we’re on the subject of what I wrote about…. There’s definitely grammar issues and you could clearly see that I didn’t know about the Holocaust at that time. That changed later though… we studied it in school at some point, I did a book review in 11th grade on Anne Frank, and I continued on my studying outside of school.

10/18/1999 (I would’ve been 12. That’s 20 freaking years ago…. Holy crap. Where has time gone?)
TOPIC: Why would anyone pour their heart out in a diary? Tell what you know about the Holocaust.

I think they pour their heart out in a diary because probably no one will listen to them or they just don’t want to share stuff with anyone. In Anne Frank’s case she had not a lot of people to talk to and maybe she wanted us the future people to know about her and the Holocaust. And also you write in a diary to show thoughts and feelings and so on for the future. I know a little about the Holocaust only that several people got killed and hurt and all of the Jews were treated badly and the whole thing about treating the Holocaust badly was bad.

*

ON ANOTHER SUBJECT, I was thinking how I really, really, really need to work on the beginning of my Jewish journey book. I want to share with the world and inspire people with my story and help others who are just waiting for that “spark” so to speak. How awesome would that be to be the inspiration or a sort of role model for others to convert or come back to Jewish life after stepping away for so long?

The following is mostly a public note to myself for the book I need to sit down and write.

Things I want to include in my Jewish journey book. (I will have to divvy these things into parts and chapters that make sense.) :

  • The long version of the very beginning of my story: from finding the light to what I told my aunt before she died all the way to slowly finding my way in the community.
  • 2018: the first visit to my 3rd home in Jan (which I think was my actual first anything into the Jewish community, because I didn’t know a thing or go to a synagogue at that point), first time watching any service (Central Synagogue in NY, online), going to the Holocaust Museum for the first time (here in FL, along with first time since starting the journey) and on Yom HaShoah, my first real temple visit (Sarasota), the first time to my synagogue (Pride), waiting on the new Rabbi so I could officially start with him (perfect timing), joining intro class, my unofficial early Rosh Hashanah and the real one on my own, my first fast at Yom Kippur, my first Sukkot (oh man, I really hope I wrote something down about this somewhere), tree of life, my first Hanukkah. I’m sure I’m missing a whole lot of things in here.
  • 2019: my first Sat Shabbat Service / installation weekend, my first Purim show and first Purim service, my first Mitzvah Day, etc. etc. (eventually… finishing up the intro class, etc.) – still working on 2019.
  • things from childhood / teen years that came back around
  • poetry
  • a couple of plays if they’re actually finished by then
  • Dear Anne Frank story
  • future dreams for living a Jewish future (a rather large to do list of what I want to do)

Whoa. Now that I’ve put everything out there… I have so much to put into this book already. I don’t even need to wait. It needs to be written and sealed, so I can prepare for the next book when the actual conversion/etc will take place. I think my beginning will be pure and wholesome. I hope. It gives me hope, so I want it to do the same for others.

Fun fact: Sometimes I have the most inappropriate thoughts at times when I shouldn’t. For instance, last night, somehow my mind turned to remembering A Christmas Story, and how their Christmas dinner got ruined and they had to go eat at a Chinese place for Christmas. I remembered how I always thought that was very cool and unique to do something different. I mean, seriously, how right was I?! Very!

I think I have always been a Jewish soul, I just needed to find my way at perfect timing. Everything happens for a reason and everything has its season.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby