Another Friday Post

I write so much that I lose track of everything, but I have to make a note of this here… definitely during the month of July–the last several years–I have gone through and wrote about the whole “light to dark in soul” concept. Am I seriously a person of pattern, or is there a deeper reasoning of feeling this way? If so (on the person of pattern), I am learning that just now… add that to my “what I have learned this week” in the previous entry.

7/24/2016 ©  Karen Maeby (Ahava)

Someone turned the light on in her soul–
for the while, it’s been so dark.
She’s getting used to the flame,
instead of the flicker.

Coincidences lead to laughs
and they stop to wonder
had the stars aligned
just in time, to pull them together?

They lean in for a kiss,
and another and another…
until time becomes lost,
as it stands still.

“Be still, my heart” —
He says and she says.
Silently–in agreement–
as they don’t want to ever say goodnight.

*

The above piece was actually written in a Facebook post that just happened to be a memory that posted up last year and I screenshot it. I have no idea if it’s actually saved somewhere else or not. I have so many pieces like that. It’s terrible.

*

Anddddd… last year in very early August 2018, I drew a picture with flowers in a vase and hearts streamed across a music staff with this poetry:

LOVE SOMEONE
that brings the light to your dark,
and the smiles through the rain…
and the colors to your black and white…

LOVE SOMEONE
that makes your soul sing
so much that you can feel it
down to the core of your heart.

LOVE SOMEONE
that makes you want to be a poet,
even if you aren’t.
LOVE SOMEONE
that challenges you every day
to be a better person overall.
FIND SOMEONE
that makes “HOME”
within their arms, and not a place.

*

*very big sigh*

Always, Karen Maeby (Ahava)

Thoughts & Things: Some Jewish & Some Not

This is going to be a very random bloggy post considering my brain is so full I need to dump it somewhere and I haven’t really been able to write in ages.

First things first: I need some jazz in my life. Like, pronto. Like, live jazz… like jazz that can be processed in through my ears/mind and immediately take over the core of my body all the way down that I can feel it deep within my soul… I need that. Story: When I was working Next Fall, they were playing all kinds of music backstage, and I asked them to play jazz (they chose blues, really), and the first song that came on was the song that belongs to Momma (h/s teacher friend) and I — Frank Sinatra’s My Way. That’s our song. How fitting it came on first. Of course, I had to text her and tell her. But anyway, wish I could find more Jewish Jazz. I know about Paul Shapiro – I love his “To Life” song and I’ve posted about it before. It’s just not enough.

My life is solely revolving around the Summer One Acts right now. I only have a few final things to tend to for finalization of props, then I get to work on moving props/furniture and sit on book for the remainder of rehearsals….Once I know we’re settled on show order, then I need to assign jobs for the CH. A few more weeks, then it’s over. Must remember to stay in the moment and enjoy all of the new people I have met. Next week we have 3 rehearsals at our home, then we move that weekend, do two weekend performances (7/11 – 7/21), then the whole theater will take a break until September (with the exception of our private awards ceremony sometime in August). Needless to say, I’m looking forward to a break after shoving so much into the past couple of weeks.

I have so much to celebrate (mostly my new life / conversion), and I haven’t been able to do it yet…I purposely put it off because I didn’t want to get too involved/distracted in celebrating when I still have lots of work to do. I have to balance myself and stay humble. I was thinking about birthday plans how I might start celebrating Christmas in July Eve / Day (July 24) – maybe a private thing in remembrance of another father-figure of mine from the boating industry–Joe–who died a few years ago on Christmas in July (and I have a story/poem that came out of literally feeling his death at the moment it happened)... and continuing a celebration until the weekend after my birthday (8/1). I have to celebrate: my conversion, all the new things already, the plays, 3 years with GCP (4th SOA), a toast to the future, and so much more… !!! I have a few places picked out of where I’d like go meet up with friends: definitely a repeat of the same 3 things I did last year, go to John’s Pass, sunsets every night, get my ears pierced twice or nose repierced, kiss an alligator again (and possibly adopt one), adopt more hermit crabs, bar meetup, get a Cafe con Leche (since I haven’t had my favorite coffee in over a year), attend Shabbat, do more than one thing Jewish (OY!), catch up with friends I haven’t seen or spoken to in a while, do a few good deeds, live out my favorite Katy song (#iwish), and I would really like to go and see a Burlesque show (don’t judge).

I sat down last night to write a little on my conversion story. I’m wanting to write an overall summary of the bits & pieces up until then, something I can turn into the Jewish paper here….but I am having a hard time sitting down and doing it though… just thinking about how all of the signs were clearly there the whole time, then I get really emotional, distracted on having to tame those feelings, and then it’s already time for bed. I need to do this while it’s still fresh. I would really like to share my story. It’s also hard to write an outline when it’s going to be an entire novel. That’s next.

After getting on Facebook and seeing all of the Pride pictures from friends, I’m actually really sad about not having attended. That heat, though. It’s really affecting me worse this year than it ever has.. heat used to be my friend. I know there’s a “Come Out” St Pete Pride in October along with a film festival in Tampa, so I will be very ready to do that.

Another funny thing that happened…..so I went on a whim and got my hair cut on 6/24. I woke up like, “I hate my hair. I need a change. I’m so very bored. Let’s just go cut everything off.” (Cool side note: found out (accidentally) that my hairdresser is Jewish. He asked, “You plan on coloring your hair tonight, right?” UGH NO. You mean I have to color it again? I just did it weeks ago! 3 boxes of bleach! I told him before I colored it, I was trying to grow out the natural color for my conversion but didn’t work out that way. That’s when he mentioned he’s Jewish, and he asked me what made me convert.etc.) Anyway, so yesterday I hop on Facebook memories for a minute, and I see that on 6/25/18 one of our directors for the SOAs last year had cancelled the last rehearsal… and I went to get my hair chopped off. Seriously self? I had to laugh. I don’t do things in patterns. I try NOT to! I do things on whims, on random. BUT ALMOST THE SAME EXACT DAY A YEAR LATER I JUST WOKE UP LIKE I HATE MY HAIR, NEED TO CHOP IT OFF? I had no idea, I don’t keep up with things like that! I just find it crazy. I’m supposed to do things randomly, not in sync! OY VEY. Maybe I need to write a song about this. Seems crazy.

I tried nova for the first time yesterday… and on nachos for Taco Tuesday. It’s my new favorite thing. I can’t believe I broke tradition after 1.5 years. What happened?

I’ve been thinking more and more about my goals and I have a few I really want to accomplish before the end of the year. Of course, I have some private goals of stuff I need to take care of that I won’t be mentioning here, but here’s some other plans…

-Working on my Jewish art + turning profit. I want to be able to test out the market, so that I could maybe set up a tent at the Jewish food festival next year.
-Publish short version of conversion story to Jewish magazines.
-Finish the full novel about my journey thus far to conversion and publish it.
-Have next year’s schedule planned out. If I’m following the Jewish New Year, then that won’t be so bad….but I’m committing to so many things, I need to know ahead of time when to say no to new projects.
-I’ve been discussing some ideas with close friends on a “Jewish-based group” that I started making plans for in December, but it wasn’t the the perfect opportunity to do it at that point. I feel like now (very soon) is the time, or maybe starting in late summer, so now I need to go back to the old proposal and revamp it.
-Figure out what’s going on with my other group.
-Fix my websites.
-Update everything that needs updated. (Which is so very much.)
-Start my own biz again to make extra money.
-Start making a difference.
-& so maaaaannnnnnny moreeeeee!

I’m not quite sure what’s happening
but the tides are changing
and the wind has captured the sail
pushing it in a different direction.
What is in a name, Ahava?
Love, unconditional love?
Did I fall in line with my journey
to find and embrace my beshert?

I’m not sure that I want to question it.
Some things are better left unsaid.
Actions speak louder than words,
but what I would give for an embrace, a hug.
Gleaming with happiness last Shabbat
I wore my Pride kippah for the first time
:
Proud to be Jewish, and one day, a coming out.
I lead a colorful & glittery life.

I am Proud of everything
I am becoming in the name of Ahava.
I found the light, and now: the love
in the ultimate wholeness of life.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby (Ahava)

This one’s for Shavuot.

I have only five seconds to write this. I’ve been in rehearsal working the most intense show I’ve ever worked in the history of my last 3 years of doing theatre…and I wasn’t even originally scheduled to work this show. I have zero time for anything else, and I have been using my lunch break to run errands or catch up on personal things. I haven’t even been getting home until close to midnight for the last week…. only really giving me about less than 5 hours of sleep per night the last week as well.

Happy Shavuot (I know I’m a few days early) but I am not going to be able to write about it until a couple weeks after it’s over. I’m bringing cheesecake on Saturday for the cast/crew, so I can (sort of) celebrate since we have two shows and we’ll be there from 11a-11pm. I hope I get a few moments on Sunday to read Ruth. I wish I could go to CBI for the service, but I have a show during the time of.

I’m making a thousand notes (all over my 70 page script that I’m following along backstage) of updates for here when I get a chance to make a daily appearance again. I’ve already thought of a brand new play, a new monologue and we haven’t even started performances yet.

with the tip of my pen
and the signature within, i kiss you
when the ink flows
on the paper and my words
from my heart to yours
filling stories of truth–that we together–
feel within
and on this day of Shavuot
we stay up learning of our people

while eating ice-cream and cheesecake
and our souls speak to one another
carrying out the truest of love
as we reflect upon one another
and all the things that scare us the most
bringing out the fear in us,
bringing out all the things we need to fix
leaving us amidst the world of confusion
of what to do, and always making us wonder
do we belong to one another?
and if so….will things change?
or will we keep them the same?
time doesn’t last forever,
but destiny does… as we look in one another’s eyes.

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

Tallit (poem)

by Karen Maeby © 2019

You–my darling–hid the love in your eyes,
the lingering stare, that smile,
I can still see it in my dreams.
It’s really not fair you walked away.
Why’d you leave without saying goodbye?
You’ve been with me in my mind
since the day G-d should bless the world with our births
and
he split us up, so we’d learn how to love again
the way we should and deserve.

It seems, you stepped off the train….
thru this life-long journey that’s about to end
with the night stars on Shabbat Havadah.
You left memories behind:
your Jewish star,
the tallit you wrapped around my soul
as we thanked G-d over and over and over
that we came into each other’s lives
even though it was the wrong time, it was the right time
but you must’ve not thought so.
Why’d you have to go?

The songs you sang to me as we lit the candles
and we watched together–holding hands–
as the wax falls down and the candle shrinks
on Shabbat, why? You already forgot?
You lit me on fire, and you left my heart
to write poetry out of desire.
Your hugs left me very complete,
as did every given Jewish holiday we celebrated.
That was enough….for then.

Jewish Journey essay for Intro to Judaism class review.

Okay. This was extremely hard to write without tears forming in my eyes. It means that much. The first assignment of our packet was to write a spiritual autobiography. It would be appropriate I’d find my answers as my vacay is coming to an end. Here goes….

Going on an extended vacay to my hometown—to revisit where I was born and spent my first 21 years growing up—has really helped me clarify that I am exactly where I need to be on my Jewish journey: to embrace fully—to learn, to live and breathe Judaism—for the rest of my life. 

While on my flight, I read Elie Wiesel’s book “Night” where he wrote of his experience of being in the Holocaust. After landing, I went to my favorite sandwich shop near the mall, then I ran over to the used bookstore. The first time I went in there with no agenda and just looked around. I accidentally found two books by Harold Kushner and two books by Elie Wiesel. The following week I went back to the bookstore with a list and found a book by Philip Roth, a Holocaust book, and two books by Leslea Newman. All of my life I have read so much of everything but only had a few favorite authors….and now—thankful to this journey—that list is growing.

There have been a few very uncomfortable moments on this trip to do with my choices of food and toward my newly found religion and lifestyle. There seemed to be a slight interest in my journey, then twice the slight rude remark. After mentioning several times that I stopped eating pork since December 2018, ribs were put on my plate and bacon was cooked. I refused both. I stood my ground—for faith and health reasons. I know I made the right decision, considering I had a flash back to my childhood where I was pushed to eat some of the most unhealthiest foods that still remain valid in that hometown life. For the umpteenth time, I was forced to go to a church for a faith in which I have never believed, and was told “no” when I wanted to go to the local synagogue to honor Shabbat. Even though I have a long ways to go with Hebrew, I missed hearing the prayers and songs. I missed the way it feels walking into a synagogue vs a church. I miss how happy and full of life everyone seems to be in a synagogue. 

Even though I’ve have to deal with those issues, I have not let them get to me too much. I have been able to relax, gain strength of my mind once again, and have time to think. 

Every aspect of my life has become richer since following, studying and living Judaism. I can’t explain it. 2018 was the best year of my life: the people that I met last year are the best people I’ve ever met in my entire life and they’re no longer “friends” —they’re all family. The activities I either started or continued has made such an important impact on my life that I’m trying to figure out how to make it all tie in with Judaism. The art I’ve created, the Instagram account and blog where I write have been outlets for me to not only document my journey but to express major love towards my new life and share it with the world. 

There have been several surprises along the way: such as finding out my favorite song from high school choir “Go Down, Moses” plays an important role in Jewish life at Passover, or finding out that my favorite cartoon in the entire world that I watched obsessive as a child—Rugrats—has a Hanukkah and Passover episode. I often felt like the new year should start in the fall, and I have always had a horrible feeling around March or April (which happened again this year—and once Passover was over—I felt better). I have always had a connection with the Holocaust, and my feelings for wanting to preserve the memory get stronger as the days go by. There’s been a connection with me and trees, little symbolism in daily life, feelings that are exposed after reading Jewish books (ones I hadn’t thought about in a long time or saying to myself ‘well, now that makes sense as to why I felt that’), and so on. I have always loved Fridays more than any day of the week. I say “oy vey” more than I probably should. And, to top it all off, I used to really strongly dislike “chicken soup” until I discovered matzo ball soup…and game on. 

Not only have I found favorite authors, books, magazines and subscribed to a million of newsletters around the US, but I have discovered some of the best TV shows, and they’re chocked full of Jewishness… and guess what? I actually get the references or jokes, and I am so giddy inside when they mention something I know. I’ve also become that person who wants to download music to a specific holiday, or go absolutely nuts over the snacks that are served around that time. Over the past year, I have participated in a lot of the holidays, but my favorite was Purim – due to being in the Purim Spiel. I really embraced that with everything I had, and I didn’t stop talking about it for days. Also, Mitzvah Day, should be a holiday because that’s how special it was for me. 

Building a relationship with G-d on the basis that G-d is the light within all of us, and in everything that we do, is something that I believe in. In the last year, I have tried to build my choices around that fact: doing good deeds, saying no at times, trying to become a better person, becoming healthier in the heart/mind/soul, and so on. As someone who is converting, I feel that I should walk the walk and not not just talk. I have to be that good example, and help others follow. 

My journey—for the most part—has been about experience. The holidays or moments I experienced were the best, because I could: see, feel, hear, touch, smell…. then document about it later in some form. It is a very emotional connection for me. Everything about it. 

While I don’t know where I’m going at this point—other than forward, all the way—with this journey, I am excited in seeing what’s in store for me because I am completely open at this point. I know there are things I want to improve on, such as attending more services, being able to fully read Hebrew, continuing making way in my schedule to attend more Jewish functions and keeping Kosher. There’s also wanting to learn just about anything and everything that I can by experiences, reading and traveling around to Jewish places and sharing it in some form. Since the Holocaust has been so important in my life, I would like to be that future of Judaism that helps keep the memory of those who we lost. And one day, I hope to publish the several Jewish-type stories that I am writing, including my own journey. 

We all have a story in us, and we need to share it before it’s too late. Being a writer myself—I believe that is one of my purposes, and I hope that I can achieve that goal not only for me, but help others do the same….all by that light that stays lit within the soul.  

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

Poetry (untitled for now)

i wish i could find her face in the snow
wipe the surface like a steamed mirror
call upon the midnight prayer to make her answer
the telephone that coincidentally
never shows her name or number
she’s listed under unknown. i wish i could find her.
maybe i can travel to the next city
and hire a gypsy lady with the glass ball
and she can tell me my future, my fortune
will i be lucky enough to steal her heart and soul?

i was born to two nearly in the wilderness
that couldn’t be the furthest from my life itself.
i can’t breathe thinking, wishing, for the jewish creation
that i so desire, that want so badly.
my heart cries a song into the river that
pours downstream, and into someone else’s home.
this isn’t home, not mine, no:
my heart isn’t filled with anything.
my heart is empty as a kiddush cup but
i fill it right back up with tears, and it flows over.

i study deep into each jewish book that i read:
the characters, the message
and i wish to find it all, to embrace it all, to have it
but looking for it and creating it is the challenge.
to change my entire life, to uproot everything,
it is the only way. my jewish journey way.
i close my eyes wishing she’d be the one to hug me
into infinity like my favorite blanket, or sweater.
could she be a little or all of the characters i read about?
esther, ruth, lilith, vashti, sarah, rebecca, etc. etc. etc. ?

i do not know her name, or recall it.
i see her soul, feel her emotions, too
as they run wild into the forest of a day’s life
if i found her–i would instantly make her my wife.
where’s my destiny? should i light the shabbat candles,
and fulfill my evening’s wishes of watching the sunset?
with my eyes closed, i see a table of food and
family, something which is wholeheartedly missing
i am missing the whole point of judaism
a generation passed down from person to person, blood type.

the skies are cloudy today, and it’s been raining ever since
i got here. my flight kept my mind at ease
as i was flying away from the pain only to end up
the pain is just as bad in my present as it is in the past
where i had to remain hidden, where i couldn’t speak,
where i couldn’t express, where i couldn’t dream,
where i couldn’t love, where my heart hurt the worst
because i was trapped by every single emotion
and i couldn’t escape, i couldn’t escape, towards freedom
until i finally did by writing out my plans.

by the grace of everything holy i only wish, one hug
and it’ll all go away. i wish she’d find me, but not this way.
i wish we could speak in our dreams
and through the time we’ve spent apart all of these years.
where is she? do i need to write her down?
is she truly here, within me, or in over in the next town?
do i rely on fate? on time? on giving in? throwing in the towel?
i want to express to G-d i really want her to see me,
but i just don’t know how… and, if so, will he allow
it to be the time? because i’m not the patient kind.

Oy Vey, Shtisel

It’s 1am and I can’t sleep, so what’s a girl to do when that happens? She shall sit in her bedclothes and write by candlelight about the 3 million things taking over her mind….and then later regretting that she can’t sleep when she has to wake in a few hours to do a full days work. Oy. 

I finally started watching Shtisel on Netflix. [We] were reminded of the show by our Rabbi on the last day of class where he gave a description of the characters and situations. I’m only on episode 3 and have noticed so much. It’s a lot to take in at one time. 

There’s a deep recognization of putting on hold ones dreams in order to please the parents to fulfill their wishes. That’s the part that’s really hard to watch. This is for both romantic relationships (almost like pre-arranged marriages) as well as jobs. 

The expectation of everyone needing to be married and women needing to have kids by say teenage years. Oy vey. 

Another is hiding secrets within a family in order to protect them from or within the community. That’s even harder to watch given the situation in one of the storylines. 

Oy vey – all three of those reasons are why things are so screwed up these days. You think you’re doing the right thing when it’s completely more damaging than anything else. Emotionally. Set up expectations to turn into failures and disappointment. Lack of true happiness. 

I love and appreciate the prayer before food or drink. I hope to get to that point. Maybe not so as much, but a simple reminder a few times a day… Thank you G-d for the excessive amount of tacos I eat or the Coca Cola I really shouldn’t be drinking. (But said in Hebrew!)

When I was being raised into the Christian world, I really never understood why we prayed before food, but now that I’ve found what I’ve found and studied to understand… I do appreciate that and the reason why. I just wish I could have those exchanges with both my grandma and aunt who have passed on. 

I also wish I understood Hebrew so that I could close my eyes and just listen to the show, but I only understand the subtitles in English right now. But watching and paying attention is probably more important at this point, because the expressions on their faces speak louder than the words they say. 

As a (sort of) film person, I also really love the darkened quality of the way the film is shot, and each of the scenes.  

One thing I don’t really want to be tainted is… the level of religious like I was with the Christian world. I want to take in every denomination for what it is and appreciate from all of the worlds. For instance, I could never be as strict as Orthodox, Hasidic, Chabad but not as lax as say some Reform and Reconstructionist. I want to live and learn as a Conservative Jew (prayers in Hebrew!)—play and do in the Reform world (I mean, hello, Purim Spiels…)—all while appreciating the heck out of the ones who can keep to the Torah, Shabbat and the 613 commandments more than a lot of others (Orthodox, Hasidic, Chabad). 

All I know is that I sincerely love my Jewish life. Do you know how much finding that light within me has done? It’s changed everything. My world has changed. I’m still a mess, but there’s no darkened skies that hold me under the covers for long or no rainstorm that keeps me down. Who in the world would’ve ever thought that I was on my journey to finding my Jewish soul? It’s crazy. All of my life it’s been around me, but I never took that moment, now I’m finding all of these symbols and little hints and just everything. I get it all. 

one light and that’s all she took it 

it took one night 

to fill her soul with so much fire, 

so much desire 

so much… so much.. so much… 

who would’ve guessed the journey 

began there to get her here 

and that she’d dream and wish by 

seeing 11.11, 12:34 and the stars 

at night, all it took was one night 

and that one light that lit her entire soul 

and when she hugs and embraces 

her love, her destiny, she’ll know 

they’ll both know and their hearts will cry 

and sing a song of hope 

and the light would stay lit for all eternity

When I go home, I hope my parents raise their ban against me going in a bookstore because I want to find more Jewish-based books and bring them back with me. (I’m banned because I have told them a million times in the past: I’ll be 5 minutes, and there they are hours later nearly having to drag me out of there by my coat tail. I’ve always been such a bookworm. Ha.) 

Love Always, 

Karen Maeby 

[The Shabbat Edition 009]

THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRIDAY….because the other days are killing me!

A Small Synopsis

Yesterday was Yom HaShoah and I didn’t get to go to the Holocaust Museum like I wanted, unfortunately. Last of month/first of month at work usually wrecks plans, because invoices have to be fine-tuned, finalized and sent out.

Also, something very bad happened to me yesterday. Somewhere between having to to go the post office for work and getting gas after work, I touched my face, and when I got home to look in the mirror….it was all kinds of red and burning. I don’t know if I got a chemical burn either from gas or something that might’ve been the packages. I cleaned it up with cold water then threw peroxide on there (ouch, insert f bombs) and aloe (more f bombs)…it really sucked because I had to be at a friend’s house five minutes later, and then to my Thursdays-in-May Jewish class. I was sitting through the class highly distracted wondering if anyone’s noticing my face. Ugh!

Lessons Learned

-Still counting the Omer with the daily lessons from Aish.com, even though I need to get my act together and transfer to paper.

-Literal: Even though I’m going to be missing the next two Thursdays, I started a class at TBE to learn about the denominations of Jewish life. One thing that bothers me is this new trend called “Just Jewish” that the Rabbi mentioned – oy. I am more conservative than I thought. Am I growing from very open-minded to close-minded? I sure hope not, but. From a future Jew, who has to do a lot of work to get there, it doesn’t set well with me for those who are Jewish to be “Just Jewish” — it feels more like slang. Or that’s how I personally see it. Or that’s how I read it when I’ve seen it.

-There’s this new thing on Instagram: it’s basically following a girl around from The Holocaust on Instagram stories. The jest of the whole thing is to share and keep The Holocaust going but to “appeal to” or “teach” the younger generation. Guess what I think about this? Nooooo thank you. Even though I am following it just to see what’s up, I kind of really find it extremely disrespectful. First of all, technology didn’t exist like that back then. Secondly, are you serious? Even if it did, they wouldn’t be allowed to use it! Everything was taken away! Why not use Instagram stories to tell a story of someone instead of how they’re doing it now as if the person was going through the Holocaust at the moment. Oy. Oy. Oy. Chutzpah!

-On another note: stop touching your face, girl. Wash your hands after packages and filling your car with gas and etc etc etc.

Events/Special Moments

-Shabbat last week I got to be an extra in a movie. That was fab. You can read (sort of) about my experience a few entries back.

-Wednesday was my last official “Intro to Judaism” class. All 18 chapters of the book…done. What’s next? Our review, then…..?

What am I looking forward to this week?

-I’m already mentally gone but I’m looking forward to a 10 day vacay….even though the deal was to take work with me (if I was going to be gone that long). So it’s kinda really not a vacay…..just a change of scenery. Plus the laundry list of emails, writing and studying I have to do. However, it’s the first Mother’s Day in about 10 years I’ll get to spend with my parents/mom, so there’s that! I’m going to try to remember to do a video with mom, or possibly both my parents…so this is something you’ll want to see…! I think I’ll post on my Facebook, so if you’re on my personal FB account, watch for it there. I might be able to do a LIVE video? I really still don’t know how all of that works. Times have changed. I haven’t kept up with it.

-This weekend: major catch up with as much as I can get done in 48-60-75 hours….however many hours I have!

-Soup Sunday + writing…and hopefully, that’ll be my permanent schedule for a while for both of those things. Until SOAs go to stage.

-Oh and when I come back: SOAs, then review class.

Shabbat Shalom!
Love Always,
Karen Maeby

G-d designed each body
with two souls, a lighted candle
ignites the glitter in the darkened skies at night
what a travesty it’d be
if you didn’t ever find me, hidden,
among the burnt out street lights deep in Paris
with poetry to write
on the tip of my tongue, for you,
I sing this song… and to you…
I locked my heart–burying the key–in the Heavens
years ago, when we locked eyes
and we made promises that we’d meet again
meet again… and soon… on this journey of life…
when I’d find my star, my light, my soul
and it lights up the night.

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. 

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