Monday, March 30, 2009


I don't handle it well. This morning I got online to get U2 tickets. I was on at exactly 10am when they went on sale and got two tickets in my queue. As I was trying to sign out and pay for them; Ticketmaster would not put me through to the end payment process when I tried to edit my credit card information. And time was running out. When I tried to get back to the pay screen I got bumped off the system. And now here I sit - show sold out and I am pissed. I mean I actually cried. Was it because I was not going to see Bono up close (and these seats were pretty good!)? No. It was because I had something that was supposed to be mine and then I didn't have it anymore. It was gone. I expected it. Felt entitled to it. And now it is gone. I am not one to get upset over not getting concert tickets. That's not my style. But lately I have gotten more and more upset when things don't go my way. I feel that they should. I should get the few little things I ask for. Hasn't life been hard enough without such a disappointment?

My four-year old even tried to make me feel better (he has the chicken pox, mind you and should be being comforted by his mother and not the other way around) by hugging me, stroking my head (the way I do to him) and telling me that it was okay. That there were probably other people who didn't get concert tickets either. But I just kept crying and hitting the keyboard saying over and over again that "I couldn't believe it!"

I went to a Morrissey concert recently and I felt great during and after it. There was a collective excitement that I got to be apart of. It was like creating theatre again. That feeling of sitting in the dark watching great creations with other people and sharing a collective experience. Euphoria. Excitement. Unity. A toxin-free high. And then it was over. Couldn't re-live that experience anymore and I had to go back to the laundry and the dieting and the drudgery of my life.

And I realized that this disappoinment over U2 tickets is exactly the same thing. I have been on a concert binge lately. Getting tickets for everything to try and re-live that Morrissey experience. I want to feel alive, again - like in my late teens and twenties. There I go chasing that dragon again. But aren't concerts better than pizza or coca-cola? Only marginally. I got a message today about myself - that I need to be engaged in life. I need to participate and contribute to feel alive. I need to have meaningful work - something that gets me out of bed every morning besides taking my kids to school. That is what this concert addiction is about. That is why I was disappointed about U2 tickets - because I wanted something to look forward to. Something to - give my life meaning? Well, that sucks. Bono, no matter how well he sings (and he sings like a freakin' angel) cannot be the reason I get up everyday. My own internal fire got dampened. And now it is time to reignite it. My life has very little passion and I am a person who thrives on passion. So my disappointment is not over U2 but over my life. Sometimes it's better to blame ticketmaster!

My son just came downstairs and said: "Mama, you stopped crying! I knew you would let it go." Out of the mouth of babes.

We are blessed, may we recognize the blessing.

in peace


photo by: JesApe

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beware the Ides of March - For Marty / On Leah

Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15th - according to Roman Lore. He was told by a seer to "beware the ides of March" a phrase made part of the common lexicon by Shakespeare - where all good lines come from (yes I did just end a sentence with a preposition - the Bard would be proud)! This year I did not beware the ides of March and it snuck up and bit me on the tuchas. It was a bitter-sweet-bitter day for me. The funeral of a loved family member - Marty Bressler and the birthday of a dead friend - Leah Ryan. On the surface Marty and Leah were not at all alike. Marty a strong, tall, striking man in his late 70's. A lawyer, devoted husband and caregiver to his late wife Rosalind who battled with brain cancer for over 15 years, a father, community activist, staunch Democrat and liberal (okay they are starting to look more similar,) life enthusiast, drinker of scotch with fruit and as I learned at his service - a harmonica player. Leah was in her 40's. A tall, strikingly beautiful, independent spirit. A writer of all things sardonic, witty and thought-provoking. Generous to a fault, a great cook and a woman whose laugh was infectious. I can still see the way she would tilt her head slightly with her mouth open enough so you could see her entire tongue move in rhythm with her sound. A tall figure often dressed in black or animal print but with a heart of hope and breadth that awed me. I love Marty and Leah. I am a better person for having held them and argued with them and known them. Both of them were dear to me and both of them died from leukemia. And both of them stood up and took control over their death by ending their treatments.

In Judaism it is considered inappropriate to mourn too long for the dead. A year for those close to you. My mourning of Leah is coming to an end just as my mourning of Marty has begun. I will end saying Kaddish for Leah very soon and I have just begun it for Marty. Neither of them were blood relatives. Neither of them were immediate family. But both of them are dear to me. Marty a grandfather and Leah a sister. In life and in death I will think of them always with a metaphoric scotch with fruit and a head held back in laughter.

Beware the Ides of March.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How long till my soul gets it right?

Reincarnation. I am really wondering if that is a real thing. Awhile ago I did a thorough excavation of my preconceived afterlife notions. I think it had to do with meeting and marrying my husband, a firm agnostic who hates labels. Ilya doesn't know if there is a G-d and it doesn't keep him up at night either. He also believes that when you die that's all folks. No chariots, no clouds, no celestial choirs. But there is also no hell and people gnawing on your brain if you were ever mean to your Mother-in-law!

I came to, what I thought were, some pretty creative conclusions about life and death and the afterlife. I believe that there is no heaven or hell. That you die and that is it. But I also firmly believe in the idea of reincarnation. The coming back and living your life over and over until you've cleared up your karma and you "got it right." My interpretation of reincarnation and karma is a bit different. "I" did not come back. The things that I needed to correct or erase or do over would keep happening through my future generations. If I was messy and I didn't get over it or try to work through it in this life then one or two or all of my kids would be messy and it would be their challenge in their life to work through. But my "messiness" would get reincarnated and through it so would I. That is inevitable, isn't it? That we get passed on to our future generations not just through genetics but through nature. For example, my father always patted our backs when he hugged us. He called hugs "pats" and he would say "pats are very important!" All of my children pat when they hug. Now, I could be unconsciously patting them on the back instead of holding and squeezing, and that's why they do it. For whatever reason, they pat and their children will also pat and so on and so on. That's a good trait to pass on.

But what about addiction? When they say it "runs in families." That means it stays there until someone learns the lesson and releases it. Their addiction karma is cleared and that trait does not reincarnate in their offspring? I always thought that would be a good thing. But my father was challenged by alcohol and drugs - and I am not. But I cannot put down sugar. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Lately these things have been causing me agita because I spend more time trying to excavate and extinguish all that I perceive to be bad habits. At what point do your flaws become quirky personality traits? Where is that dividing line? I have a perfectionist's mentality without creating the same results. It haunts me. It makes me feel bad about myself. It sets an impossible bar for me, my children and all those unfortunate enough to come in contact with me that day. And it seems to be the work of women, especially mothers.

Today in the car I was listening to Galileo by the Indigo Girls. Emily asks this question in her lyric:
How long till my soul gets it right
can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of galileo
king of night vision, king of insight

Can we ever? We humans are interesting work.

We are blessed, may we recognize the blessing.

in peace

Photo: Mobile Hamish