"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Jewishness and Good Books

I have been tapping away at my electronic genealogy a lot lately. It has become a gigantic web of elastic connections and stories and imaginings, it goes sailing all the way back to the 1100's in some spots and stops abruptly after three generations in others. I love they telescoping strands of married pairs, folding and opening as I click along through them, adding in stray dates, looking up locations and searching for their children, noting the ones that lived past childhood and the ones who were only a little zephyr of a life.

Been fascinated lately about the fact that I am more Jewish than I ever realized. My two greats grandpa was orphaned and then emigrated from Germany with his brother and sister missing Hitler by a solid couple of generations. So strange to think of a relative that close in my line who listened to his mother say the prayer to welcome Sabbath at his own table when it is so different and mysterious to me. I have thought so much about being a tiny shred of Chippewa (cliche though it may be) and because its been talked about so much in my family I feel that chip of my identity so strongly. It was a little surprising to see in my test results (I had my dna tested for my last birthday) that I am more Ashkenazi Jew than I am Native American. I love the idea of Judaism and have been reading Jewish writing and theories for a few years. I also keep making these fabulous Jewish friends by accident who are smart and hilarious and exciting and totally mind expanding. Interesting how lives weaves us onward and keeps plopping the things we should think about down in front of us in little dollops. Then there's my cousin who just spent time living in Israel for a few years with his Jewish spouse. I'm sure thinking about it all.

I am reading again after a hiatus. Life comes in cycles for me. I have to leave things off for a while or take a whole new tack and look at them fresh. I usually alternate cycles of fiction and non-fiction to stave off reading boredom and life-burnout. I was on a super long non-fiction bender for a while there and then I had a break and a mental blank space for a while. I'm now reading some light fiction and enjoying imagination and the playful freedom of pretend worlds and characters. Some non-fiction is starting to sprinkle back in too...all in good time. I have a book on Mary, a book on Mosses and a romance set in Paris on my hot burners right now.

Ru has taken off reading himself and is no longer an intimidated or edging nervously round the faux chapter books level kid. He's all nose in the book, missing what you're saying, head over heels confident about reading things he can't even understand. Love to see that I've launched one kid into the world of word adventure. So beautiful to see how much he is enjoying it and the great power there is there for him now to know that any book he sets his hand to can be unlocked and unfolded and chewed into a somewhat digestible meal.

The boys are making friends with the neighbor kids who live on the other side of our tall board fence and have progressed from tossing the basketball back when it accidentally hops over to climbing the orange tree so that they can lean over the fence on their elbows and make commentary on the games the kids are playing in the driveway. I like this magnetic neighborliness, the way kids just can't help peeking through the knot holes at each other and shouting jokes over the 10 foot tall boards. They told us that they used to play with the girl who lived here before us. I found one of her kiss marks on the inside of the office closet walls and a little heart filled in with dark ink inside one of the kitchen cupboards too.

The days are long and the beach is calling, the roses keep putting out new blossoms and the hummingbirds are whirring back and forth across the backyard. I want to can peaches and tomato sauce and bring an armful of sweetcorn home from the farmer's market for dinner. Tomorrow is a new day and we are all going off to reboot ourselves now so that we can get up and have a bright new morning full of coffee, fried eggs and lemon blossoms. Its been a while friends, company has washed into our house in three successive rounds and just now ebbed back away. I have been thinking of you all....of my brushes....of my guitar, Sending you all evening love from my coast to your little corner of the world.


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