I remember mere fragments of my childhood.
Ice storms that quieted the day’s regular patterns.
Practicing the violin as I looked out at the ice and snow and saw cold everywhere.
In second grade we learned about clouds. We looked up every day. Talking with God. Without language.
Lilacs, purple, abundant, outside my window. The bunnies and the cherry trees.
In the summer heat of Illinois, the smell of the chlorine at the large, crowded, noisy, public swimming pool.
The taste of the wetness as I stayed under water looking at all the white legs kicking. My first kiss.
I don’t remember when I learned there were legs of many shades or when I wondered why I only saw white legs there.
Maybe it was in India, 5 or 6 six years old. Attending a British Catholic school run by white nuns. I am the only white child. And Jew.
At 14, I wondered about Jesus and reading the New Testament. An act of independence, searching.
When did I feel shame for my body, being a woman? I don’t remember when I became a feminist. When I became angry.
Or the moment I understood that mental illness and patriarchy were interwoven.
I ran after my mother’s tennis balls. Now she is attached to the couch.
(When did I start to slow down, have trouble getting up off the floor, or taking my first steps in the morning?)
When did I fall in love with you?
Sitting on the beach and watching you pray to mama ocean.
I remember my big dark hair, curls, depth, wild. My hair is grey. When did that happen?
New Website Coming in the next few weeks
Hi Everyone, I want to make sure I don’t lose those of you who are “following” me which means you automatically get my writings from this blog (chayasgarden) into your email box. Word press doesn’t give me a way to know who is a follower (unless you have commented). For awhile chayasgarden will be forwarded to the new site, but not forever. (is anything forever?)
Please drop me a line with the subject: “keep me on your blog” so I can collect your emails to make sure you can find me on the new site! firstname.lastname@example.org. THANKS Chaya
We came together and said words of importance out loud. The unspoken words were much louder and even more important. It was unavoidable that some would hear them and others wouldn’t. It was unavoidable that some unspoken words were misunderstood.
There were unspoken responses to the unspoken words.
By the end of the hour so much was said it was hard to know what reality was the run-through, true line.
What was the road to walk on? Who are you? Where are you?
I only see a bubble above your head with the words you don’t say.
“Thank you for your honesty” meant, “Did you really have to say that?”
Wait! Stop talking!
I have been writing for a few years now on this blog and I am ready to spread my wings. I want to ask you to do two things for me:
- When you are touched by something I write or have some comment, please comment on this blog. (it’s fine to also let me know via email, but I would like to have the comments on the blog unless you want to stay private.) Thank you to those who have commented on chayasgarden.
- Please let a few people you think would appreciate this blog know about it. I feel that I have categorized my writings easily enough that people can look back at writings that might interest them.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for being on this journey with me.
Please Share Chayas Garden
Recently my friend Laurel suggested I send a piece I had written to another blog and they are about to publish it on their blog. This has encouraged me to think about getting my writings more out there in the world. If you have friends or groups you think would appreciate reading my blog or any specific piece of writing, please share my link. Remember, my writing spans reflections on Grief, Cancer, Torah, Healing, Prayer, Suicide, Chaplain, Love, and Kaddish (and more!).
Also, I love your comments. It lets me know you are reading what I write, and gives me encouragement to continue! When Judith’s mother Bernice (z”l) was alive she would read my pieces every morning and send me comments. I started writing more just as a connection to her! It was very powerful.
Thank you for listening and being part of this journey.
Haikus for the Day
Walking in the Cemetery
Walk with the spirits
Leaves blow air crisp squirrels run
Stones with memory
Party of old friends
A full truth yet unspoken
A room of laughter
To gather love stories food
Pumpkin cheesecake cream