BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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When You Aren’t Looking

There was supposed to be a meteor shower the other night. What could be better than a sky full of shooting stars to wish on? Especially right now.

We headed to the backyard, beverages in hand, to wait. The lounge chairs had their comfy cushions on them, and it was the perfect temperature. We reclined and gazed at the sky.

It was nice, being out in nature, even if our present definition of nature was our suburban backyard. We talked and laughed and all the while kept our eyes on the sky.

Nothing.

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What we didn’t see

At least nothing that either of us could see. We joked that while we were facing South the light show would be happening behind our backs. Maybe it did.

We were out there for almost two hours. Two hours of reconnecting and relaxing and escaping from the reality of our collective lives right now.

Still, no meteors. Eventually the conversation overtook the sky watching and then, it happened! Or, I think it happened. Maybe.

I’m pretty sure I saw a lone shooting star (meteor, whatever) in my peripheral vision. I realized it was like looking for love. It seems that when you try really hard it eludes you, but when you relax and allow yourself to be present without that singular focus, the world opens up.

I think there’s a lesson there. Be present, count your blessings, and those shooting stars will appear in their own good time.


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Curse This Blessing

slider_image_5Tomorrow my niece will have her Bat Mitzvah. She will get up in front of the congregation and friends and family from near and far and she will read from the Torah. It is a Jewish rite of passage and she is well prepared for it. She will do great.

I, on the other hand, will bomb.

I never had a Bat Mitzvah. I was raised in the same synagogue where she will have her ceremony, and while it is a beautiful house of worship, it’s also quite large. As a kid her age I was quite shy. I begged my parents not to make me do it, and they agreed. I still don’t entirely understand that decision, but I’m happy with it. As a result, I never had to go up there and recite Hebrew in front of all those people. I dodged a bullet. Or so I thought.

A few nights ago my brother mentioned that he would like me and my mother to recite two prayers during the service. One is recited before reading the Torah, and the other is recited after. I’ve heard both of these prayers many many times during my life, but could I tell you the exact words? Did I mention that they’re in Hebrew? Gulp.

My brother told me not to worry, they have a laminated card right up there on the pulpit so you can’t mess up. The words are written in english syllables. Sort of. And the tune… well, let’s just say it’s a kind of sing-song chant thing. I should know it. But I don’t.

My internet access has been somewhat limited, so it wasn’t until tonight that I was able to hunt around on youtube to find these prayers. Finally, a Jan Lieberman, a cantor from Florida, had what I needed. I know most of it, but there’s still one line that’s tricky. The sounds she makes and the english letters on the laminated card don’t seem to match up in my brain, so I’m still a little stuck on that part. Add to that the fact that my mother is completely tone deaf, and I don’t have a great voice to begin with, and I think we’re in trouble.

The good news is that I’ve got the first prayer down. The further good news is that the second prayer is only about 15 seconds longĀ on the youtube video. It will be fine, I have all night to listen to it. Besides, nobody will be paying attention to me anyway, it’s my niece’s day, and she will be perfect.