We are just back from a great, long 10-day trip for my daughter’s spring break.
I meant to leave word that I was signing off for a bit. I meant to write while I was away. I meant to say happy Passover. Or happy spring. When it started to look like I wouldn’t get the time or privacy to do this writing on our trip, I meant to post pictures. Daily. Getting out of town, especially for a longer trip, is sometimes challenging around here.
Just before I left I spent several interesting days at a feminist conference, had a couple of informational interviews, applied for a job, did an inordinate amount of laundry (I really mean an enormous amount of laundry– how do three people who aren’t coal miners or professional athletes generate all that?) and did about a zillion other things.
We went to San Francisco where my very close, old friend, L. (my first blogging partner) lives with her daughters and partner/husband. We adore them. I’ve wanted to write about Passover, this particular Passover and the meanings Passover has for me at different times. The wonderful seder we made. The spinning classes I went to with my friend at a YMCA in San Francisco. The YMCA there full of women and men from ages 16-87 in all shapes and sizes. The clusters of old Chinese women speaking English with each other. Jewish women, Black women, fat and skinny women. There were things to write about being with my partner and daughter and my mother– and with my friend’s mother. Our two mothers met for the first time in the 30-plus years of L’s and my friendship. I want to write about suddenly being old enough to have 30-plus year friendships.
There were visits with two other important friends in San Francisco and there is always the beauty of the scenery and the light there.
The second and third parts of the trip were Chicago. My Chicago. City first then suburb. My sister and my nephews joined us. We adore them. The particular way I can relax, laugh and cry when I am with my sister. My nephew J. and his very interesting and wonderful mind. We all love him.
My nephew I., whose birth I was at– who now towers above me, drives, travels to foreign countries. We all love him. Being with my mother in her home.
In Jewish practice there is a period called shloshim (which means thirty). It refers to the first thirty days after a death. It refers to that very intense period of intense pain and awareness in the thirty days following the death of an immediate family member. My father’s yahrzeit (anniversary of a death) comes on May 17. Passover eight years ago was the last time I was with him while he was alive and then he died very suddenly. Since his death, I experience my own shloshim in the 30 days before his yahrzeit. An acute awareness that he is gone, that things were hard, that he was a good, Jewish man, that I learned from him and struggled with him. The pain of having lost him suddenly, without having had the chance to say goodbye.
Now we are back in our home. Besides this intense period of time leading up to my father’s yahrzeit, it is mundane right now. I threw my back out so badly hauling luggage up the stairs of our walk-up at 1:00 a.m. when we finally arrived at our building from the airport last night I am twisted into the shape of an S. I know my chiropractor will bail me out on Wednesday but for now it feels like my father just died on the one hand and on the other, my hurt back keeps me occupied with questions like, “hmm, can I lift that milk into the shelf in the fridge without a wrench?; Can I walk from the car to there or should I look for a closer parking place?”
Once I see the chiropractor, my back will regain it’s straight strength and with straight back my brain too will unkink and I will think and write interesting thoughts again about many different things. But for now, sorry I left without so much as a note. Photos to follow.