My little Kosher-girl hands were fearful: wash; wash again. My finger tips tingled each time they got close to the taboo meat. Could this possibly be worth it?
Orders and legions of never-written mandates governed what dress to wear, who to greet and how—as we were poked and prodded by grudges, shoves and insinuations.
“Tomorrow you can see Diana’s new piece. I’m dancing in it.” Diana lives next door to my hostess on the getting-better upper West side. She’s a Liturgical Choreographer, whatever that means. Delightful—a free dance performance in Manhattan. On Sunday morning I trudge off on foot through Central Park to the Church where the performance will [...]
I shot the guard one of those Urgent American looks—we really can’t help ourselves—and he offered that I could go up if I paid him. This not being a time for principal, I of course responded “how much.” For a $5 note I got the high eastern view and more importantly, solitude for sunrise at Angkor Wat.
This was notable for being a large mixed age and gender Khmer crowd with just a very few foreigners and a very unselfconscious mingle. I was surprised to be dragged back out onto the dance area by mature women who probably have no English but enjoyed the sharing. Everyone laughed, danced, stole each other’s partners (always ambiguous in circle dancing) and smeared powder. No language necessary. We wanted to leave? “No, one more, one more.” These are the moments that vindicate solo traveling and are worth the risks of a little loneliness.
It was very tender to share this personal element of life with people who could so readily relate to the inherent importance and sanctity of the ceremony and the sentiments brought forth. Twists of being the stranger, welcoming the native, bringing the strange celebration and having it embraced as the gift of life and love that it truly is,
A song of Passover. Taste the Bread… On Passover we welcome the stranger and we become the stranger wandering to find our spiritual home. WWe recommit to our most audacious dreams–those of peace and freedom.
“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” John Adams, in a letter to Abigail, July 3, 1776. John Adams was off by two days—he thought the holiday ought to [...]
This is my holiday greeting this year–a celebration of the sweet spices that find their way into so many winter treats. Happy nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, clove and anise. These spices go so well with sugar, chocolate, red wine, conversation and coffee. Stay sweet.
Passover is a reminder to renew the search for freedom in the world and in our own hearts.