Friday, October 31, 2008

A Halloween Meme with a Holiday Theme

I decided to do my own meme--feel free to take it if you like!

1. What's your favorite Solstice or Equinox? Summer solstice. Is there anything more magical?

2. What was your best Halloween costume? My aunt, who worked in theater, borrowed an amazing fairy costume for me from a production of Midsummer Night's Dream. It had enormous metal-frame wings dripping with green gauze, and I kept slamming people with them.

3. What's your favorite kind of candy? Penguin bars. English, and hard to find in the states. Runner up, Brazilian Pudding Pocky.

4. What was your scariest Halloween experience? In the early '80s, I, my mom, and my sis had to take shelter at a random house as a gigantic gang of teens armed with pipes and chains ran screaming through the neighborhood. I'm serious as a heart attack.

5. Do you like to be the go-to house for treats, or are you a faithful curmudgeon? I love to give out treats--to a point. When the teens without costumes begin to show up as it gets darker and later, well, that's when I put on the curmudgeon mask.

6. Do you, like my dad, think trick-or-treating is a little like begging? Well, yes, in a way. But sanctioned, socially acceptable begging. Plus, you're giving a choice. Trick or treat!

7. How many fillings do you have in your teeth? Many.

8. Ever dressed up for Halloween as an adult? What was the costume? Not really, but I plan to wear elf ears tonight to keep Hedgie company.

9. What did you hate to get in your candy bucket as a child? Hands down, pennies. Old worn pennies. Please.

10. Do you like to be scared (I mean, not by a robber with a gun to your head, but by horror movies or haunted house rides)? I LOVE to be scared in a fun way. LOVE it. Horror movies, scary books, haunted houses. I think it makes you feel sort of cozy.

11. What's your favorite horror movie? Halloween. Best ever, still. Love that '70s vibe.

12. Do you think bobbing for apples is unsanitary, or all in good fun? I think it's akin to putting your child's face in a virus-filled petri dish. I cannot believe my mom let me do it.

following questions courtesy of Hedgehog, answers mine:

13. What's your favorite spook (ie, ghost, vampire, werewolf, etc.) Ah, vampires. NC-17 version.

14. Have you ever had a trick played on you? What was it? No, but I'm still waiting!

15. What was your favorite neighborhood you've gone trick-or-treating in? My grandma's neighborhood in Long Island. Totally awesome, totally suburban. What a haul. That year we got to go back to Brooklyn and trick or treat AGAIN.

Back to my questions:

16. Did you ever dress up in one of those icky '70s store-bought costumes with the plastic masks that both suffocated you and cut into your delicate child-like skin? Of course. I'm an American child of the '70s, aren't I? But only one year, and I was a princess with a home-made hat to go on top.

17. If you're a parent, home-made or store-bought costumes for your children? Home-made. Hedgehog and I become obsessed. But I never judge the store-bought.

18. Do you dress your pets and/or babies up for Halloween? Never dressed dog or baby, as neither baby Hedgie nor Pippin would ever stand for it. But I always admire the dogs in costume, especially the indignant-looking mutts. And the babies dressed as pea pods.

19. Would you steal your child's candy? No, I can buy my own. Unless I'm desperate.

20. Do you see Halloween as the harbinger of the impending doom-laden holiday season? Yes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ill-Advised Blogging Averted

By popular request...well, Megan's request...I'm editing with some photos. First up, my latest meisterwerk, Carrot Man.

Well Sarge, who possesses more equilibrium and dignity than I do, prevented me from posting another rant about this freaking election. He thought that, like drunk-blogging, anger-blogging is never a good idea. So I won't post what I'm really thinking; for once I'm going to keep it to myself.

Instead, I'm going to post about my knitting. As far from politics as anything could ever be.

I have so many projects going now that my head is spinnnnnnnnning. I must prioritize.

First in the queue, I shall finish the socks for Random Chick. They're almost done, and very pretty. So Random, you and your socks will soon be together.

Next up, a fancy cabled sweater vest for my sissy, in lovely teal wool. It's fairly ambitious, but since it doesn't have arms it's less intimidating. When finished, it will have sterling silver frogs for closures; I rescued them from a sweater of Hedgie's that the moths got to.

Then, an afghan in bulky paprika wool that I promised Sarge's cousin, oh, about a gazillion months ago.

And a quick project which I won't detail here, as it's going to be holiday gifts for assorted peeps.

And a Winter Lace Afghan for a gift for mom.

So, what are you all knitting? Or if not knitting, what craft or art projects are you working on?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Thousands of pearls sewn, diadem crocheted with wire and a tiny needle, silver slippers purchased, elf ears affixed with spirit gum...all add up to one elf queen.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

100 Things about Me

Well, this is pretty long-winded and self-centered, but here goes. I'm hoping more folks will do this. I love to find things out about people!!!

100 Things about Me:

1. I believe in God

2. I believe that when my father died, he went to a beautiful house in a snowy woods that was one room big, made of ornate teak, with windows all around and a wonderful library of books and a cozy easy chair. There was a pub just a short walk away that my dad could stop at to chat with very interesting people and have a drink. I believe this was his stop-over to get him used to being dead, before he went to heaven. I saw all this in a vision.

3. I believe strongly in heaven, but not in hell.

4. I still am close, and always will be, with the wonderful girl I have known since we were born (that’s you, AKPW-K!). Our mothers became friends when we were in utero, and we were born three weeks apart.

5. I don’t support the NRA particularly, but I agree with their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Sarge said this and it perfectly expresses my feelings about guns and gun ownership.

6. I believe in our right to have guns with which to protect ourselves. I think it is a fundamental of American society.

7. I’ve always had a thing for a man in uniform.

8. I am scared of the police, even though I don’t tend to break the law.

9. I’ve never been really drunk.

10. I love hamsters.

11. When people I love died, I thought of an unusual but not too uncommon thing that, when I saw it, would remind me of them. For my grandma, it was white butterflies. I still think of her when I see a white butterfly. For my dad, it was a refracted rainbow, because in the moments after he died, the crystals hanging in his window cast rainbows on his face. But I think of him all the time anyway, so I don’t need to be reminded.

12. I was in love with a girl once. But it was really romance and not lust, and nothing ever came of it.

13. I’ve always had very vividly characterized imaginary boyfriends, even when I’ve had actual real boyfriends.

14. My first “boyfriends” were Kirk and Spock.

15. My current one is Severus Snape.

16. I have a cleaning lady once a week, which, though entitled and somewhat embarrassing, is the fulfillment of a bourgeois dream…

17. Although I used to be out loud and proud in the workforce, I really have no greater ambition for myself than to raise children and keep house. I don’t think my mother, who has a doctorate and a fabulous career, is totally on board with this concept.

18. I use sugar in my coffee. Not Splenda, not Sweet-n’-low. Sugar. And nothing weaker than 2% milk.

19. Is there anything much more delicious than an ice-cold Coke through a straw?

20. Hedgie is gifted, to a point that scares me sometimes, and I think that can be hard on a child. I’m working every day to make it okay and give her the right environment to nurture it but still let her be a kid for as long as possible.

21. Despite all my complaining, and my many many mistakes, I secretly think I’m doing an overall bang-up job as a parent.

22. I am deeply ashamed of my rampant materialism.

23. In 18 years together, I’ve never come close to cheating on Sarge (well, except with Severus). I have a near-pathological belief in the vows we took.

24. I’m a gossip.

25. When I was little, I used to borrow my cousin’s bra and wear it around stuffed with cotton balls. Now I regret that I didn’t relish my flat-chestedness a little more while I could…

26. My boobs are the absolute bane of my existence.

27. I’ve never been a pants-wearer. I’ve always liked skirts and dresses.

28. I love reading true crime, but have a moral and ethical aversion to my own prurience.

29. I love television.

30. I love yarn with a love that borders on obsession.

31. I love very scary movies, especially Japanese and Korean horror.

32. I also love Japanese and Korean Kawaii. Hmm.

33. I get all shy and groupie-ish around people from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

34. I used to be a Second Soprano; now I’m an Alto.

35. I was very active in my Hebrew school youth group, all through high school.

36. Although I’m a practicing Jew myself, I’ve only once dated a Jew.

37. I never wore my glasses in high school, even though I needed them, and as a result think that I missed a lot of the nuance.

38. I love tiny little things in tiny little boxes.

39. I was raised well, but Sarge even better. His worldliness and class sometimes intimidate me.

40. I define myself as politically conservative in many ways, and so was surprised to find that I fell into the libertarian-left quadrant of the Political survey.

41. I miss my grandma’s cooking, although it wasn’t really very good.

42. I don’t really like to cook, but I’m pretty good at it.

43. I make really delicious pot roast.

44. I don’t wear my engagement ring; it’s in my jewelry box. It makes me nervous. Instead I wear a ruby ring of my grandma’s. For some reason, that doesn’t make me nervous.

45. I loved high school. I hated college, yet I met the love of my life there.

46. I am not a prude. In fact, sometimes I think I’m as far from a prude as one can be.

47. But I hate when Hedgie and I pass people on the street and they’re cursing viciously to one another as people do in our time. I want to cover her ears.

48. We really try not to curse around Hedgie. When she’s not around, we curse.

49. I am very uncomfortable taking the Lord’s name in vain. But I do it quite often. I’m trying not to. Seriously.

50. I HATE when people crack their gum. It drives me insane.

51. Pizza is my favorite food. I haven’t had a slice in months. Damn.

52. I’m not that crazy about fruit pie.

53. I adore canned ravioli. But who eats that? It seems almost decadent. Maybe for my birthday I’ll buy one can for myself.

54. I adore canned chicken spread.

55. I adore Taco Bell.

56. I have White Trash in me from my dad’s side. I embrace it.

57. I’m a bit of a coffee snob, and I become secretly irked when I’m served weak coffee at someone’s house.

58. My mother was at Hedgie’s birth, even though she didn’t think she would be. She dropped in to say hi, and ended up staying. She was incredibly wonderful to have at my side. She even cheered and took photos. And she brought me iced cranberry juice when it was all over. Oh my, was I thirsty.

59. Sarge was at Hedgie’s birth too, and was also wonderful, but I don’t think I’d force him to be at the second one. I’m starting to think that childbirth is really only ladies’ business.

60. The best moment of my life was the moment I pushed Hedgie out. Who knows, maybe it was the endorphin rush…

61. I am pro-choice, but sickened by partial-birth abortions.

62. I like to tell about myself, but I’m also a very private person.

63. I have frequent dreams about flying, and frequent anxiety dreams, both.

64. I enjoy getting worked up about big issues.

65. I love to read slash fic, the more descriptive the better.

66. I always thought that I would be a rabbi when I grew up.

67. I dropped out of rabbinical school at 24.

68. I still believe that someday I might return to it.

69. When I was 16 I dated a much older hardcore heroin addict, and I enjoyed watching him shoot up. Now to that younger self I say: eeeew.

70. I told my parents way too much about my activities when I was a teen. They were always non-judgmental (why?).

71. I’m scared of toddlers; I think they’re a bit sociopathic.

72. I love snoods.

73. I love prescription tranquilizers.

74. I think the greatest love story ever told is the courtship of Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder.

75. Orange is my favorite color.

76. One of my best memories of adolescence is hanging out at a local diner with my best friends, eating tuna melts and French fries, drinking cup after cup of sweet milky coffee, smoking, and gossiping.

77. That diner is gone, replaced by a more upscale restaurant where I still sometimes go with a friend, but I liked the greasy spoon way better.

78. I once considered a career in law enforcement.

79. I’m wildly impressed by Sarge’s army career. It’s what first drew me to him in college—he’d come back from his reserve weekends in uniform, and I thought it was sexy.

80. I’ve never been in a physical fight, but I firmly believe that no one should tangle with me; they won’t easily win.

81. I’m street smart.

82. I use my fancy Kitchen-Aid mixer all the time.

83. My dissertation is tormenting me. I don’t want to finish it.

84. I get road rage; I just don’t act on it.

85. I love being the driver.

86. I’m not that into Thanksgiving.

87. I get all funny and sad when the days grow shorter. My favorite day of the year is the Winter Solstice, although it’s the shortest, because I know that after that, the days get longer, even if only a minute at a time.

88. I own the entire Sweet Valley Senior Year series, and I’ve read them all three times (I might add that one of my best friends is my partner in crime in this, but I’ll never name names…).

89. Sarge, Hedgie, and I value books above all other possessions. We own thousands of them, and are collecting more all the time. I wouldn’t feel at home in a house that wasn’t crammed full of books.

90. My lipstick color in high school was “Matte Claret.”

91. I’ve only ever used Macintosh computers. I’m a Mac snob.

92. I can hardly see without my glasses. If you stood a few feet away from me, I wouldn’t recognize you.

93. In museums, I prefer to sit in one or two spots near things I like to look at than to walk around.

94. I’m good at math, but was very lazy when I studied it in high school, so it didn’t become apparent till grad school…

95. Although I complain a lot, most of the time I’m content and glad to be alive.

96. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m afraid of dying.

97. I like to think about how the universe is materially finite.

98. I love clothes and shoes and wish I could spend thousands of dollars on them.

99. I love to give gifts to people, especially to make things for them.

100. I like to apply very expensive scented lotion to my decolletage.

101. I am so glad that I’m a woman.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Solipsistic Ramblings...

I must confess my activities over the last half hour: I've been compiling my list of 100 Things About Me, that massive narcissistic undertaking I've seen on several other blogs. I've really really enjoyed reading the bits and pieces of others' lives, histories, and characters, and thought I'd try it. Well, it's a little frightening how very very much fun I'm having, and how easy it is to write. Perhaps I'll even post it, with the caveat that no one has to or even should read it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

In the Reign of Louis Seize: A Political Rant, and Not the One You Think It's Gonna Be!

This morning's NYTIMES has a most disturbing right-column headline, one which troubles me greatly. Check the link. And the fascinating analysis. Let me just sum things up in case no one wants to bother with links to wordy Times articles.

The upshot is that not only do I NOT think it's exciting that Obama raised a record 150 million in campaign funds this weekend, but I think it's disgusting and disgraceful. Of course he's not the only guilty party; this is the way the system works now. But for shame! Am I the only one sickened by this gross excess? The world economy is crumbling, milk for my daughter is closing in on five dollars a gallon, regular people are having a damn hard time affording health insurance, and a reasonable roof over their heads, let alone luxuries, and politicians are boasting about the hundreds of millions of dollars they're raising for WHAT? Pellegrino and Viagra on the tour buses? McDonalds-style campaign ads and the clever self-congratulatory 22-year-olds who create them? Or is it going to solid gold diamond-encrusted campaign buttons programmed with a computer that holds conversation with you about the weather report for this week?!

The Republicans are a notorious bunch of fat cat big-business money launderers. God love 'em. But the Democrats are exactly the same just covertly. Well, 150 million--oh, whoops, 600 million--tells me it's no longer a covert op here. What can the defense possibly be? Trickle-down economics? Well, Democrats don't believe in the Trickle-Down theory.

When the next president, whoever he may be, takes office, I foresee a huge competition amongst contractors who specialize in mother-of-pearl toilets, raw silk wall-paper, solid platinum plumbing fixtures, and ruby-and-emerald-set kitchen tile. The new and improved Versailles--I mean, White House--will be the most lucrative contract ever. And don't forget, our tax dollars from our sweaty day jobs may well go to finance all 12,000 bottles of Clos du Mesnil vintage 1995 champagne, and a herd of wild boar to dig up truffles for Mr. President's dinner parties! I'm sickened, I tell you, sickened.

Bring on the candidate who runs a home-made 20,000 dollar campaign, and I'll vote for her. Of course, many won't. As one of my wisest gurus pointed out, much of the American public needs to be spoon-fed a gilded campaign, or they may not even notice there's an election going on.

I'm so furious that I can hardly choke down my frozen waffles over here in Brooklyn.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

F!@#$ You Facebook...I Mean, I Love You Facebook

School's back in session, Hedgehog is reasonably happily ensconced, the household is under control, and it's time for me to hunker down and finally write my mother-f-ing dissertation and become Dr. N. It is loooong overdue. I may never use it for anything, but I want that Ph.D.

So with that in mind, what do I do but find yet another distraction. And this one is a doozy. Facebook, you alluring aweful tool of the devil. One day in and already I've found and talked to several dear old friends with whom I've been incommunicado for literally decades. I even found a pic on my grade-school alma mater's Facebook group of me in lower school, all dudded out in plaid bell bottoms.

But it's also a strength-sapping vortex. I feel my resistance weakening...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Knit and Knit and Knit...

...and knit. I've gone fiber-crazy and have hundreds of skeins of yarn, silk and cashmere and merino, hand-dyeds, hand-spun, imported, local, one-of-a-kind and mass-produced, then hundreds of needles, notions, crochet hooks, pattern books, knitting magazines...

I must have thirty or more projects in my queue at this point...and more in the hopper...more and's soooo out-of-control...

I decided to post this little interview I did with Sarge; it's been floating around and about, with knitters asking their partners these questions...

Me: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
Sarge: That you’re good at it. Cause you’re good at something, I like that. I like being impressed by you.

Me: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?
Sarge: you go a little bit overboard. Too many needles, and they’re all over the house, too much yarn and it’s all over the house, too many swaps and they’re all over the house.

Me: What is something I have knitted, that you recall as good?
Sarge: I really really like that leaf pattern that you worked into a scarf. It’s not knitted, but I really like the ornaments that you made for my mom. I love the giant ripple in Rowan Glace. The drape is fantastic. [yes, the man knows what drape is] The multi-colored baby blanket for Hedgehog I love.

Me: What’s something you recall as being a disaster?
Sarge: That friggin afghan out of that garnet and grey squares, out of this terrible acrylic, that was unpieced and sat around for years. Tell me you don’t remember it. God, even you've blocked it.

Then let me talk about my birthday sweater…it wasn’t so much that the sleeves were too long, and one sleeve was longer than the other, as that it was never actually finished. Cause the sleeves I could have rolled up. You must think you’re married to Lurch from the Addams Family. Or an orangutan. Or a Gibbon. And who knows, maybe I am.

Me: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?
Sarge: Yes. Yes, I do. I don’t think it’s necessarily an expensive hobby, but people who become deeply committed to it want more and better everything, bobbins and lace treadles and yarn shuttles and spinning wheels and looms, eventually alpacas…

Me: Comparing hobbies, who spends more?
Sarge: You. Because I tend to binge, whereas you steadily spend.

Me: Do you have a stash of any kind?
Sarge:You better believe it.

Me: Of what?
Sarge: I have so many model airplanes, I’ll have to live to 140 before I finish them all, certainly at my current rate of building. And then there’s the guitars…

Me: Have I ever embarrassed you, knitting in public?
Sarge: No.

Me: Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?
Sarge: Rowan Cotton Glace, is that right?

Me: Can you name another knitting blog?
Sarge: Knitty, is that a blog?

Me: Do you mind my wanting to stop at knit shops wherever we go?
Sarge: No. I mind your wanting to stop at generic craft stores for knitting supplies wherever we go. Sometimes.

Me: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?
Sarge: not in a knitting term, no I’m sorry I don’t. Is that like a test square?

Me: Do you read "The Weather in the Streets"?
Sarge: Yes, occasionally…

Me: Have you ever left a comment?
Sarge: No.

Me: Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?
Sarge: No, I don’t think it would.

Me: Anything you'd like to add?
Sarge: I think it’s kind of interesting that of all the stuff you’ve knit, you’ve never actually finished anything you’ve started knitting for me.

Oh, and p.s. I'm answering these two other somewhat random questions posed by Suzanne, and others:

1. What do you admire most about each of your parents? I admire my mother's creativity, kindness, and wacky sense of humor. I admired my dad's ability to treat each thing that came his way, including his impending death, as a great adventure!

2. Which would you prefer and why? To have every stoplight turn green upon your arrival for the rest of your life or to have one week of the best sex any person ever had?: Oh, definitely best sex ever for a week. Not that I haven't had it already, but imagine how mind-blowing it would be if there was even better (with Sarge, of course). Sitting at red lights gives me a chance to knit that extra sock!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Holy of Holies

On this, the eve of the holiest day of the Jewish year, when we come close to God through fasting and prayer, self-denial and self-examination, I leave you with a song, composed by the soulful little boys in Hedgie's second-grade classroom:

I am Barbie,
I have a world of Barbie,
My boobs are plastic,
My butt's elastic,
And I'm fantastic.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Dubious Approach to Family Planning

It's become obvious to me that Hedgie needs and wants a sibling. She had her first sleep-over on our anniversary, and loved it, especially, she told me, the comforting sound of her friend rumbling around in the top bunk, and the fact that just moments after she awoke, he peered down at her and they could get up together, eat rice krispies, and read comics before the grown-ups made their appearance.

I always shared a room with my sissy, even in adolescence, even when there was another room available, and we both liked it that way. Through all the squabbling and slapping, there was always a wonderful, faithful, and fun connection between us, and I just can't imagine it any other way. I never imagined I'd have an only child, but here we are, a family of three (not counting the myriad pets), with my at times severe anxiety keeping me from the second.

Now that Hedgie is older, nearly 8, and flourishing, and delightful and helpful, I can finally...maybe...imagine another one coming into our lives. Things would be different this time--I live now in the lovely nabe of my own upbringing, surrounded by dear friends and family and support systems aplenty, my marriage is strong and happy, our family life is at least reasonably cheerful and organized and peaceful, etc. etc...

Yet...still I'm full of trepidation. My pregnancy was really a great one (although my aversion to any and all smells, as well as compulsive approach-avoidance to barbecued chicken and bean burritos wasn't so fun), so that's not the problem. I even had a pretty good birth experience (despite the mind-blowing agony, it was kind of exciting too). I love babies, though toddlers scare heck out of me, I don't mind breast-feeding ad nauseaum. I don't know...something about interrupting our little circle of love here, bringing an unknown quantity in, well, it's always a gamble, and I do seem to overthink things...

So last night I spent a good hour browsing through the fancy baby carriages online. I thought maybe some shopping would give me the charge I need to carry things forward...a little sick, I think. But so like me.

Well, I discovered that I like the Peg Perego Skate in black. I like it, I want it, dammit all I shall have it. The question remains, do I want the baby that goes in it?

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Twelve years married today, almost 18 years together. I just adore that Sarge, and I believe he's my bashert, a Yiddish word for destiny--the one who is divinely ordained as one's soulmate.

I thought I'd revisit a poem by Allen Ginsberg, one of our favorite poets, that was read at our wedding party:


The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

Who can deny?
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
a miracle,
in imagination
till born
in human--
looks out of the heart
burning with purity--
for the burden of life
is love,

but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms of love
at last,
must rest in the arms
of love.

No rest
without love,
no sleep
without dreams
of love--
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
or machines,
the final wish
is love
--cannot be bitter,
cannot deny,
cannot withhold
if denied:

the weight is too heavy

--must give
for no return
as thought
is given
in solitude
in all the excellence
of its excess.

The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye--

yes, yes,
that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.

San Jose, 1954

Friday, October 3, 2008


It's hard to go about one's business (the dish-doing, the laundry and shopping, the dropping off and picking up at school and lessons) during the High Holy Days and not feel the weight of them--which is, I suppose, appropriate. It's the holiest time of year in the Jewish calendar, and the time when God is closest to us. If these days are a time for t'shuvah (repentance, or literally, turning), and self-awareness, and self-examination, they're also a time for remembering those who have gone before us, those who are no longer with us, the ancestors who are present only in odd and sometimes only half-remembered anecdotes and photos from the earliest days of photography, and the more recent losses which still hurt very much--this unbroken line that connects me to my family and my family's family and back as far as memory can go--

The Holy Days culminate in the Yiskor service on Yom Kippur, when we gather in synagogue to say prayers together especially for the lost ones, to formally and collectively remember--and it's a hard service to sit through--the children are sent outside to play, where they are almost but not quite oblivious to the tears and pain inside--I remember being shepherded back inside when Yiskor was done, seeing the tears on my grandparents' cheeks, and knowing in an inchoate way what those tears meant. And knowing that I would join them on the benches inside one day, and in the far future that I would sit there without them too.

So I think today is my day to remember names: Paisach, Manya, Moses, Benjamin, Katie, Libby, Tillie, Honey, Harold, Eva and Mac, Sidney, Oscar and Marion, Sam, Abby, Alexander, Michel, Ray...

The Lock Gate by Paul Celan

Above all this mourning
of yours: no
second heaven.

To a mouth
for which it was one of a thousand
I lost--
I lost a word
that had remained with me:

To the worship of many gods
I lost a word that was looking for me:

the lock gate I had to go
to save the word back
to the salt waters and
out and across: