Thursday, November 13, 2003

I have just returned from Society from Neuroscience in New Orleans, and have been swimming (joyfully, clumsily, and absolutely out of breath, the only way I know how) through the past two days, preparing Fruity Jews in the Woods.
I recorded some ramblings on my laptop about the conference, and I will probably post them soon, but they are mainly notes for my own record.
Overall SFN in New Orleans played just the oracle I had wanted to conjure. I spent the long weekend with 30,000 neuroscientists from all over the world, trying to dance with as many of the 15,000some presenters as I could. Many interesting presentations about important research I would never want to spend my life doing, A few inspiring speeches, a few revelations about human will and the scientific project. Perhaps most importantly, I got a glimpse into the post-college afterlife. The conference was mainly peopled by neurosciencefolk whose age ranged from a few years older than me to 60 years older than me. And they all hung out at the same silly bourbon street bars and kareoke clubs, talked science and everything else, listened to jazz, and got a little bit rowdy. nobody had really grown up, at least not in the metamorphosizing way I had imagined. It was beautiful.

I got to chat with Rabbi Arthur Waskow today. He really prepared me in all the ways I needed for this shabbat, for bringing 60some fruity and impossibly diverse jews together for an intimate and passionate pandenominational service in the woods.
I once tried to pronounce the name of God, he told me. I wasn't buying this "Adonai" and "melech haolam" business. But I also knew there were no vowels, so "Jehovah" and "Yahweh" were equally ridiculous. So I looked at it and tried to pronounce it. Do you know what I found? Take a thirty seconds and try it to yourself if you want.

It was a revelation.
What we all share. All of us, created in God's image.

he said many more great and inspirational things, but I have to go pick up kosher mozzarrella right now, so I'll have to continue later. with much love.