Sunday, January 11, 2004

we are going, heaven knows where we are going....

never understimate the power of reaching out to total strangers for no particular reason. today on the metro, i struck up with a man sitting with his guitar case and smiling. if anyone was at kramer books tonight, then you probably saw him play, because he was on his way there. he ended up giving me copies of most of his albums, and soliciting me to go on tour with him. his website is, if you want to check it out. just hearing him talk about music was enough to lift me off my seat. I haven't checked out the CD's or the site yet, but heaven, what amazing gifts must lie in people we allow to sit silently next to us.

this shabbat is still radiating out of me, and i am still basking in the billowy feeling of floating back and forth, down toward the earth. elizabeth came up from charlottesville VA, and we explored new jewish fronteirs in DC. friday night we prayed at the DC minyan, which met at the RAC (Religion and Activism Center? Religious Action Center? It's on mass ave). Some pretty good energy, creative conservadox egal compromises, but otherwise a very traditional and straightforward service. Lifted up immeasurably by the discovery of Joe Gindi praying next to me, who I had not experienced since Jews In the Woods Spring.
This morning, we prayed at the Zoo Minyan, which happens in someone's apartment living room across from the national zoo. Radical feminist revisions of the liturgy, including the original text of Psalms--would I want to do it every week? Not sure. But I'm glad I got to experience it happening, and pray to a female-gendered conjugation of God at least once. Most importantly, the people were all welcoming and passionate and filled with the joy of shabbat. i don't think i will have ever have trouble praying with people like that, no matter how they conjugate God.
Elizabeth and I wandered around the Zoo for a while after, enjoying the company of ambassadors of other great nations of the earth (monkeys, elephants, octopus...), and we met a man at the camel exhibit, who was awestruck by what were probably the mellowest animals in the whole park: "Isn't it amazing that God created camels! They have those humps, so that Egyptians can ride them, and they don't have to eat for days! God is so amazing!"
as the sunset, we set off for a new shabbat frontier, havdalah at Abby Bellows house in Vienna. what a holy day. it would have been wonderful to do it all without getting into a car, but i'm glad i didn't let that stop me this time.
afterward, i took the metro back to maryland, and Ester picked me up and we went to Nomi's birthday party. She was so happy--happy like I had never seen her before, happy like it overcame her and became her.
mmm.....floating back down....slowly