Friday Dispatch: Lost but not really
Five things I'll keep from this week ✨
In one of my ongoing online writing groups, I often ask the question on Friday mornings, “What will you keep?” This week, I thought I’d answer my own question here by sharing five things. Here goes!
This week, I started a new eight-week series called Spring Yoga Reset with Katie Shults of Build Yoga. This is the thing I needed that I didn’t know I needed – that’s the thought that floated through my head as I stood on my sticky mat on the lumpy grass, reaching up towards the towering oak tree then down to the damp earth for our first sun salutations. This series is held at Stone House Farm, a Bed & Breakfast with gorgeous grounds here in Amherst.
Equity and Interdependence Conversations.
Mani was out when I got home from yoga, and Pearl was at his dad’s house this week. So I was on my own for dinner. I buttered some sourdough bread for a grilled cheese while I logged onto Zoom for a program called Supporting Trans and Queer Youth in the Face of Political Attack through Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, led by Flora White, a 17-year-old queer artist, poet, and activist. She was amazing and it was good to talk with other LGBTQIA+ folks and allies from around the country. Learn more & check out IBME’s upcoming conversations.
Lost but not really.
Yesterday morning, after coffee and Wordle and before meeting up with Aviva at Barnes & Noble to spend a couple hours co-working, I headed out for a run. The 10K my sister Joanna and I are signed up for is on June 4 and I’m not doing any kind of formal training program beyond trying to get my ass out the door at least a few days a week. In an effort to change things up, I cut through a nearby construction zone to get to a really pretty path through some fields I’d entered another time from the opposite direction. I was somewhat confident I could figure out how to cut across to a different main road to do a big loop from my house. Haha. When I came out on the street, I was sure I knew where I was. Well, turns out I was completely wrong – I was almost exactly where I had started. I had run in a circle. I had gotten myself lost, but not really. That’s the funny thing; sometimes you think you are lost but it’s more that you just aren’t where you expected you would be. It reminds me of the saying, “You’re not lost, you’re right here.” Yes, I look for metaphors everywhere. The cool part is that I found myself standing in a parking lot with some beautiful murals.
p.s. I have a feeling this rambling paragraph might be like the writing version of that run – kind of aimless and circular. Sometimes it’s just like that.
Mani’s last day of classes happened to coincide with our tickets to see Rufus Wainwright. We met up at Joe’s for some old-school spaghetti and garlic bread before heading to the Bombyx Center for Arts and Equity in Florence for the show. The space was packed but it’s a small venue so the show still felt intimate. His piano playing was swoon-worthy, and we were so happy that he closed with his cover of Hallelujah.
The first Bagels, Belief & Belonging class 🥯
Welcoming the first cohort of this group was so meaningful. Eight of us gathered on Zoom to embark on six weeks of sharing a container dedicated to exploring our Jewish stories, identities, journeys, and questions. I read an article about Rabbi Harold Kushner, of blessed memory, which includes this excerpt from his Love Letter to a World that May or May Not Deserve It:
There were days when you were more generous to me than I could possibly have deserved. And there were days when you cheated me out of things I felt I was entitled to. There were days when you looked so achingly beautiful that I could hardly believe you were mine, and days when you broke my heart and reduced me to tears. But with it all, I choose to love you. I love you, whether you deserve it or not (and how does one measure that?). I love you in part because you are the only world I have. I love you because I like who I am better when I do. But mostly I love you because loving you makes it easier for me to be grateful and hopeful about tomorrow. Love does that.
~ Rabbi Harold Kushner z”l
This group is, as I said in my welcome yesterday, near and dear to my heart, a way for me to extend my love of Judaism and Jewishness and integrate it further into my work in the world. Many themes and topics arose yesterday, including:
What does it mean to be Jewish, what does it mean to do Jewish, what does it mean to do social justice work as Jews, what does it mean to have more questions than answers, what does it mean to grapple with faith or lack thereof, what does it mean to be an individual Jew versus a member of the Jewish people, what does it mean to be Jewish-curious?
All of this and more is what we’ll be making room for, and I am so excited and grateful. I even made a Google sheet for the group to crowdsource with Jewish resources – from books and music to shows and websites. I’m super hopeful that this experience will bring so much learning and connection.
The next round of Bagels, Belief and Belonging begins June 15!
Come learn more and hold your spot here:
So, that’s my five things from this week.
I want to add one more note (no pun intended), which is that I used the “Notes” feature here yesterday for the first time to share my in-the-moment feelings about the horrifying murder of Jordan Neely. (I also posted this on Facebook.)
I will be honest and say I am still feeling out Substack. I am most intent on having it be an easy and direct way of connecting with you, and, as with all things technology and social media related, you have to sort out the useful from the extraneous. Take what you need and leave the rest, my friends.
We face a daily deluge of content, news, information, opinions, legislative emergencies, calls to action, and opportunities to learn. Sometimes the best thing you can do – I can do, we can do – is put the phone down, close the laptop, and step outside or read a book or just look out the window. Please take care of your physical body, your nervous system, and your spirit.
To that end, I currently have space for 1-2 new coaching clients! ✨
Where would you like to be with your writing + life come July? Get started this month and we’ll spend a few months helping you move in the directions that matter most to you. Choose from meeting once, twice, or four times per month.
To get started, come over over to my website!
What are you keeping from this week?
Shabbat Shalom and love,
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