Monday, May 5, 2008

Friends of Yer Son's, Yiddish Kulture and an Open Convertible along the Connecticut River in Springtime

[in response to ez's query about going out to dinner w/ joshua's friends...]

yes, well, i guess taking josh's friends out to dinner cud be awkward -- but it was really fun, in an awkward way, maybe...

josh was proud, methinks, to have his dad with him (and picking up the bill...) while mo, sebastian & sergio were thrilled to get a night out in northampton eating home-style mexican food and wolfing big, fat ice creams while strolling the streets of a real college town.

so, man, it was kinda cool to be footloose and fancy free in the evening, under the berkshire moon, away from the glaze of the student leaders and teachers w/ yer friend's long-haired, greying dad doing the honors, driving the car and the like.

'freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose...' as janis & kris sang...

i actually did enjoy hanging with the boyz just b/c it's nice for us as parents -- hard as it may be for you to believe -- to hang w/ you guys and even your wild and wooly friends. go figure!

i mean we imagined you, birthed you, raised you, paid the bills, saw you laugh & cry, weep and worry, wonder and wikipedia over the many precious years. all good stuff. very good stuff, in truth. and now simply being together, near you, makes us feel happy and proud.

strange, of course, in the way of we fragile and fond human beings, but it's just true and deep and good. that's all.

of course, the mex food was yummy and the hot fudge sundae a treat, even for me.

plus, it's always fun to see your and josh's friends. i'd heard about sergio and sebastian and had had a dinner w/ mohammed last october over here, so it was good to get more of a sense of who they are in person and together w/ joshau. imagine if mom and i had heard narayan, sudip, silash or suraj's names w/o ever meeting them. or you never meeting scott or dave or davis or matthew. the face & soul fill in the empty box and we all feel more alive and real and good (again...good...).

'we are family! just my brothers and sisters and me!' as some soul collection sang a few decades back...

oh, yes, yesterday, sunday, after dropping joshu back at nmh for his day-long student leader training, i went down to hampshire college to see their well-known yiddish literature museum & collection. definitely a remarkable, awe-inspring feat to transfer a thousand years of european jewish kulture from the pale settlement to the woods of amherst, massahusetts for safe-keeping and memory. naturally, too, it touches the soul to see the ashkenazi kulture that was nearly exterminated in the middle of the 20th c. revived in spirit if not reality for future generations to admire and ponder.

no doubt, we jews are a 'people of the book'. for us, writing, literature, stories, parables, drama, spiritual events, messiahs, prophets, tzaddhiks and the search for g-d continue to define our existence, our identity and our longing.

then, for the first time in my world, i drove a convertible w/ the top down on a sunny, blustery, new england spring day along the connecticut river valley. the leaves are just starting to come out here, so they're tiny, blurts of color on the dark tree branches against a metallic grey-blue sky. beautiful in a rough, temperate way.

i look forward to doing the drive w/ you & joshu with mom and ms. leah next fall when we're all together here on the american side of the great and glorious global pond...

hey, now it's monday and as long as i catch my 7 am flight tomorrow from logan to jfk, i'll be home by the kindness of eithad airlines at 4 pm something on wednesday. amazing, no!!!

i'm ready to step back into real time reel life on the other side after this delightful and deeply meaningful time w/ mom and dad, joshu & friends, claudia, bruce & buff, plus friends, over here in america. we are fortunate to have such lives. love, work, family, friends, landscapes, museums, nature, life and all of its manifold manifestations.

soon, i'll see you at home on wednesday late afternoon when i stroll the garden to take the measure of the newest bamboo shoots to see how they've grown in the two weeks i've been away...

ok, gotta edit a paper for joshua, then take your computer to the apple store in an hour, get some clothes washed and go through the books on our family history that bruce has today. no rest for the wicked, as you know.

'while time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future...' sang the steve miller band...

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