Archive | Church Matters

It’s Always Something

Sunday, on the precipice of a new moon and the Jewish New Year, I woke at 4 am, early even for me. Cool air drifted through the window and rain pitter-pattered against the glass as I lounged in bed, draped in an autumn mumu and reading my second Gilda Radner book in two days. I’ve been pretty open about how hard I’ve been finding life, so the peace of that moment was sweet.

I’m not entirely sure why Gilda’s been giving me so much comfort right now. I’ve been reading and watching everything about her and I think partly it’s her guilelessness coupled with that intense mischief. Her intelligence and sense of the absurd were palpable, but so were her huge vulnerability and empathy–it was all wrapped in an enormous, childlike glow. Not a childish one, mind you for by all reports she was eminently kind, and children rarely are. (People who think children are born kind are fooling themselves; kindness is always a learned trait.) But Gilda was surely childlike: playful, present, boundlessly, bountifully enthusiastic. So much so that her voice was extra-raspy and her limbs extra rubbery, as if excitement was constantly stretching her limits. Continue Reading →

96 Tears for Aretha Franklin

As I sent light to Aretha Franklin in this morning’s meditation practice, my phone randomly began playing her cover of “My Way”; a second later her death hit the wires. I chalk that synchronicity up to Aretha’s magic, not mine, because she was the most powerful musical conveyer belt of our time and always always sang everything, and I do mean everything, the best. She wrote and performed amazing songs, and she improved on everyone else’s by giving them the most soulful, the most heartfelt, and the most empowering interpretations. Hell, even Otis admitted her take on “Respect” eclipsed his, though he recorded it first. Whether she was producing, performing, or stepping up with sisters like Angela Davis, Aretha always did do everything “her way”– probably even decided when it was her time to go. But I will sit shivah this week anyway. Formal mourning is required when someone in your family passes over, and though I never met her in person, readers of this blog are well aware that Aretha Franklin raised me through her shining example and songs. I’m crying as I type this, and “96 Tears” doesn’t begin to cover how many more I will shed. I love you forever, mama.

Rose-Colored Wrecks, Edgy Angels

I dreamed a very generous friend took me on what was ostensibly a road trip but really a mission to Harvey Weinstein’s. She claimed to be counseling him in his “convalescence,” but I could see I was going to have to bite a hand that was feeding me, because fuck that shit. I was pissed I now knew the location of his secret lair, even more pissed I found it enviable with soaring ceilings, forest views, loads of pink light. I didn’t see Harvey–my friend was upstairs with the “client”–but my awareness of him was like someone had shoved a pile of shit beneath a million-dollar rug; you could smell but couldn’t see his rotting decadence. I wanted so much to write a whole novel on his enormous pale velvet couch but instead had to go. Of course being me I fled only to realize I’d left everything I needed behind. To wit:
Computer
Wallet
Phone
Keys
Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy