Friday, November 1, 2013

It wasn't bad.

Halloween turned out to be a really great day. At some point I realized I don't have to tune in to the lowest common denominator of the spirit world just because so many others are, and in fact, I am pretty good about avoiding most of it. I have to sip the energy a little bit since I'm swimming in it on East Capitol Street, but almost straightaway yesterday morning, I had clicked into a wave of great ancestral energy.

I knew I was on the right track first thing in the morning when I ran into the nerdy, braniac househusbands of Capitol Hill. I love those guys. They write books and conduct tours of haunted Georgetown, take school kids to the museums. Their wives are the careerists in the house, so they get their kids to school, then go for coffee. Their clatch is all about witty repartee and intellectual sparring. They don't sit there all day, though. They have to get home and do the laundry, or research their next book or lead a tour. They are adorable. Anyway, I saw them at the espresso bar, stopped to chat. One of them, someone I've never seen before, noticed my tattoo, asked about it. He directed me to the Library of Congress, Hebraic section, to the Holocaust Yizkor books.

When I did the research at the Holocaust Museum library a few years ago, they told me there was a Yizkor book for my family's shtetl, but it was in Yiddish. But the brainiac househusband said my ancestors' remembrances may be among the books that have recently been translated from Yiddish into English. I will definitely head down to the Library sometime next week to see what I can find.

I listen carefully at this time of year especially for the voices of my ancestors. How sweet to receive a tip on how to access the old stories - in English! Very cool that this happened on Halloween, from out of the blue, from someone I've never met. It was powerful. He would have never thought to steer me to the LOC except for the tattoo which, I believe, he found mildly offensive. It's interesting.

One of the brainiac househusbands took this picture of me in my urban shaman costume. I'm looking at my tattoo, sending love backwards in time to my ancestors.

After that, I went to see Damage Control at the Hirschhorn. It was provocative and disturbing - I'll be thinking about it for awhile. Last night I sought refuge, as always, at the house on Tennessee Avenue. We drank red wine, had a home cooked dinner and ignored the mayhem ongoing in front of the house. It began raining around 9:00 p.m., another blessing. The rain discourages trick or treaters.

The best thing is: Halloween is now 364 days in the future. Not my favorite day, no it is not. But I've learned in recent years how to dance to a different beat than the gross, gory, bloody, scary, greedy sugar high so many folks indulge in. This is great!

Onwards and upwards to T-day. Shalom.

Smithsonian Metro station yesterday. Nice and empty.


Rebecca Clayton said...

This November 6 is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Droop Mountain, and there's been a lot of festive marking of the occasion with historical reenactors, battlefield tours, and new signage. I'm expecting all this attention to make the period between Halloween and Veterans' Day especially fraught with bad vibes, but who knows? Some years, I don't notice a thing. Can oblivious-ness be a blessing?

Reya Mellicker said...

Ignorance is bliss?

Steve Reed said...

Washington has such magisterial Metro stations -- those huge vaulted spaces.

Why do you think the man was offended by your tattoo? I wonder if you're projecting your own tattoo insecurity.

I've never heard of a Yizkor book. What does it contain? Is it like a census, or are there actual remembrances and accounts of life in a village?

Pam said...

I'm intrigued too Reya. Great to see the photo of you - not that the reflection captures aren't fun - but that's a lovely photo to share.

Reya Mellicker said...

Jews are not supposed to be tattooed. What he said was, "What does the Rabbi say about your Shalom tattoo?" I gave my standard "So traif it's holy?"

He grimaced, said, "Maybe so holy, it's traif." There was a feeling of mild repugnance radiating from him.

I'll write about the Yizkor books after I visit the Library tomorrow. A great idea, gathering stories and memories from the survivors. I can't wait!