A few months ago, I had what seemed at the time like a loss of epic proportions. On the way home from visiting friends for the first seder of Passover, the seder plate that had belonged to my parents and had become mine when they died, shattered into multiple pieces. The story of the experience can be read here.
When it first occurred, I read meaning into it, fearing that something or someone in my life would be broken too. The day after this ritual item cracked, a second plate from a set that I also inherited from my parents (the pieces are the ones with the stripes in this mosaic) cracked in half when a spice jar fell out of the cabinet and directly onto it. I am a firm believer in messages from the Beyond and it felt as if my parents were trying to get my attention. That they did, loud and clear. After shedding tears, I contacted my friend Nancy Wexler Taylor who is an artist. Her specialty is taking the broken pieces of crockery, dishes and pottery and giving them new life. When I brought the shattered pieces of my parents’ dishes and laid them out on her table, I handed a piece of my heart to her as well, trusting that she would take good care of all three. Her studio is wall to wall shelves with donated and thrift store dishes, cups, plates and bowls. It was like stepping back in time. I could feel the energy emanating from the kitchenware as they represented generations of meals around dining room and kitchen tables, just like those I turned over to Nancy.
At my childhood home, meals were lively, filled with conversation. My dad worked ‘crazy hours,’ as my mom described it, but he usually made it home in time to join us. She used to say that as an inquisitive child, I would ask questions about all kinds of subjects, including sex and usually at the dinner table. She told me that when those arose, my father, who blushed at the mention of sex, turned it over to my mother and said, “You take this one, Selm.” (Her name was Selma) There were no taboo topics in our house. The Passover seder table welcomed family and friends of various religious faiths. One year I invited two friends Phil and Janet whose relationship blossomed as a result. When they got married, I officiated and when my husband Michael died, Phil became my son Adam’s unofficial Big Brother and then surrogate father. When Adam and Lauren were planning their wedding, Phil and I were to walk Adam down the aisle. Another broken piece…Phil, who had a congenital heart condition, died a week before the ceremony. Janet and I accompanied him instead.
One of my daily contemplations is how much gratitude I have for the blessings in my life, some earned, some granted by grace. Family, friends, rewarding patchwork quilt career, stabilizing health after various diagnoses, the ability to support myself well with abundance to share all fill my cup to overflowing. With the state of the world, I am often at odds with how to remain in my own state of equilibrium.
Yesterday, I attended a Pride event in Doylestown, PA and had some aha moments.
“Celebrating Pride with the multi-faceted community. I had some revelations while I was there. Strolling up and down State Street for a few hours, breathing in the delight of the human rainbows of all ages, it felt surrealistic since part of my mind focuses on the beauty of life and part of the danger. In my lifetime, I have not experienced so much emotional bombardment from world events. I saw and hugged present day friends and ran into one blast from the past friend Twain Gonzales. We figured out that we met more than 30 years ago and likely haven’t seen each other for more than 20 years. I handed out Bucks County Kind Cards. I did some networking. I was asked by someone from Del Val University to be a guest speaker at her class in the fall.
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Artwork: Nancy Taylor Wexler [email protected] IG/FB nancywexlertaylorarts