Yesterday, the DisAbility Project performed at Central Reform
Congregation for three different schools who had sent their third or
fourth grade classes.
day before, I was at the same temple for the memorial service
for my friend Edward Coffield’s brother, Phillip.
It is amazing how different one day can be from another. I was
thinking about my job (54 full-time faculty, countless adjuncts,
20 (or so) programs. There is something always going on that
I should be doing or thinking about. It is like carrying a heavy
basket of grain
on my head.)
performed in the sanctuary. Our little pieces about employment
and transportation, name-calling and the ways in which
people with disabilities have been treated throughout history.
We did our
I am thinking about how wonderful and generous it is that
the temple so freely turns their space over to us year after year,
to perform for school children.
God is everywhere and in every moment if we only are present. But
there is a holy feeling of performing where people go to be with
God, where they say this will be my focus for the time that I am
and nothing else. No multi-tasking at the temple.
is funny how we use the word God where I believe that most people
in their hearts) that there is no more of a God than there is a
Santa. Yet the God we imagine performs because we, at that moment,
believe that she is real. When I was going to a University of Chicago
Baptist youth discussion group (probably as liberal as a church
gets) the minister told me that god exists because we create him
in our minds.)
the space contains that energy. The energy of healing, of good
intentions, soul searching and amends.
Of births, deaths, rites of passage.
could be that the space is dead as well, but that our belief in
the energy is
enough to propell us to the next landing pad.)
the service Thursday night, I went to thank the rabbi, Susan
Talve, to tell her how helpful I had found it. I
said how happy I was that we
would be back in the very same spot the next day. This time to
perform and through our performance,
for social change in the world.
you ever feel that sometimes when art is made for creating change
that the art
becomes sublimated to the mission?)
hugged me and said she was so happy that we are using the
space in this way. That this
is what it is meant for.
sounds so terrific. If I wasn't so against organized religion I
would certainly like
to meet her.)
was a part of me that felt a little
embarrassed. I am not an official
member of that
congregation, generous though they have
been to me.
I go to services occasionally, mostly on the
High Holy Days.
But I am not drawn to
or to worshipping in that way.
I think I feel
more divinity in
the act of creating
in the community
that arises around
that shared activity.
do so well with
rituals which I
taken apart in
think that is the key. Years ago I heard a sermon from a girlfriend's
we needed to find new ways of celebrating life. Now that has been
am a rebel with a
blue dress on.
misread that as, "I am a rebel with a dress on," and thought that
was a strange
thing for you to write. Then I read "blue.")
She has never
to me, in
all these years, “Joan, why don't you join?"
and says hello
when she sees
me. Even when
big crowds of regular
Like on the
I wrote to thank
her for donating
the use of
a classroom for rehearsal
a pro-choice piece
I was directing,
she replied that
I was an
of my own
was a tough
time. An important
A largely hostile
or indifferent media.
And really important
signal the unfurling
of the women's
sorry I'm not on the pro-choice bandwagon. I think it is a terrible
have to make (to prevent a child from living), and I wish it was
framed that way. Yes, it should probably be a choice, but it should
be reinforced that it is only the lesser of two evils (curtailing
life, or an unwanted child).)
when she said, "You
never have to worry. I've got your back."
guess we understand
As much as two
people who are
not more continually
to feel understood.
an award ceremony the other night I spoke how each of us should
do unique work because
noone ever shared our experience of time or place or body. The
next day a stranger came up to me at Whole Foods and thanked me
for what I said. That was very special.)
after the service,
I said how happy
I was that
we would be there
the next day and
how I felt
that the creative
spirit had an
element of the
holy. And we
mitzvahs, the Jewish
concept of doing
as a kind
of blessing in the
world and added
is a special
kind of mitzvah,
word I cannot
is the mitzvah
of beauty. And
is what heals
(Kim: I'd like to know
the name for this kind of mitzvah. I did some reading and couldn't
how it might
be possible to translate
idea to our
every day actions.
and create and offer
much as possible.
is a link
to the divine.
maybe to alleviate pain as Mother Theresa (and so many others)
Jan 14, 2006