Lights, lights, lights

Tonight I am sitting on the porch with my menorah (mostly because it’s hot inside and I really don’t want to turn on the ac in December) watching the last few lit candles dance down in darkness to some unsung tune. I am admiring the way that the wax dripped down on the menorah creating some sort of untamed art. It’s very poetic. It’s also kinda cool seeing glitter on the table too… when I have no idea why there’s glitter on this table… except I guess everything is covered in glitter if it belongs to me?

she sings
as the last candle burns out
her soul is still dancing
and it stays lit
even when the town
turns down for the night.
the stars
twinkle, twinkle and glitter-glitter
in the night’s moonlight
and she wishes up on the brightest
as she calls out to G-d
to help her find her bashert.

With the secular year ending, I am hoping for some new and happier beginnings, as my first Jewish new year didn’t start out so hot (unfortunately)……but maybe if there were a lot more tacos involved, then maybe perhaps it would have been a lot better. But seriously, it is truly the year for change, and I am trying my very best to make things happen as early as possible so I can get a move on in my life and get to where I am needing to be going…..the path that is destined for me by G-d. Especially so that I can meet who I am supposed to meet in my life.

Earlier, I was listening to some of my records and cleaning a bit and I thought how much I love Judaism. How glad I am to have found it. I know I definitely wouldn’t have found as much meaning in life if I didn’t see the light the first night of Hanukkah in 2017. (And I still don’t know why I keep spelling it that way but I do.) Even now, I sit here and think how many wonderful things have come from my Jewish journey. That and returning to theatre were definitely two of the best things I ever did in my life. Both have enriched my life so very much in many, many ways.

I thought about the chai and Star of David necklaces that I never take off. The meaning of life, being Jewish and the journey of becoming Ahava. It’s all so important. Everything in my life has always been centered around the words: life, love, light. I’ve always known that love can’t be bought. Love exists within and you can’t truly love if hate/fear (also jealousy) are present. Be the light.. the one to help light the rest. Truly taking chances, living life before settling, taking risks and not being the hermit crab that doesn’t change homes…. G-d gave us a wide variety of choices to explore for a reason.

Next year for Chanuka (or right before), I want to get 8 children’s books that talk about the holiday and see what I can learn. In a way, I do feel like I have lost a lot by not growing up Jewish, however, I am just starting out so it is okay for those feelings and not knowing everything and understanding (if I don’t) and etc. Being Jewish means questioning everything and learning every single day. Both two things I really love to do. With the accounts I follow on Instagram, I’m constantly seeing so many Chanuka books and I kind of want to be/see that too. You know?

Going back to light. I have always loved candles. I have always loved Christmas lights. The last several years–before finding my way to Judaism–I knew Christmas wasn’t for me anymore. But I always found comfort in the colorful blinky lights, going through ornaments from family and years past, and the traditions that come with it. When my grandma was living (age 16 and younger), we went to Illinois or Indiana for the holidays. Doing the same thing mostly–family, opening presents the same way, the dinners, fun times. Then she died, and I told my mom it wasn’t going to be the same ever again. I knew. Even at a young age, I knew. When I still lived at home, we’d continue to go to Indiana then everyone started having families and moving all across the US and it just got too difficult to do anything. My aunt passed away in early 2018, and my mom said the same thing I said when grandma died.

Thank goodness I wanted to be a writer when I was younger because that’s all I have to rely on…. my writing. My memory is fading fast, but with rereading things I’ve written, I quickly remember… and that is all I have: memories. It just makes me wonder and think–why did G-d put me in this position? Is it because later on I was supposed to become Jewish but I had to go through the realms of losing the majority of my family (that kept to tradition) and all parts of that to really understand and appreciate my future as a Jew? The tradition? Family? Memories? But where is my Jewish family? The one that is supposed to help me embrace Judaism? I cry out to G-d for this, now.

(I swear…some of the things mom/dad does, it’s very Jewish. I really think it’s in my blood.)
This was one of the Hanukkah presents mom sent along.

Last night we had the Chinese dinner at CBI that I wouldn’t shut up about. It was delicious and I was very happy and refreshed after going. Put me in a lot better spirits than I had been all week. We had tiny presents on our table: dreidel and gelt…and fortune cookies!

It’s getting to be about that time where I’m going to have to stop all other activity (other than work) and solely focus on stage managing… because I’ll be going straight from work into rehearsals or performances and will be too exhausted to do anything else. So maybe one or two more entries over the next few days and that’s it for a bit. I’m sure I’ll fill up notebooks before the 2 weeks are over. Today the writer of the musical (he spends rehearsals with us) asked me what song was stuck in my head this morning. Ha ha. I think I seriously need to lay off the fireball right before bed because I have had nothing but weird and vivid dreams. And that is where I will end this entry…. here is a poem that I wrote earlier in the year. I am reposting it because of the light/candle subject and the dreams that I keep having.

7/9/2019 by Karen Maeby

part I

at night the candle dances
creating a song, expelling from her soul
and sent into her lover’s dreams

like a letter in the mail, sealed with a kiss.
she lies there awake
waiting for the moment for her destiny
to wake up… to hear her voice (again)
the one that sounds like an angel
and the arms that hold her so tightly
into the Universe, producing
a thousand melodies on a bed of roses.
their unconditional love is that beautiful.
will her lover hear her call? will she respond?
she prays to G-d with everything she’s got
that through the darkness of the night,
her lover will respond to the light.

part II

there was a moment she had her
cradled in her arms
lightly kissing her–saying it’s going to be okay–
to be brave, as she washes all of her fears away.
their eyes meet upon a darkened stage
and when the lights turn on
you can hear Phantom of the Opera’s
“All I Ask of You” playing to the tune of their hearts:

Let me be your shelter,
let me be your light;
you’re safe, no one will find you,
your fears are far behind you.

All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night;
and you, always beside me,
to hold me and to hide me.

Then say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime;
let me lead you from your solitude.
Say you need me with you, here beside you,
anywhere you go, let me go too,
Christine, that’s all I ask of you

Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime;
say the word and I will follow you.

Part III

That lovely soulful song is played on the grand piano
and a rose is laid on top of the sheet music…
She plays it by heart, memorized, for the rest of her life
she closes her eyes
and she can’t get her lover’s eyes out of her mind.
Every night she goes to bed
and dreams, and dreams, and dreams–and asks–
will the other half of her soul hear her
through the dreams…that bring the light through the dark

She’s still waiting for a reply, a letter back, a remark…
She is hopeful inside and out–her heart and soul–
that she’ll hear something before the dancing candle
deep within the soul blows out and into the wind.
And, she closes her eyes… and prays to G-d..
will she get an answer? Will she ever get the call?

creds to Phantom of the Opera for “All I Ask of You” lyrics

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