There was a shank bone on our Seder plate this year but it may be the last one. Vegetarian Jews use a bloody red beet instead but maybe next year at Casamurphy, a pale turnip will suffice. My body has surprised me and apparently is waging a fight against aging and for the full moon of Purim and then again, the Pesach full moon I have been surprised and weakened and shed blood that I thought I would never shed again. I’ve postponed the croning ceremony and have examined my Egypt and prayed for the strength to overcome that which hobbles and enslaves me, but the Red Sea has not parted magically for me. My heart is full and yes, it is fuller than it was before we sat for Seder, I struggle still to remain undaunted.
Spud’s carpool was taken to an Italian bakery which showcased his favorite éclairs and creampuffs. We have loosened up on Passover a little bit each year since we began observing it in earnest, some twenty years ago. Even the Orthodox have removed corn and rice from the list of forbidden foods. I used to scrub and remove every bit of chametz from the premises. This year, our panty is largely untouched and filled with cereal and pasta and crackers which I simply chose not to eat. I took the kids for Mexican food and we ate only corn tortillas and not flour but I have not commanded them what to eat and what not to eat. They are old enough to choose what is meaningful for them. Spuds was hungry and he loves creamy baked goods but he refused and watched the other kids chowing down in the van on the long ride home. Even if his allowance money is being funneled into the McCain campaign he is a good boy and proud of who he is and I am proud of him.
Am not sure what the fifteen year old is eating when he is out in the world but there’s lots eating him. His relationship with the surfin' rabbi Spanish teacher remains provocative and again, I was summoned to school for a conference, during which, his mom’s boy, the fifteen year old uttered “fuck” a number of times. The fifteen year old is a pain in the ass and I do believe he could do better and I told him that he would have to suck it up and within the course of the same five minutes I felt like scooping him up and comforting him like I did when he was a baby and like slapping him around and giving him a royal thrashing. I called his old school and begged them to consider readmission and was reminded that he had been quite unhappy there. I responded that the new school had changed his definition of unhappy. The public school system is a nightmare. Having a fifteen year old is a nightmare. But, perhaps, being fifteen years old is the biggest nightmare of all. The fifteen year old's Egypt is vast and bleak and terrifying. I am beside him while he cries and screams and rages but it is a scary and a frustrating place to be.
I have focused less this Passover on what I am not eating but instead on sifting through the crap in my head towards cherishing the wisdom and inspiration and recognizing the bullshit for what it is and letting it go. A great gift, from Father Boyle, via my beloved Bob, was the reminder that what I am is enough, which would make a great tattoo, for which my ass certainly has ample surface space.
The dust is thick at Casamurphy. I would rather throw out the first pitch at Chavez Ravine stark naked then have another soul see our garage. Or my husband’s underwear drawer. He screamed at me for masticating almonds in bed. I imagine that when he drives my car he removes the CD before he turns the key in the ignition, lest he hear even a note of the music that gives me so much pleasure. There is a medical diagnosis of a sensory integration disorder. I used to just think he was just an asshole and sometimes I still do, but while the house crumbles around us and we have an infinite capacity to irritate each other, we take a nap on Shabbat. We even curled up together the afternoon before our little Seder. There was much to do in the kitchen but I was weak and weary. He held my hand. I fell asleep. I woke, perhaps an hour later, and his hand still held mine firmly. The Red Sea will not part but I awoke in my bed on Shabbat and I felt God’s love. May all who are weary find this comfort. Happy Pesach and Shabbat Shalom.