Monday, July 4, 2011

Search for Meaning--A Work in Progress

This may have been straight out of a book that John Updike did not get to write. It had those same privileged guests in it--the suburban couples--glamorous, somewhat cold, and not clear what their jobs or meaning are. They are still at it with some of the same exclusive emotion if that what it is, and the same air of upper class-ness that excludes just about everyone else. They may have lost a step in the process of life and aging, but they are still at it.

The wedding had stabs at religion in it--a rabbi who wore a black robe and a tallit with little observable meaning. She reminded me of Diane Keaton just playing another role that never got really defined. At one point during the ceremony, she passed a tallit onto the couple being married--for just a brief moment, she said a brief blessing without much emotion, and placed the tallit down on the dais--after it served its brief and limited purpose, all alike an artifact, a prop, like the glass to be crushed without the usual meaning. We were just visiting this artifact of history.

And then there were the words of advice or meaning to the couple--the rabbi just spoke the words of the couple on why they said that they loved each other--from the dog to being smart and honest to loving the Redskins to being up when the arrived home late from work. This couple lived together for awhile and knew the surprises of togetherness; so some of the newness of marriage was gone--maybe to be redecorated.

The reception began with the appetizers and bar--dominated by the sushi of a trendy hotel that just made it into the traditional Jewish wedding reception. But at this wedding trendy was in, and was dominant while tradition and ruach or spirit was an artifact of life and just receding in the background. When the hora finally came out or was brought out from the closet, it was late after many meandering speeches and searches for meaning in relationships that were dominated by phone calls and connections that seemed like tall grass unmowed like the weed mentioned by the bride's brother who asked that the couple "don't go married on me."

Even the music played professionally enough by the loud 12 piece band whose vocalists screeched out too many of the words, and drained all energy or subtlety out of many of the new and old songs. Kay Perry and AC/DC in one medleyed into each other and everything else.

The dancing was fun of sorts but it all was just an artifact for another part of the visiting of the wedding ceremony and celebration. I am sure it had a different meaning for the wedding participants.

The father of the groom said that he wanted Yiddishkeit in the events and hired part of a klezmer group the night before for the rehearsal dinner--not the main event, but an attempt to have some meaning for a part of our tradition that seemed like just another piece of the evidence, an artifact to the visiting of the tradition and the spirit. Ruach a receding gene in the tapestry of this beautiful event at a trendy hotel in a part of town that is artificially built on a circle that goes nowhere and overlooks everything.

Lost Childhood

With my mother's recent passing, my period of elongated childhood ended and so did a piece of great luck. For I had a special relationship with my mother that cannot and should not be repeated or duplicated. Now there is no one who will provide that undying love and connection that only my mother provided. It seems almost surreal that I had that special relationship when it is gone--you earned it just by being a son, hopefully a good one in return. A lot of good memories are what stand in its place, it is irreplaceable, as maybe it should be.