Everybody’s Got A Hungry Heart

We feed so many good things in our lives:

  • minds
  • souls
  • hearts
  • bodies
  • spirits

And so many negative things:

  • hatred
  • resentment
  • anger
  • sadness

This was an eventful week. I participated in the feeding of so many aspects of my world, and I hope the positive energy outweighs the negative that swirls around us.

My girls closed their summer apprenticeship with actor, silent clown, slackrope walker, and juggler Philip E. Johnson, who performs around the world as MooNiE the Magnif’cent. They learned much about the work that goes into five shows a day, rain or sweltering heat, and much about themselves as sisters and performers.  Two days of shows, culminating with a Labor Day of friends, joy, laughter, and applause.

Tuesday I was back to school and wall to wall meetings, culminating in a rambling, discursive opening meeting of the full faculty and staff that left me vaguely uneasy. I was due home quickly as Wednesday promised to be a day packed from beginning to end. And I had food to make for Rosh Hashanah.

While the brisket was cooking and the soup was simmering, I was preparing my remarks for the next day when my 16 year old yelled, “Mommy!!” from upstairs. She only calls me Mommy when something terrible has happened. She arrived in my office, gulping air and fighting tears: a certain “church” that loomed large in the play The Laramie Project (she performed last year) had announced plans to picket at their high school during High Holiday Services when a local synagogue rents out the auditorium. “How can people hate like that?” she asked. I had no answer for her.

Wednesday began at 7:30 with my opening remarks to the Fall meeting of the Faculty Association. A day of  transition meetings and more transition meetings was capped by a race home to stop at the farmers’ market and dinner for 15.  My daughter was in a different place. Her journalism teacher had assigned the story to her. She could cover the protest objectively. It was the only way she could deal with going. So we fed our bodies and our spirit, asked Adonai for a good and sweet new year, and she and her friends and my husband walked over to the protest.

The church of hate speech was a no-show. There were maybe 40 of our children there, dressed in rainbow colors, holding candles and standing quietly together. The police officer in charge approached them and quietly told them that the vehicle with the picketers had left town and was well away. He did not believe that they would return. He did not tell the students to leave.

Our children hugged, and half of the crowd returned to our house where we welcomed them and gave them brownies, hot cocoa, tea, and popcorn (and leftovers from dinner if they were really hungry). They took their candles and sat on the lawn, quietly talking.

Thursday I had a small skin cancer removed from my upper arm. It is gone. I am newly vigilant.

Friday my new seventh grade arrived in my room, eager, enthusiastic, happy, curious, and wise. I am excited to meet them and learn with them.

Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don’t make no difference what nobody says
Ain’t nobody like to be alone

Everybody’s got a hungry heart…     Bruce Springsteen

May we feed the love, spirits, minds, and bodies of the people around us. May we seek the way of the sage and put ego aside. May we turn the power of hate with love and understanding. May we all have a good and sweet new year.

Big Heart of Art by qthomasbower

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