Let’s trade: two scoops of ice cream for a green guitar pick. (The chronicle of the Jews and my incredible fascination.)

The editor (who is also the writer/ author)’s.. note.  Afternote, stated, given, beforeee the reading; warning? Explanation.  This entry, is confused, and confusing.  It’s just random stuff that happened, today, written at different times in different tenses, and it’s pretty much all about the Jews.  Because I love them.
“Strictly the facts.”
(Overview, introduction, place-setting)

Sitting outside of a Jewish eatery (familiar, same faces that I saw at other Kosher pizza place). It’s called Sprinkles: Kosher pizza and ice cream.  They (the workers) were very friendly (today)! So surprised. Weekend was nice; went to church with Jonathan and Ruth.. stayed over at their place – eating, studying, walking, watching Kung Fu Panda movie (after Sabbath) – til about 10, at which time Sister Melody drove me home. Today, the council makes the decision: whether or not Chris can come. He’s been studying SR seriously, truly, sincerely, openmindedly – for the past week.. and wants to join me, here at Mtndale, to continue studying , and to have his questions answered.

It is up to you, Lord.

Went to walmart; got 5 bandanas (that will serve as head-coverings) and all natural laundary detergent. Also bottled water at the Spring down the road.

“Deeper Still”

(Here, it gets more interesting.  And, lengthy.)

This morning I awoke to the ring of a sounding bell. As my ears grew  more alert, I lay there, listening to Mt. Carmel Center’s Jewish neighbors welcoming the day. I heard babies crying, and voices chanting. Little children crying, and mothers singing. (Later on) I asked a group of Jewish gentlemen for directions, while out driving; they obliged. I was flattered. Their voices would speak for me, their words were directed towards me, and their eyes looked into mine –

‘the unworthy.’

In walmart I saw (Jewish) women. They seemed to be seeking to find the lowest (and best) prices on whatever items they needed to buy. I saw a little, baby girl being pushed in a cart.  Her eyes were wide open with wonder; how much of everything around her does she take in and remember? How much does and will she forget? There is no prejudice or worry.. planning or regretting.. she is so care free, so ready to embrace and to live, life.  And what is she living for? Soon, she’ll find out.

To have kids.

To submit herself to the man who she will someday call “husband.”

Her existence, is pretty much doomed.  (Sorry; I respect all religious faiths, but..)

Unless she breaks free,

there will BE no freedom,

there will be limits, bounds, chains, caps,

no dreams, no dreams.

The men seemed manly, indifferent, cold, staunch, dignified, superior. In line, a man wearing a large hat and dressed in a black and white suit, stood in front of me. His appearance cried that of a Jew’s. I smiled, said hello.. I was testing the waters. He replied something customary and polite to me, which I took as a sign that he would condescend to talk with me. I quieried, “Are you Jewish?” To which he responded, raising his eyebrows slightly, perhaps puzzled, thinking it was obvious, “Yes.”

“I have a question,” I continued.. “do you mind?”

“Not at all,” he reassured me. And so, I asked him why “they” (all men) wore hats. Also why some women did, and others didn’t.. why men and women alike dressed themselves in dark colors..

and oh, I would have asked so much more, I could have spent the entire day conversing, questioning, learning, seeking to understand, appreciating, enjoying his company –

but for once, the Walmart line seemed to proceed rather quickly. The customers ahead of us seemd to appear at the register and then just, leave. His turn for payment came, and he turned his back to me. An obvious friend of his walked over, greeted him, and began chatting. My turn came after his, and he was so gracious, so lovely..

he turned back around, met my eyes, bowed slightly and either waved or mouthed a goodbye — I honestly can’t remember (which). “God bless you,” I smiled warmly. We have atleast one thing in common.

There IS a God.

** (present)

A little boy just smiled over at me.. a cheesy, pizza-sauce-red-around-the-corners, smile. A little Jewish boy.

He’s wearing black shoes, tan pants, a friendly blue shirt and a black, velvety cap that almost entirely covers his head. Two great, long locks of hair dangle at his sides, just in front of his ears.. they are curled and brown. He smiled.. at me. He looked, at me. Unashamed.

He just hasn’t learned yet,

just hasn’t figured it out yet.

I’m not Jewish; I’m wearing Vans.

I’m not Jewish.. I have tattoos.

I’m not Jewish, I believe, in Jesus.

and so, because I’m not Jewish,

I’m not allowed to be friends with you.

** (sitting there, rewinding)

I also conversed with a woman inside of the pizza shop afew minutes ago. I discovered that her name was Bina, and she works for a shipping company. She lives in Brooklyn and visits her parents, who live up-state, in the summer. Brooklyn; that’s where she ‘got’ her hat. It was lovely, and I inquired where she had found it. She smiled at me, curiously, in a friendly way. Asked if I lived here, where I was visiting from, and if I was going to school.

I don’t know.

I don’t know, if she knew

I wasn’t ‘one of her.’ I dont know,

if she didnt know,

I wasn’t Jewish.

I’m wearing a skirt, I’m confident, I act as if I belong, and, I’m white.. does that tell either way? Maybe she thought I was (Jewish)..

but if she knew that I wasnt,

would she still have spoken with me?

Did she know I wasn’t, and still, speak with me?

I guess after a number of incidents like these occur, I can have reason enough to conclude that while some orthodox Jews are anti-Gentile contact, some really, don’t care whether or not you’re Jewish. Some Jews really dont hate, wont despise, you.

I enjoyed the time spent with the McCoys yesterday. The only thing that disappointed me..

All during and throughout the day (can’t decide which phrase I’d rather use), the mother (unnamed, privacy – a good friend of mine) was very kind and loving towards me. I was wearing a t-shirt and assumed that she, along with everyone else, could and did see my tattoos.. and accepted me still. It was so beautiful and encouraging, – it said so much to me of the caring grace of the human spirit.. that she hadn’t brought it up, pointed it out, or mentioned it. And then, right as the sun was setting, she quieried, “So why do you write on your arms?”

I paused and looked at her. Didn’t really know what to say, I was abit surprised. “Well, these are actually tattoos,” I corrected her. She listened, now her turn to be surprised, wearing a look of amazed disappointment, as I explained the time, reason, circumstances, meaning and what a “mistake it was” and how much and how “deeply I regretted it.”

I felt bad. I said the right stuff, but wished I meant it. I said I was sorry and wished they weren’t permanent, weren’t there, really were just pen and ink, as she had supposed –

and I felt like such a liar.

**

Back at the dorm. 30 more minutes, Brother Jay Jay says, and the meeting shall be concluded.

I had just walked over to the office from the laundary room, carrying a plastic bag (containing laundary detergent) in one hand and my pair of Vans in the other, preferring to walk shoeless over the grass, desiring to feel the bare earth beneath me.

It sounds beautiful, and it’s so much more magnificent and profound than it sounds, than I make it sound.

I sat down on the grass.. Bowed me (yes, me) head and prayed aloud, “Oh, Lord. Your will be done.” It was short, simple, and full of meaning. It was all I needed to say; what could have been a mess of words, a flood of ideas and requests and praises, was instead shortened and expressed in one sentence: Your will be done. At this..

It had been dark; the darkness was my blanket, and the thunder, my lullaby. The carpet was the bed I lay on, and the lightning, my “night light.”

But now, as I breathed the last heaven-sent and heaven-ward word (both), I felt the sun light on my back. I opened my eyes:

brightness;

I opened my eyes,

delighted,

had never sen such beauty

apart from the tomb.

had never realized how gorgeous the flowers are

when they bloom.

And to close.  I failed to share this, and, it was significant to me.

It was special.

So, I’ll end, presently, with an account of the past.

I saw the same gentleman in the Jewish eatery today that I had seen weeks ago when Jan and I had gone, for the first time, to a DIFFERENT kosher place for pizza.  He smiled at me and seemed to recognize me also, as did the other male-employees (they were all guys).  I was directed by a man at the counter over to this same gentleman for ice cream, and as I asked him whether or not he enjoyed the job (something I ask about 8/10 people I encounter while they are working), I suddenly remembered something amazing:

I had a guitar pick out in my car, IN my pocketbook!

“Could you please hold on to this for me for just a moment?” I asked, referring to the ice cream, cutting him short, practically mid-sentence, as he was trying to answer a question I had posed.  “Sure,” he assented.

I walked outside, unlocked the car, fumbled to open my pocketbook, secured the little, green, “Rock Steady” guitar pick and returned to the eatery.  Walking inside, I found that a line had deveoped and yet he had kept his eyes open for me.  “Here you are.” He handed the ice cream to me, and so, we performed a trade.  I took the ice cream and handed him the guitar pick.. to which he smiled, saying in low voice, and with great amusement, “Thank you..”

I believe he understood.

With that, I smiled, paid, and left.

Did that make any sense?

Well, it can’t, because I didn’t give you all of the background information.

It isn’t your fault.

Let me, “help” this situation..

The first time I saw him, he stood out to me: young, long haired, troubled appearance, angsty look, misunderstood, forgotten, confident, strong, and full of potential.  He was playing a guitar, and, I heard him say from the other side of the counter that he didn’t have a pick.  I had spoken up, offering that I had one with me, and he had continued playing with and for the other employees as I searched my messenger bag.  I had no pick with me that day, and, for some reason it really bothered me.

So.  Now, he got the pick promised him.

And now I, can move on.  (As a side-and-after note, the two scoops.. one was chocolate, and the other – cookies and cream).

-Aun Aqui

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