About a month ago, I joined a Shabbat morning (Saturday) group called CREATIVE BEIT MIDRASH. It's part of the Shabbat morning offerings of the Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
(This is my Great Great Grandmother, Filomena Scrivano, who showed up this morning.)The first morning I dropped into the group, I wasn't convinced. But then Rabbi Neil Hirsch and I spoke the following week and he said, "I really think you should try again. I think this is your group."
AND wowowow WAS HE EVER WRITE RIGHT WRITE RIGHT
I WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOP OF THE TEMPLE (which of course is closed right now for COVID.) So we are a zoom group.
This morning, April 3, 2021, (the last day of Pesach (PASSOVER))
This is what happened:
About nine writer/artists ALL AMAZING PEOPLE EVERY SINGLE ONE
were present this SUNNY COLD morning. (We have about half a dozen other members who were not present for one reason or another.)
Jadwiga, an amazing writer WHO WROTE THE POEM "NOISE," (she read it on my second week and I loved it!) started talking about wanting to write her memoirs for her granddaughter, Nadia, a soulful child who sounds a lot like my own granddaughter, DANI MARCELLA.
She said she had recently acquired a photo of her grandfather but she is stuck writing about him. And this sparked me
THINKING ABOUT MY OWN BOOK, about my own ancestors, so I SAID:
"Jadwiga,why don't you show us the photo?" Hoping to open a door for her. But she said the photo was on her computer only in digital form.
Meanwhile, I stood up and crossed my study so I could pick up the thick purple binder with VERSION ONE OF MY NEW BOOK. I told them that I had only completed the first draft of the book on
February 20th of this year:
The last chapter I wrote appeared here on the blog (as has most of the book!):
LEAH AND ME SWEPT UP IN THE UNIVERSE February 20, 2021.
It was then that I PRESENTED MY GREAT GREAT GRANDMOTHER FILOMENA SCRIVANO’S PHOTO TO THE GROUP. The word "scrivano" in Italian means "scribe!"
(Much of the new book is written in Italian, as I grew up listening to it spoken between my mother and grandmother. I am studying Italian but I use Google translator to write the sections in Italian.)
I told them that Great Great Grandma Scrivano is one of a handful of ancestors who are giving me permission to act as the SCRIBE for my ancestors' stories.
I didn't say it today, but I'll say it here: in order to Heal Yourself, you have to root out all the negative stories that have been passed down from your ancestors. Then you have to find the life-giving positive energy in them and TURN THEM AROUND!!!
At that point, I picked up the thick new SPRING GREEN three-ring binder I bought at Staples a couple of weeks ago. The green binder contains the revision that I have only recently undertaken.
I didn't tell them the title of the book:
“ANGELS KEEP WHISPERING IN MY EARS”
What I did tell them is that I've been in many many writer's groups over the years, but none quite like this one. The energy generated by the humor and the love and the intellectual and artistic projects of this unique group is mind-blowing.
"NEVER HAS A GROUP HELPED FIRE UP MY CREATIVE HEART THE WAY YOU FOLKS HAVE!"
You see, that's what happens every Saturday morning. One person says something and it ignites another person's creativity. We all attribute our CREATIVITY ULTIMATELY TO THE DIVINE. Which is why we say this prayer before we begin each week:
THANK YOU LARRY! THANK YOU RABBI HIRSCH! THANK YOU JADWIGA AND HAROLD AND BARBARA AND SYBIL AND SALLY AND HEIDI AND NINA AND REBEKAH AND LORI AND EVERYONE ELSE I haven't yet met!
Shabbat Shalom. Happy END OF PASSOVER!!!!!
Happy CREATIVITY and THANKS BE TO GOD!!!!