Spring Celebrations and “Celebrity” Musings (Part 2 of 2)

15 04 2013

This post is a continuation of “Spring Celebrations and ‘Celebrity’ Musings (Part 1 of 2)“.

All of these musings bring us to the wildly, strangely fun marathon that was this past weekend.  On Friday night, I hosted the ATX Havurah, a collaboration between the local Conservative and Reform synagogues’ young adult groups.  Close to fifty people showed up for beautiful music, dynamic tefillah and a delicious potluck dinner.

During the services, I kept looking around and trying to take a mental snapshot (Cam Jansen-style) to remember the moment exactly.  It was particularly meaningful to have the voices of so many friends and community members fill the music room with love, song, prayer and the feeling of Shabbat – a noted change of pace from the usual co-op-like drinking games that often fill the room.

The Early Crew... Before We Packed the Room and Adjoining Hallway

The Early Crew… Before We Packed the Room and Adjoining Hallway

After seeing my guests off, I did a quick change and readied myself for part two of my evening.  Those who follow Jewrotica may recall that I took on two field assignments earlier this year, reviewing the World Erotic Art Museum in the fall and reporting back on My Foray into the World of Tantra in the winter.  In that sense, Jewrotica has and continues to be an interesting tool and catalyst for pushing me beyond my comfort zone.  In light of that, I ventured into the underbelly of the BDSM world on Friday night to conduct some journalistic research for a possible Jewrotica primer on kink.  (Hi, Mom.  Hi, Dad.)  I won’t go into too much detail here on my observations, but I learned that I am still very sheltered, very easily shocked and that there is an entire wild world out there of people who live out the fantasies that others only dream of.  I left still asking myself “Did that really just happen?”, though I think that I will put the article on hold until summertime.

A few hours later, I woke at 6 am to… volunteer with my church!  (I love how bizarre the combination of my weekend activities were.)  Every month or so, the young adult group at Wesley volunteer at the local Helping Hands shelter and whip up a savory breakfast for many of the homeless folks in the area, and I had the opportunity to join them.  Getting up early was so worth it and so happifying – I’m glad that I went!

I have been writing this post for a while now and am itching to put the computer away and go outside , so I will finish the post in bullet points:

  • My visit to Chicago was perfect. I was booked on a direct flight, snagged a window seat and stayed with my dear friend and yoga teacher Becca Sykes. I joined Becca for a private yoga session in a Shabbat-observant home on Saturday afternoon and was amazed at how spot-on her minor corrections to my poses felt. (Small classes and personal attention for the win!) I finally met my managing editor Emma Morris and the three of us went out to Chicago’s annual erotic art show, where we were (stylishly yet modestly) photographed for the fashion section of the Chicago Star. (Ha!) I relished sleeping in a big bed, having a bathroom in my own room and befriending an amazing taxi driver named Ivan who spent hours teaching me about Serbian history dating back to the 700s!
Ladies Night Out

Ladies Night Out

  • I presented my Israel program very successfully in an Orthodox synagogue in Skokie, and it felt so good to do something well. That probably sounds strange as Jewrotica is successful and I am regularly adding more to my acrobatics repertoire, but rocking a Faces program is an entirely other ballpark of doing something well. It was comforting to be back in my “home community”, slightly awkward when they read a year-old bio that announced me as married to Yair and fascinating to observe the fashion culture as I totally forgot about the whole “everyone wearing black” and every guy having the same exact crop-top hairdo in that community.
Human Art Graffiti... Can You Find My Contribution?

Human Art Graffiti (…NOT at the synagogue) – Can You Find My Contribution?

  • I had extra time at the airport on Sunday and busted out my laminated “Free Lesson” sign and hoop at O’hare.  I had several takers including one young girl with whom I spent twenty minutes teaching and encouraging.  I require kids to get permission from their parents first and – when the girl had to go – the mom gave her daughter five dollar bills to hand to me.  I said to the mom “It’s free!  I’m doing this because I love hooping and want to share it with you” to which she responded: “You were great with her. I want you to have it.”  For some reason, this interaction was really meaningful for me.  I felt so appreciated and the giving of the dollars were unexpected and without condition.  The memory still feels strangely powerful and overwhelming in a positive way.  Though I will continue to mass-engage whenever the mood strikes me, in light of this tip, perhaps “busking” can be checked off of my “to-experience” list?
This Unrequested, Unexpected Tip Was Surprisingly Meaningful

This Unrequested, Unexpected Tip Was Surprisingly Meaningful

  • I attended a unique post-Passover seder focusing on immigration reform and a new organization called MexEnEx.  I’ve started spending more time with Yair, which is a welcome experience and I subsequently got up to not-to-be-repeated-again-shehechiyanu-style mischief with a local train.  I was offered a job as the U.S. director of an organization that I really believe in, an opportunity that was simultaneously exciting and very overwhelming as I will not have the bandwidth to take on a full-time position of that nature with the current projects on my plate.
Beauty in the Greenbelt Following a Rainfall

Beauty in the Greenbelt Following a Rainfall

Tonight I head to trapeze class and then will be rooting for a friend in the Austin’s Funniest Person comedy competition.  If life sounds busy, it’s because it is.  My evenings are chock full of people and activity, though I am grateful that my days progress at a much more relaxed and unstructured pace.  I’m in a good place and I’m glad for the life that I get to live and the blessings that I have.

posted by ayo




One response

17 04 2013

You are to never, ever do that train thing again. But it was awesome 🙂

Love the cactus pic!

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