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Last night with friends

There is a peace here in Paul’s hamishe home on Harvard (just a few doors up the street from where I used to live). I’m sharing the couch with Emma, a small black and white chihuahua-like dog with big eyes and big ears, and incontinence. She managed to nest in my pillow before I had a chance to lay my head down so its blogging for me instead. This house is warm with people and friends of those people, all very lovely, the kind I’d love to be friends with more often.

Emma on my pillow
Less frazzle more dazzle (but still with plenty of frazzle)
Traveling light is heavy!

Today was a study in contrasts. The past few days have seen me increasingly frazzled as I struggled to prepare everything I needed for living out of a suitcase in Louisiana motels for the next three months. A minor fiasco with my credit card meant that I didn’t arrive in Baton Rouge as expected and will instead arrive tomorrow (Thursday). (Note to self: make sure to tell the credit company that your company will be making travel arrangements for you with your credit so they won’t shut down your card under the impression that it had been stolen.) Couldn’t have gotten anything done these past few days without the help of friends and zipcar. Just to catch you up to speed, Sunday I put this blog together, Monday I met with the FEMA contractor I’ll be working for to officially be hired and given a worker’s orientation; Tuesday, my friend Allan helped me go shopping for clothes and luggage, after which I needed to move my apartment into storage by 6pm. I just managed to do that when I came home and realized that I had forgotten to put my bike into storage and my kitchen items, and my computer. All of this was done in haste under the impression that I’d be leaving Wednesday morning. Such a good start for a planner! The good news is that the company that hired me couldn’t purchase the ticket for Wednesday because the credit was frozen by all of these odd purchases, completely out of profile with my regular frugal behaviour. Wires were tripped, flags were a-wavin’, many cellular minutes were expended waiting for available attendants. Thankfully, my point-of-contact at the company was forgiving, patient, and relieved that it was all getting sorted out.

So now I am at Paul’s, having been walked out of my home down the block by my landlord after giving him the keys and breaking my lease. With my extra day I was able to put almost everything into storage (forgot the kettle) and to clean my room. I believe it was the clean room that impressed Mr. D—- into forgiving my broken lease and even offering to give back my deposit if only he could find a new tenant by February. (Fingers crossed). Minutes ago, Nikki stopped by and handed me a note with all the blessings I could ever want for what I’m about to do. (Nikki is a miracle and a holy person and I struggle to keep this in mind when she is talking to me because she looks like any other normal human.) I was beginning to feel anxious… about what I had gotten myself into, especially after experiencing the graciousness of friends helping throught these last few days — I won’t have their company so very soon.

Other things to report as well but they were too painful to go over in any detail. Let it just be said that friendship is something to cultivate, and romantic love with all of its magic, is no surrogate for it, if often an impostor. I leave for Louisiana tomorrow with blessings from Jon, and Paul, and Nikki, and Jackie, people who I didn’t know a year ago, and some of them even a few months ago — but people who I give my love to and share with the solidarity of my being.

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

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