Posts Tagged 'friends'

OOTD20150925

There are times when the world sends you a message. Everything aligns and it’s very clear to you what you must do. Your question is answered. I got such a message the other day, the end of Yom Kippur.

There’s a lot of back story to this so it maybe yet another tl;dr. I am affiliated with a congregation where I pay dues, celebrate all my life events, all my family and many of my friends are there and it is “my” congregation. But on the High Holidays, for many many years, I davened elsewhere, at a only-for-the-High-Holidays congregation. Long story why, but I did and my son and I loved it there. Not only did we belong, we were integral to the functioning. But as many things do, it ended. No more congregation. My son and I went to “our” congregation for the next HH. But to our dismay we found although we loved being with our friends and family, we did NOT like the liturgy, not at all. What to do? So we went to another HH congregation that used the liturgy we preferred. We had no friends, no family there. Just each other. It was okay. Not great. But we had each other so we continued. This year my son lives in another state and could not come back for the holidays. I went alone. I was lonely. I GO to services in part to “belong”, to feel a part of the community. This year I was lonely and realized it wasn’t working for me. I had a few choices. “My” congregation. The congregation in town where I know lots of people and they use the similar liturgy but…. not so fond of other things. The minyan congregation – a break-away from the in-town one where I probably know a lot of people. I sat at services and missed my old congregation. Really really missed it. Trying to figure out what to do, where I should turn.

So where’s the world-message? I had a friend, Victor, at our HH congregation. Victor taught me a lot about prayer, customs. He too was integral to that congregation. We’d not seen him for years. He’d been in very poor health. I searched his name and found his obituary. Four years ago. Sigh. It’s the first time, however, in all these years that I actually took the action to try to find him. Then, just before the holiday started I stopped at the store for some bread and there was Lucille – another integral member of the HH congregation. That’s two messages coming through the ether.

I went to the morning services and the one person I knew there since my childhood did not come. 😦 So the one bit of ‘family’ I was anticipating wasn’t there. I sat on my porch in the afternoon and debated returning for the closing services. A woman walked by, turned back, walked up my walk. It was Susan, also a member of the HH team. 🙂 We chatted and laughed and reminisced and agreed we missed the “old team”. She was going to the minyan service. On impulse I asked “can I go with you?” She said of course! And off we walked. When I walked in, there was yet another member of the “old team” – Alice. Susan had told me Alice would be there. The message, however, was WHERE Alice was sitting. She was next to my very good friend Amy!!!!! They were sitting in front of my friend Judy. As I sat down, and looked across the room, there was Pam. *smile* The liturgy was familiar and friends were there. I was HOME. I was so happy and so comforted. For me, it completed the holiday.

The world sent its message. It was very clear. It’s time to move to the minyan and find the community and comfort I used to have. I don’t have to be told twice. Isn’t it satisfying when you find what you sought? Thanks, world!!!

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OOTD20150922

It’s Erev Yom Kippur. This is a holiday I have always loved, despite all the traditional jokes about fasting = suffering. I have always tried to reflect and repent of things I’ve done wrong in the last year. I resolve to do better – and I think of specific behaviors and relationships where there is a lot of room for “better” and what “better” entails. I love the feeling of cleansing my spirit of negativity, hate, anger, cruelty. I try to embrace a positive outlook, a commitment to acting in a way that brings about tikkun olam, not just to the world as a whole, but specifically to the micro world about me. *smile* Because of course, the world DOES revolve about me, right? Oops. Back to reflection and repentance. And a warning to you, dear reader. This post will probably be in the too-long-didn’t-read category. Yom Kippur does that to me. 🙂

I read a post this year that captured SO MUCH of how I feel about the holiday, and what I’ve tried to do. I don’t think I was ever quite as “obnoxious” as the author (“Eventually I grew into a slightly less earnest, hopefully less obnoxious human, but the rituals of Yom Kippur still held a special place in my heart.“) but I certainly have sent many an email in the last several years asking for forgiveness for any harm or wrong I may have done that person.

This year, however, much like the cited post, I find that I am not quite ready to forgive everybody. Perhaps more accurately, I find that I am not ready to BE forgiven. I have 2 friendships that went on the rocks. In one case, I feel that I am the wronged party. In the other, I have been told that I erred grievously.

I’ll start with my sin. I was visiting friends. At dinner, after having shared a bottle of wine, I told the husband my dumb blonde joke while the wife was away from the table. I’d just done something “dumb”, which reminded me of the joke, and it is a very vaguely off-color joke, and I knew my friend (the wife) wouldn’t like it anyway, so I told it to the husband. I prefaced it by saying “oh let me tell you my dirty joke”. It’s NOT really a dirty joke. The punch-line carries an implication (if you “get it”) that is sexual in nature but it’s NOT dirty. It’s a “dumb blonde” joke. (I’m blonde, by the way. Neither husband nor wife are blonde.) The husband may have laughed, or smiled, I don’t even remember. It was a non-event to me. Jump ahead a week or so. I returned home. I sent the wife (my friend since we were 6 years old) an email telling her how much I enjoyed the visit, thanking her and her husband for such a wonderful wonderful time, telling her more about the stress and craziness in my life (which is why I fled to visit them in the first place). No response. A week later I sent an email wishing the husband a happy birthday. No response. Two days later I received an email from her, addressed to my son, wishing my son a happy birthday. That was it. No other message. I picked up the phone and called. She sounded taken aback to hear my voice. I asked what was wrong, what had happened between us. She told me that she and her husband were offended by the dirty joke I had told (please keep in mind SHE never heard it). That my behavior was inappropriate and out of line. That they did not understand why I would tell such a joke. I must tell you now that NO ONE to whom I have related the joke thinks it’s a “dirty joke”. Everyone ELSE has laughed and said – that’s not a dirty joke. It’s a DUMB BLONDE JOKE. Sigh. I apologized profusely. I explained it was never my intent to offend or insult them. That I’d told him the joke because I’d just done something ‘dumb’ and so was being a ‘dumb blonde’ and told him the joke. She was still cool and cold and repeating that they could not understand why I’d ever tell that kind of joke. We ended the call. Immediately I composed a truly sincere apology email, restating I’d never intended to hurt, offend or otherwise insult them. No reply. About 6 weeks later, next Jewish holiday, I received an email. It said “Apology received. Happy holiday.” Apology “received”. NOT accepted. At that point, still deep in the craziness that was my life at that time, something in me broke. Decades of friendship were tossed aside by her because of one 2 line joke. No allowance for my life was crazy, maybe that was why I told such an “inappropriate” joke. No allowance for a bottle of wine at dinner. No allowance for forgiveness. No, my crime was so heinous that I could not be forgiven.

So it’s Yom Kippur. Tradition says that I must ask 3 times for forgiveness from those whom I have wronged. “The Shulhan Aruch writes that if the victim does not grant forgiveness when the offender first approaches him, the offender should return to him, as many as three times. He then earns atonement even if the victim still refuses to forgive. “ Here’s the problem. I no longer want to be forgiven. I have asked for forgiveness. I’m not even listing all the times I feel she has wronged me in major life events and yet I forgave her and moved on. I am obviously still in disgrace as my birthday came and went and no birthday greeting. I don’t want her forgiveness. But I’m torn here between how I try to live, and how I feel. My coworker (also Jewish) has said that what I need to do is forgive myself.

I think, having written this, that I have reached a decision. I AM sorry that I offended her so deeply that she can’t forgive me. I no longer care if she forgives me. But I think that I will write again today, asking for forgiveness. I will be clean, and perhaps she can begin the process of forgiving me as well.

Because my other Yom Kippur story is about learning to heal once you begin to forgive. (I did warn you this would be a tl;dr.)

I had a friend. I thought we were very very close. We shared many interests. We discussed family, work, relationships. Then he stopped talking to me. No emails, no chats, no nothing. No response when I tried to reach him. (We are not co-located.) I was hurt. Extremely hurt. I did not know what had happened, why he stopped talking to me. Over the course of 18 months, we had email interaction perhaps 4 times, each time when I initiated it because of business with/from mutual friends. His responses were terse, to the point, no indication of any former closeness. I was angry. I was hurt. I was confused. I did a lot of thinking.

I thought about friends to whom perhaps I had done this very behavior myself. I tried to think what I might have done to warrant this reaction. I tried to think of ways to let go of the hurt and blow to my self-esteem so that I could heal and move on. I hurt. And hurt. Finally last Yom Kippur I decided I would send him an email, asking for forgiveness. I spent WEEKS composing that email to make sure it said exactly what it was meant to say, and not an emotion more. It was to clear the slate. If I had indeed done something so egregious, I needed to apologize and be forgiven even if I did not know what I had done. If I had not done anything and it was HIS mishegas, then I would be clear as well. I sent the email. It is a year. I’ve had no response. But I finally began to heal. I can think of him without wincing. Even better – mostly I don’t think about him at all. When I think I might be slipping into worrying and fretting about what I did or didn’t do or WHY???, I am able to take a deep breath and say, I have moved on, that is in the past. I have tried sincerely to make amends. I have forgiven myself for whatever I have done or not done. I have forgiven HIM. I do not know why things happened as they did, but I do not blame him anymore, I have let go of the anger for the hurt. I am healing, because I have forgiven him. “Finally, the Sages also emphasize the importance of granting forgiveness to others. The Rabbis teach that one should not be “cruel” by refusing to grant forgiveness to somebody who offended him. A person who willingly grants forgiveness to others will earn God’s forgiveness for whatever sins he may have committed.”

To me, this is what Yom Kippur brings. It is my chance to repair the rips and tears in my life. It is my time to let go of anger. It is my time to accept people for who and what they are, and free myself from my expectations of how they should behave. It is my time to clear my slate as best I can and to hope for a better year to come.

An easy fast and Chag Sameach! And to everyone, member of the tribe or not, G’mar Hatimah Tovah (May You Be Sealed for a Good Year in the Book of Life).

Note: quotes on halacha:© Copyright 2010 Torah Learning Resources.
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There is a Siblinghood

Sheesh. I am soooooo tired of being gender-conscious with politically correct speech. I had an idea for a blog. Friend D just did a favor for Person C. D is all-around nice, helpful, upbeat, fun, smart, cuddly and a good friend. Person C – not so much. D did a BIG favor for C but I’d lay money down to say that had the positions been reversed – not so much. *grin* But this is NOT going to be about that. *laughing* I already got my point across. This was going to be about one of the reasons D said he was happy to oblige.

C laid claim to their mutual membership in the Clan of Geeks. Geekdom is indeed a clan. I’d love to be a geek. Really, I would. I know that typically geeks have difficult childhood and teenage years but then miraculously the rest of the world gets wise and appreciates them. Look – being a teenage girl who didn’t look like THE supermodel of those years was not so pleasant either. I didn’t grow up to be a geek, however. I have many fine qualities and talents (oh yes I do – don’t give me THAT look) but geekiness is not one of them. I hang out with geeks. Some of my best friends are geeks. *grin* I have a very very high geek-patience threshold. I WANTED to call this post: Geeks and the Women Who Love Them. How self-centered, right? It implies all Geeks are men. And that men are only loved by women. That would have been the implication. The true message was meant to be about ME. Of course it was – this is MY blog. I surrendered, however, to what I perceived as political correctness. No “Geeks and the Woman [sic] (yes Michael – I put that in for you. *laughing*) Who Loves Them”. Major hugs to Friend D.

I think I’m so fond of geeks and suffer such geek-envy because I am the daughter of an engineer. Oh yes, in their way engineers are EVERY BIT as geeky as computer geeks. Perhaps with the right teachers in my formative years, or better role models, perhaps I, too, could have grown up to be an engineer. A REAL engineer as we say in MY family – one who can take AND PASS the professional engineer exams. Because I DID grow up to be an engineer ultimately – a software engineer. Ahem. As the daughter and wife of engineers – nope, not the same thing. My SAT scores (remember those lovely exams?) were exactly even between math/science and english/literature. I told my initial college advisor I wanted to make a lot of money because I wasn’t at all sure I’d be happy in love. He pointed me to ceramic engineering. I lasted one quarter – 10 weeks – before realizing that there was no way I’d survive 4 years of engineering classes and the pre-med and engineering students that were in them. I called on my maternal heritage and switched to the liberal arts. My maternal heritage included a HUGE dose of theater (which explains many other things but we’re not going there today), which led to my OTHER desired title to explain Friend D and Person C.

There is a Brotherhood of Man. Oh yes there is. I learned this in my youth, courtesy of Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, J. Pierpont Finch and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Shows like this were something about which my engineer dad and my actress mom could agree. Ah, those were the days when we could sing about brotherhoods and men and not feel disenfranchised. *grin*. Yes, I’m being a bit silly.

It’s Thanksgiving here where I am. I’m thankful for all my family and friends, yes, even for my acquaintances like Person C *laughing*. I’m thankful for great music and song. I’m thankful for all the geeks and engineers and all the theater and music folk. C’mon – click the youTube link and smile. They might be singing about the great big brotherhood of man but you’ll notice there’s a blonde in a red dress and red shoes. *grin* Guess which role I want?

Cutting Loose on a Weeknight

weeknight dancing shhhh. Don’t tell anyone. I slipped inworld, met a friend, and spent the night dancing. Ahhhhh. That felt GOOD. We were listening to Taunter rock Key West.

Birds of a Feather

I made a new friend today. Except she isn’t really a new friend, she just has a new look. Usually when Honour IMs me and says “I’ve been bad”, I know she’s been shopping. It’s usually either a skin for her or she’s treating me to some fantastical gorgeous outfit. This time, however, it was a new avatar for herself. Adorable!!!

We discussed what breed of bird this avatar might be. I rejected the descriptions of “hybrid” and “mutt” as not being anywhere near beautiful or special enough for this creature. I told Honour she needed to come up with a better story. So, she did. She is one of the long lost Gytis Birds. They are shy and don’t come out of hiding very often – so most people think they are extinct. As you can see, that is a mistake. *grin* I asked if the Gytis Birds were on the endangered species list and therefore a protected species.

Ahuva Heliosense: are you a protected species?
Honour McMillan: oh yes
Honour McMillan: mess with us and you’ll regret it 🙂
Ahuva Heliosense: rofl
Ahuva Heliosense: you carry concealed weapons?
Honour McMillan: we are weapons 🙂
Honour McMillan: we are trained from birth in wing to hand combat

So there you have it – right from the bird’s beak. *grin* A beautiful, dangerous, talented bird. A perfect description for Honour 🙂

Honour blogged that her avatar makes her smile. Makes me smile too. AND gave me blog material!! What a great friend!!!!

Home Sweet Home

I love my house and my land. Yet I was planning to move earlier this year. I’d actually begun renting a homestead. I didnt have enough prims at my home, and there was no land for sale in that region. I thought I was going to have a new gaming computer and I would be building, and so ….. I decided to move.

But I procrastinate greatly at these things. Because I really didn’t want to move. Because I thought that maybe I should get a new house instead of taking my existing one. In other words – lots of decisions to be made. None of the choices seemed to be the right answer. Then I noticed that Gov Linden was actually paving the road that was planned next to my property. That seemed to tip the balance a little. I rezzed a copy of my house in the new location and began to modify it a bit. Moved over all the copy items. Then one day I was standing in my room in my real house and noticed a couple outside, on my property. They were just standing there. I stood in my room looking at them, wondering what they were doing, and if I should say hello, wondering if they were looking for anything in particular. Suddenly I was pinged by the man.

LOLpande: hi there
Ahuva Heliosense: hello. may i help you?
LOLpande: no, just wanted to say i totally dig that painting on your wall
Ahuva Heliosense smiles. thank you. which one?

It turned out that LOLpande was looking at my Katohei VI picture, done by Callipygian Christensen. This is a very beautiful and interesting portrait. I learn a lot about people by how they react to this picture. LOL and I continued to chat about art, avatars and SL. It was a lovely conversation. This encounter drove home to me what is so wonderful about SL and about being on the mainland. Random encounters with strangers, who become friends. People strolling by, camming around, finding objects of beauty and interest.

The couple moved on, but LOLpande and I became friends. I was even more torn about leaving my home. I am totally root-bound in RL as well. It will take more than a nor’easter to uproot me. As it turned out, karma stepped in. For a variety of reasons, renting the homestead was no longer feasible. I cleaned out what I’d already moved, told Mallory, Bill and Drake that we weren’t going and settled back to prune prims. We’ve been watching the road grow. Instead of feeling intrusive, it seems exciting. I hope it brings us more friends like LOLpande.

BOING!

Last night was one of those times that reminded me that SL used to be about fun for me. Hanging with friends, laughing, playing, letting off steam. It’s not always supposed to be about work and deadlines.

I’d logged in, was just standing there in my room, reading messages, thinking about what to do next. Suddenly flames seemed to be around me and loud BOINGS filled the air. *grin* Must be that Hell and Nat were there. When my home is filled with strange sights and noises, I KNOW that they have come to play. Apparently the 2 of them were totally hyped up. First they ran about me, jumped around, flew around. Then they pulled out the pogo sticks we’d all gotten awhile ago at UBar. So I wore mine too and we boinged about my room. We decided we were having such a good time that we needed to share. Except I REALLY didn’t want my bedroom trashed (again, oh Dale and Oura…..). So we boinged our way downstairs and began sending out IMs to invite people to join us.

It’s really frustrating to decide to throw an impromptu party at a time when SL is borked and not allowing logons. 🙂 It sort of limits how many people are around to play. But Oura, Bree, Panacea, Willa and Nico answered the call. I know Bree from Plurk and we’ve only met once before inworld. We plurk often, however, and I knew that she, like I, was in need of blowing off steam from a long, full day. Turns out Pan and Oura were in the same shape. *grin* So we boinged and we boinged and we boinged. I wish I could play the sound effects for you here. They really do add to the ambiance. Of course Hell and Nat led a raid upstairs to my room. It was sort of like a pogo-stick cha-cha line.

We’d been boinging for a bit when Rrish managed to get inworld for her DJ’ing shift at the Crown and Pearl. We decided to boing over to the the CnP and spread the Pogo Sillies. So we did. We did lose Bree (who had other commitments) and Willa and Nico in the move, but we picked up Rrish, Calli and Jonny. Calli of course already HAD a pogo stick. LOL. As she said – with her inventory, she may have absolutely everything. Notice of course that not only was Calli’s pogo stick colorful, it was of interesting design. And that is all I shall say about THAT. *grin* Prad winked in and out. Declined to pogo, as did 2 others who tp’d in. /me sings: every party has its pooper, that’s why we invited you! Notice that at some point in the proceedings, Hell’s grew to be quite large. His pogo stick, that is. And that is all I shall say about THAT. *grin* It gets very lewd at the CnP on occasion. Both Panacea and Calli are excellent photographers and their photos of the great Boing-Off are posted on Snapzilla.

Nat and Oura decided that the Christmas tree, although beautiful, really should be crowned with Pogo’ers, not a star. So they boinged it out at the top for a bit. Finally, I believe we need to declare Nat the victor. Nat, Queen of the Hill. Er, tree.

It was a wonderful time. We laughed, blew off steam and in general cut loose. Several of us ended up IM’ing with friends we’d not chatted with in ages as we IM’d them to join in the silliness. Ah Chadd – I MISS you. It was great to chat, even if it was only “hi”. If you didn’t get an invite – it’s because you weren’t online. *grin* As they say, timing is everything. Oh wait – maybe they say “location, location, location”. Well, yesterday SL was THE place to be. BOING!!!


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