A Seder for Easter
Once again I missed the most recent Glen Ellen Historical Society's quarterly meeting where townsfolk were invited to share their own personal recollections and photographs. As with each of the meetings, I knew I would enjoy this, loving our town and enjoying its variety of residents.
Alas, I was winging my way north sitting in a way too tiny seat on a way too tiny jet. Bumpy, with great views at a low altitude. The best part of the flight was getting a clear and lovely view of my hood: San Pablo Bay, Highway 37, Infineon Raceway, the Sonoma Mountains and our lush and lovely verdant Valley was laid out below us like a divine tapestry, peaceful and remote.
Up north in Seattle, sweetie and I experienced Easter in a new way. For the first time, this erstwhile Catholic duo experienced a real Seder. Sure, we used to do those in the Catholic schools near Passover, but truly we didn't know entirely what we were doing.
At the Seder meal this Easter (funny combination of titles I know, but I think you can follow my gist), we were guests at a beautiful ceremony, done in the style that my new machetunim had practiced for years. Ahh, the food: long stewed-brisket, rich and redolent; matzoh with a herring condiment; sweet, delicious charoses; and multiple glasses of wine. The solemn stories and questions were intriguing and thoughtful. I was honored to be at this ceremony with people I love.
Chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and boiled eggs? They'll wait, though clearly the meaning behind the exodus from Egypt is more compelling than a tradition that speaks of rabbits hiding eggs in tall grass. In any case, we broke proverbial bread together and celebrated our communion of family connection in a deeply meaningful way that touched my heart and soul. What's more Christian than that?
We also attended the Seattle production of Jennifer Maisel's acclaimed and poignant play "The Last Seder" directed by the talented Art Feinglass. It's the touching story of a family of four grown daughters coming home for the last family Seder.
Their father, with rapidly progressing Alzheimer's, will soon be institutionalized and their mother left bereft. While the general theme is obviously grim, playwright Maisel added enough humor and a few surprises to make it uplifting.
Among the cast, the show starred our son Sky's new mother-in-law. Barbara Goldhammer, yes, one of the aforementioned machetunim ... or would we, as in Latin, say machetuna? Not up entirely on my Yiddish - yet.
Barbara's role in the play was as the lesbian lover of the 32-year-old pregnant daughter. A hilarious role for her to show her talents - but not her true age. She pulled it off admirably, to lots of laughs, charming the audience. Of course we Crawfords loved cheering her on and being part of the tribe.
So, while I celebrated a bit of history, it wasn't the same history that was being celebrated at Mayflower Hall. To those of you who did attend: let me know about the day and also be sure to send your thanks (along with your annual dues) to all the folks who organize these great meetings.
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