Wednesday, December 10, 2014

And say, OK then

I took the bus past the Capitol in St. Paul yesterday morning on a field trip with the residents, . . . and then in the middle of the night, I took the bus back to meet Senator Paul Wellstone, to ask him how he keeps working for the good, against the tide, when so many haven't. 
In my dreams, of course. Wellstone has been dead these dozen years, like my mother.

He leaned into me, put his head against my head, and recited a poem, so quietly I couldn't catch the words, but the feeling was like the feeling of Kaddish, a Jewish prayer traditionally recited in its original language for the dead. 

I learned Kaddish after my mother died, from a Hebrew-speaking neighbor.
The first thing that surprised me about Kaddish is that it never mentions death. It says something like, "the key is in the window."* 
(G-d made this; all say, so be it.)
The second thing is that it says it in Aramaic, not Hebrew, so even Hebrew speakers don't understand the words they're reciting.

I woke up out of the dream a little late, but in time to write this down before going to work. 

This is the world I live in. 
OK then.

Water + ink in midair ^ by calligraphy artist Shinichi Maruyama
*quote from Allen Ginsberg's Kaddish


Zhoen said...

Prayers muttered at speed, carved in memory without clear meaning, incantations, balm to the soul.

Fresca said...


ArtSparker said...

Some dreams are like gifts, which makes up for the ones that are like talkative and insistent drunks following you down the street.

Fresca said...

Hi, Art Sparker!!!
Lovely to see you--it's been a long time.
Yes, this was a gift dream, and it followed me down the street like the scent of lilacs.