Who Was Afraid…Passover for Kids

Very happy to be part of Multicultural Kid Blogs’ Passover for Kids—mothers from many parts of this world have teamed-up to bring you eleven different posts. Nothing will be the same–it is all for learning and sharing, whether you are Jewish or not. Pretty neat. They do this kind of thing for many kinds of celebrations, beit Dewali, the Chinese New year, or here, Passover. 

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The wisdom and gift of historical fiction is that it brings real people to the surface, pinpointing real feelings, dialogues, and relationships. Real blood, real people. Real tears and real laughter. Other wise, we’d only have timelines, history books, and maps that lay flat. Kids drooling on their bored, floppy hands, if they are anything like I was in 9th grade history class (truly sorry for everything, Ms. Wooster).

Judaism is much about passing-on the prayers, the stories, a recounting of God’s provision. Passover, or Pesach, is like the ultimate culminating time for storytelling. It involves a man named Moses, generations of brutal enslavement, and the desire, God’s desire to take slaves out of that life and bring them into freedom. It would be dramatic.

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These ideas build every year, as we retell the story, but you need refreshment. A family needs a new recipe to serve at that seder (Passover dinner). Light stretching at a new angle for a new understanding and a wider glimpse at history. Aren’t children’s books the thing to call in?

Enter Nachshon. נַחְשׁוֹן  Apparently, he was a boy living in the time of Moses, Pharaoh. His parents and grandparents, and great-great…grandparents had done the work of building the pyramids and getting whipped. They were oppressed and probably pretty used to it; they were slaves for 430 years.

How do you take courage and tackle fears when you are merely property, and for so so so so long?

Well, author, Rabbi Deborah Bodin Cohen, knew the premise and promise of this young man, Nachshon. There isn’t so much about him at all in the Torah, but the Midrash, the ancient commentary on scriptures, provides enough for us to know the following:

*He was leader of the tribe of Judah, and son of Aminadab.

*He was Aaron’s brother-on-law, brother to Elishevah/Elizabeth. (This introduction is mentioned in the Torah when Aaron marries and we meet Elishevash’s brother).

*He was reported to be the very first to jump into the Red Sea, or Sea of Reeds, which was said to be swirling, its currents, powerfully strong. When everyone else was more than hesitant, he jumped in.

*The sea did not famously part, creating safe passage for some 600,000 men; adding to that, at least the same number of women and children, making it at least 2 million people, until Nachshon first put his toes in and not until the water was the bridge of his nose!

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She fleshed-out a character and made a celebrated story, one

Kirkus Reviews calls, “A stirring tale of courage and faith.”

So what if this man, the one to lead his people into the waters of freedom, was actually terrified of water? What story would that be? (I can’t wait to learn more about Rabbi. Cohen’s process)!

And this boy was not an avid, no-problem, broad-shouldered-butterfly-stroke swimmer, shaving his legs and working on slicing off milliseconds on his freestyle kinda guy. The author reveals a shy, nervous boy around the water. In every other area of his life he was brave. Not around water. She is a crisp, clear storyteller. It works.

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So the point is not for children to know more facts, necessarily. Let it be that their heart is stirred by an example of someone who had very real fears, but who acted to break them down, shake them off of him. Let it be that we see our kids’ fears, our own fears and we initiate change by enacting faith, but doing our part to take the first steps and make the first splashes. Everyone else will jump in.

I see this book as one to compliment our understanding of history, our take on the Exodus and Passover.

Use this book to delve into the main character, whom many rabbis call an absolute hero. Use it to discuss little and big fears. Use it to discuss the next levels of freedom you’d like your family to experience and cultivate.

Freedom takes habit. You can’t go from a borrowed, beat-down, abused mentality, to full-blown poster-child for courage. You can’t just put on a cape. It takes many laps around the pool, much encouragement, many seders talking about our freedom today. It takes showing your daughters brave women and then, showing-up big. It takes a dad exercising kindness day-in and day-out–kindness that can be tough and tender, valient, and cozy like a sweater. Sweet, motivating, huggy words–we need them daily.

In fact, I just learned from the author that her daughter was actually a big part of the writing process. Debbie’s daughter, who was three or four at the time, was dealing with her fear of swimming. Toddler-aged or adult, this desire to bring our fears to light so that we may crush them with courage is so primary to our human experience. I love how Debbie captured that time in her daughter’s life as she tied it to something much older and bigger. She spoke a little bit more about the process.

“I had always felt drawn to the Nachshon story and started putting my daughter’s experience and Nachshon’s story together”.

Nachshon has come to mean, “initiator”. Use his story to initiate something in you.

This is a book that can be part of your big family picture. It can be an intermission in the children’s seder, a break from a big person’s hagaddah, or Passover prayer book. However you use it, it will be good (unless it’s, say, an accidental coaster). Books like this one bring art and truth to the surface, faith as real as the flaky matzah layered on your table.

PS I forgot to mention something massive. These pictures are from the masterful, Jago. His art is bright, detailed, and transcendent. Visit his instagram or even Etsy. What a beautiful pairing is this author and illustrator. I just want to collect all of his work!

PPS Want to purchase this book? Instead of using the big book carriers, how about this smaller, wonderful e-bookstrore? Kar-Ben is a neat choice, right?

Or, if you find yourself in the fabulous neighborhood of Mt Airy, Philadelphia, get yourself to The Big Blue Marble, where I first found & bought this book!

So Happy Pesach, dears! Happy learning and happy freedom. May it be so for all of the families of the earth.

Melissa/Melibelle in Tokyo

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Paranoia Over My Girl’s Clothing

Not that I dress my daughter in Armani or Gucci,
Not that she is layered with pinafores,
curls fastidiously spun like Shirley Temple’s,
Me starching and pressing and doing all that work
to adorn an angel.

But

When I see another little girl
standing by the slide when we walk into the school’s
playground
and she is there
in same exact shirt from our Auntie R:
long sleeves, faint blue stripes, pink rosette at the neck,
waist accentuated gleefully with ruffle,
I am bit with the suspicion of a viper
and I cannot hold my tongue that maybe
my girl left it here, at school,
and I maybe never marked her name,
and so it is over now.

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A visit & walk-through a Tokyo tunnel on the way to Ikebukuro

Because
you see, the shirt is from Target, in America,
near Herndon, I know the street,
and there is no Target here,
in mega-city Tokyo
and I know the style of clothing
that ranges here
and this is partly why teachers and mothers notice my kids’ clothing–
it is not from here.

This is part of why, yesterday, on another slide,
a boy called me strange. “Hen okaason“.
If I am weird, stand-out, stick-up,
at least my kids should wear nice clothes,
the short and tanks and shoes of another nation,
the faraway stamps that find us like kisses, airmail
from the aunts and uncles who support our different, the ways we adapt and
stay just plain kids and mom and dad who like American shoes, an American bra,
and peanut butter candy.

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bought by you-know-who at Disney Sea, Tokyo

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The prince & princess laser-cut in nori for Hinamatsuri/Doll’s Day

Target is now exotic and it is the aunties
who’ve made my kids stick-out
with colors that are different, less sedate,
less print, little text, if at all.

And so now
I am consigned to pilfer my girl’s hamper,
mine and my husband’s too,
searching heartbeat raised for that spiral-rosette
and ruffle waist.

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Because more than likely,
the little girl I saw,
the one whose name I do not know,
does not have an aunt in America,
does not know Target
or the lengths me and the aunties go
to show up and then let go.

Look! I am not new at this: A similar accusing post from nearly two years back!

I would make a great spy with all the overthinking I do.

Women in Jewish History

I hope I have done my part to introduce you to Multicultural Kids Blogs.

This group of mother-bloggers does so much more than introduce play-dough recipes or headbands or exciting new ways to discipline; the focus is multicultural, but it is absolutely that! We are blogging from different countries, varied cultures, holding different religions, speaking different languages, but all holding the belief that children are uniquely wonderful and the world can be good and not terrifying. This is a group of women raising up leaders. I mean it. 🙂

So. In honor of Women’s History Month, dun duh duh duhhhhn!

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My last post was about the power and need for diverse dancers. I learned so much in the process.

For this post, I wanted to celebrate Jewish women in history. I had much to learn. I found someone.

Just one person. Here she is.

But first, a letter to my daughter on the subject:

Dearest Daughter,

You are not alone, ever, and you are not alone as a Jewish girl. You come from a long line of women with talent, with purpose, with healing in their hands.

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From Sarah, mother of faith, to Rebecca, Leah, and on and on and on, until you. Along the way, there was unfairness, the hazards of earth, of dwelling in lands where women have had to fight. Or be silent. You come from a lineage of leaders and teachers, scholars, doctors, tearing down walls, raising money for the poor, for the weak. The women who led the suffrage movement, in Europe, in America, in South Africa, those fighting for the oppressed, the women tending almonds, defying fathers, mending conscience and making a way for civil rights, working to ensure safety for all workers. The women who composed and read original poems, somehow everyday of their trapped lives in disgusting, degrading concentration camps. They have sat on the Supreme Court, have had the ear of kings, have fought for children and their children and their children and not just for us. For every woman’s children. For the right to exist.

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My daughter, “brave” ought not be the exception when we have so many powerful examples of skill, of intellect, of decision. Starting with you, with me, your grandmothers, great grandmothers. But really—where do we start in delivering a history lesson on the feminism of  such giants, those who started movements and rose up, solid.

I want to be great, strong, and giving in this life. I can’t wait to study these women with you, dear. Let’s see who inspires us; let’s see what we learn about history, the need for justice, kindness, and a woman’s strength.

Let’s take a little walk and simply start, sweetie.

Ms. Gertrude Weil, who lived from 1879-1971. Let’s look at her. She was born and died in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

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From what I read, she didn’t have such fancy digs, didn’t rule a country, or meet with many dignitaries. She was first-generation, German-Jew. The Jewish Virtual Library only supplies one paragraph about her. Upon further inspection, you see that:

She was instrumental towards the equality for voting, founding North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association. Really, it seems that she toiled and spent all of her energy on that.

Chapter One describes her background and formative 
years as a young girl growing up in the thriving Southern 
town of Goldsboro. This chapter emphasizes her unique 
background as a first generation German Jew educated in a 
new school system based on the German method of education. 
Unlike many young Southern schoolgirls, Gertrude was 
expected to continue her education: attending Horace Mann 
School at Columbia Teachers College in New York and later 
Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. The Horace Mann 
years are also included in Chapter One. *

* from The Emerging Political Consciousness of Gertrude Weil: Education and Women’s Clubs, Wilkerson-Freeman

Ms. Weil left North Carolina first for Horace Mann, as written above, and then later, to Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts (my birthplace, incidentally), where she was the first North Carolinian to enroll. Fine, still not so amazing or deserving of deep, solemn “wows”; after university, she returned to her family and hometown in Goldsboro. She did not accept status-quo, did not meet the minimum requirements, but exceeded every expectation.

Gertrude Weil asserted herself, kept growing as leader, and raised money for numerous organizations. This is fairly basic, but then, you remember this was the deep south. It was often assumed that women did not need a formal education. Women could simply be lovely and comfortable, provided they were white, Anglo-Protestant, perhaps.

She, on the other hand, was decidedly Jewish, an impassioned zionist, a woman who served the aged, the voiceless. She served and served and served, in this hometown where an angry mob lynched Leo Frank, the only Jewish person to by lynched in America. This was a deeply contemptuous, heated case which brought up much distrust of Jews and anti-semitism, bringing the Ku Klux Klan into town to march. Many say this was the action that gave way to increased anti-semitism. And yet, Gertrude did not shy away; she didn’t lose her voice or her nerve to stand up straight.

She pushed the envelope, pushed the agenda called “equality and fair treatment, justice for all”.

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Our Gertrude (can we call her Gertie?) is seen on far left. She founded the League of Women Voters, working to topple sexism and provide women with equal, deserved voice. Name a societal ill or negative regional issue–Gertrude toiled fastidiously, working towards labor reforms. This is a woman who did not merely complain or simply raise money at a cake walk; her beliefs mirrored Judaism’s take on justice and the responsibility and joy of every person: to extend aid to those in need, to recognize basic rights for everyone, to not tire of doing good, or blessings called mitzvot.

Ms. Weil did not stop at suffrage or battling in a fight for improved working conditions for laborers, she also sought equality and dignity for African Americans, bringing together a an integrated, bi-racial group inside her home. The world, rather, the south, wasn’t not ready for integration at that point. They probably weren’t ready for a strong women, let alone a strong Jewish woman. And yet…within those confines, she built swimming pools, places for these disenfranchised blacks to have physical community rather than miss out altogether, thanks to hate. She of course wanted more than that.

She worked in the place she knew, using her love and knowledge to spread equal-sized rainbows of joy, to spread dignity and the right to improved social responsibility. Gertrude didn’t simply stay in the north, enjoying Radio City Hall, letting North Carolina “do its own thing”. Gertrude worked right down to her roots, to improve the town, city, and state.

“She is a key transitional figure who successfully crossed from the Victorian era to the twentieth century and emerged as one of the generation of “New Women”: educated, independent and willing to take a public political stand.” (Wilkerson-Freeman).

And that is important, right? Not simply being a fixture of society’s eyelash-batting expectations, but being beauty that is tough. Deciding to have some moxie, some verve, to advance something greater than our own position or self.

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There is yet another facet of her influence–alongside her mother, Gertrude Weil helped rescue children who would otherwise experience persecution in Europe, prompted, perhaps by the plight of her very own relatives.

This is what I call “legacy”.

This is who I want to be: a woman who never shies from doing good, a woman who uses every molecule of her being to set the wrong things in society, right.

Thank you to Gertrude, for showing us a woman who uses her intellect, love, and compassion, to fight.

Thank you for encouraging us to cultivate a joy in hearing our own voice and ability to change laws of state.

Melissa

today and this night

today without my husband,

today with sendoff, kisses, and “tootle-oohs”,

our son leaped into the arms of his daddy

thick-lipped kisses to each of us.

 

by breakfast, we had written notes,

taught phonics, made up three songs, remembered two other ones,

talked about grandparents,

everyone’s plans and doled out

prayers like thick marmalade.

the one with zest.

 

i walked dogs while they played and hugged

tremendously

there was laundry, on-line and taking it off.

cars and a lesson on not being so rough,

corrections to daughter and a right-awesome do-over

which worked out—instead of her rising-up, mad warrior,

she giggled. she answered me with delight. it was light.

 

revolutionary

 

we flung off bicycle plastic covers for the day was bright

and new tulips and all the flower-labels i couldn’t understand then

were popping-up, but like newborn pups,

eyes, blooms closed, shut-tight.

 

we detect sun and we all, we throw off covers,

throw down dirt: move!

 

there was school, working hard to understand teacher (me, i mean, needing translation)

from the sweetest teacher, the one who kept writing “shit” for “a poopy diaper”,

the one who just tried hard to make us understand each other…and poop. 🙂

 

so there was laughter and buying new rice from my guy, third-generation owner

the house smelled like solid grains, bulky and comforting

us who love our daddy, love the rain,

love our own graciousness,

all the fancy ways we ask for milk and say we’re done.
 

 

and oh, yes, today i cleaned out the fridge who should have been ashamed

he was so dirty and obviously unable to take even minimal care of himself.

Tssk tssk.

today, tonight there was Belle and Beast and feeling in-love with

this family,

all of us trying to sleep tight.

 

today i made strides but tonight

i’m hungry for my own-tuck-in

my own “turn out the light” command.

it’s a funny thing, being adult.

It’s Maybe Simpler Than I Thought

“Mom, that dinner we had tonight was so fancy!” She speaks it as if I whirled her into a stately chair with arms and antique needlepoint upholstery only to eat (um, what is fancy, these days) bear claws or oysters. As if I set the table with mother-of-pearl inlaid knives and gleaming spoons of gold. You know what it was? Take-out sushi from a place I frequent near the station, 280 yen for the tray of six, that sort of thing.

“The real trick”, she pointed-out when I probed her about all that fancy talk, “was the bowls”. I used oxblood-colored lacquerware with a bit of gold spray-design across the top. Our individual miso soups were sequestered in these orbsl, domed lid keeping them steaming until it was time. This was FANCY to both kids. And the thing is, they were aren’t breakable. I keep them in the cupboard, but never really use the set. Tonight was it. It didn’t take much, but that little breakout of effort more than did the trick. I also placed each maki zushi (sushi roll) on a great big round ceramic platter, dotted with clumps of that candied-pickled ginger. To each child, I gave a mini bowl for their oshoyu/soysauce.

It didn’t take much, but…I may hear of last night’s fabulosity again at breakfast. And maybe I will just experiment with putting really crap breakfasts, like monotone-boring oatmeal, no topping stuff in fancy dishes and see what happens. Stay tuned.

It doesn’t take much, hey?

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“Tell me a story about when you were a little girl”. This is her favorite prompt. She’ll ask anyone and should one day write a book. I’ve stopped editing myself so much. Now I just tell whatever comes out. I just make it fun to share and that’s that. Doesn’t take much to be a good storyteller, I think. Because the story just has to be real, enjoyed again in this moment. It may now resonate as silly or terribly delicious, or painful, and you still can’t believe you’re telling. But it will come out, now, again, in these moments with this daughter who is terribly hungry for memories and truth and she will gobble up every word, make you feel hilarious or serious, able to remember great depths. It doesn’t take much to win a heart when you’re in love.

It doesn’t take much to make a puppy happy, or turn a rainy night, coming in wet, to cozy and established. We’re all glad for the moments that spill by, glad for the way being present, really really present is a way to suspend the time. I’m learning, I’m learning as we go, what makes the telling and recalling fun. The sprinkles, the squirt of chocolate syrup added to banana pancakes, the affected British waiter-voice I took-on when serving their mini milks. It’s more tickles and less stressed-out reminders. It’s a whole lot of patience in brushing teeth, but also enjoying, relishing, putting on the crazy cat glasses and acting weird. We all take turns requesting dance parties. Acting fun to have more fun. Challenging and listening and gardening and kissing. It’s simple when you remember joy.

Vintage is Happening Now

Lately I’ve been trying to tighten-up my fashion, dress more like a hot librarian, or at least a cuter, more streamlined teacher. More edge and less of the post-prego phlump that has people asking me if I’m really due again…I penned three words of inspiration. Three words to help me find my way back to some semblance of style. Vintage was one of them, but I’m seeing that it’s not just fashion (and, yes, I should also, take better care of my nails).

My pull towards “vintagia” is more about roots showing up on my person. About being rustic and real. It is continuance, the memory of umbilical cord, the desire to feed my family from a bed of rich soil, and the tethering to all things good. It is the peace I make with my family tree. A transcendence which also colors my countenance and makes any leaf look wet with lush beauty. Vintage is the pressing of gold onto today’s feathers, a resounding in the heart.

The tension of “go” and “stay” until we simply hear, “It’s okay. We’re here.”

~~~
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”
― e.e. cummings

~~!~~

Vintage is the song crooning out of my mouth right now, the song of longing and trekking, lunging, squinting forward. It is my turn to take the kids to school, preschool bags strapped to handlebars.

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I peddle through neighborhood blocks, tight clusters of Japanese houses and apartments. I’ve got two kids in tow, two year-old cutie boy in front and long-legged four-year old girl in back. We cruise to school, we Tokyoites, knowing all the back roads and most sunny spots. The bike is new, a battery-assist and our sole vehicle for the streets, other than our feet. Okay, and trains. A jackhammer pounds. Construction is always moving things around. I shift my cross-body bag a little farther down on my hip. We are a long way from where I grew up.

This bike is new, but I’ve been a bike girl from pink Huffy days, streamers streaming with the click of those rainbow spoke beads. Grandpa was cycling hero then, and since forever, strong slim calves gliding over highways, pushing over hills and dales. He once cycled from Maine to Florida, into the lot of The Melting Pot for fondue where we waited for him with a crown. Custom-built cycle. Round rearview mirrors and those built in cycling shirt pockets, while I was decorating my little bikes’s spokes with plastic rainbow-hued spoke beads. I know cycling from this man, also song and manners, how to maneuver a meal with gleaming, five-course silverware settings. I know finery and getting dirty, alike. I’m not afraid of a wrench and grease, or the reward of a crisp gin and tonic. I know how to make magic work. It’s a bit of grit and a lot of doo-wop, like Gene Kelley in the rain.

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Fresh air fills my lungs; even in the city, here, air is clean. I ride with the strength of a few strong men. (I know, I’ve got that battery pack, but my heart is in it, dear) .

“This riding? It’s in your bones”, I call out to both kids. Gotta be loud with all this wind! The squeaky voice and swinging, kicking feet behind. “Grandpa Dick!” Precisely. She knows that strength and beauty is what I mean. These traits are passed down. Fearless confidence to navigate paths and read maps, even in French. Theirs is the heirloom of strength, a marriage of intellect and a love for smiles. A time piece can be a song. Songs of cousins and reunions with Ella on the record-player and wicked laughter that sends some of us racing to the bathroom. The sass of Grandma shimmying into pink jeans when every other woman was June Cleaver. Her purse, a leather pack for bullet shells. Picture Annie Oakley and the most sophisticated, cultured Vogue Twiggy. Vintage must be attitude-meets-class. And that’s just one side of the family! I carry some precious cargo, glittering harbors full of stories and recipes inside these veins.

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Grandma gifted me jewels on this last trip–great grandmother’s silver and moonstone earrings and brooch. She brought it out of their walnut dresser, curved in art deco. I didn’t immediately think it my style. “Oh, I dunno, Grandma”, with my head cocked. Hmmm. It looked so old-fashioned. That was before I knew it’s history, before it gleamed extraordinary. I poked the stems into my earring holes and suddenly we all gasped. I was suddenly a dame in Roma or Seville, a woman of silk scarves and fabulous handbags. My great grandmother must have radiated style. I could begin to know her now. A remnant, a thread, a tangible sparkly element right here! My neck and chin raised. Those jewels could travel. I was vintage. A great grand daughter, known. (Problem is, these vintage jewels haven’t surfaced since my return to Japan. I am hurting and praying, loves).

Sometimes you don’t plan the things you pass down, the seeds that break open and shoot roots down. We hug our way into the earth, balanced on black rubber and gravel. It is a tree of life to those who hold onto it and all the supporters are happy. Legacy is how we speak, how we fumble and gaze at intimacy. My Grandpa and I saddle up to each other on those rides at the shore, singing songs, whistling stories and turning cobwebs into glory. Summertime and the living is easy… Old King Cole. Air Force, Army tunes, battle blues, folk songs, and spirituals. Stories with our white water bottle, trading off. Maybe vintage is vintage only if it’s passed down. Hand to hand. Otherwise it’s just old.

Soon enough my boy will sing these words. They will grow up his bones like invisible skeletal reinforcement for the soul. One of these days, you’re gonna take to the sky. And then it hits me. The time I think I am losing! The heirlooms I’ve lost! The artifacts of unknown whereabout, the drawbacks of many times moving. We can’t keep everything we treasure, so we write, and we weep, and we dance. I’ve got home, even here. The songs, they’re inside. Secure. Growing. I’ve got the loves hidden, all these conversations, all the glimpses of beauty. Each poster is pinned up on my walls. Really really on the inside wherever I move. As far away as Tokyo is. As far away as wherever. I’ve got my love to keep my warm. We sing that one, too. So off with my overcoat. I don’t need no overcoat. I’m burning with love. The flame grows higher, my love burns brighter and I can weather the storm!! What do I care…. I’ve got my love to keep my warm.

Another song to tick off. I’ve taught my girl this one, too. These are the pieces of worth, the things I can carry. Vintage is my voice taking the past into today, into my lap and into lullaby, round and round the circumference of the world, or at least my pedals. The things you pass on. Treasures in death and birth. 

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We must be known as the loudest here. Such is our projection and voice box. They are old songs, taught by the grands to our parents and handed down. We use them to make the ride easier, February rains gentler, and August sun cooler. Vintage is called more than getting by. It can be a lifeline and fun.

‘Cause I love you, a bushel and a peck! You bet your pretty neck I do. The sweet voice from behind me joins in, but she can’t keep up. I realize I’ve gone and changed the tune a bit. It is my jazz, so known on the insides that it can be squashed around and made different.

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I’ve got my love to keep me, and us, warm. This is vintage-lovesick-peace, and it is good. It is a turn on a merry-go-round, a tour of love as it makes its way down our lane and even round our ankles, kitten heels or bare-feet. 

A song of growing strong.

~~~~                 ~~~

How ’bout you? What are your vintage treasures?

What are the songs? The smells? The treasure you keep safe or maybe want to create?

I’d love to know!

Here’s some inspiration, perhaps!

On the life-long rotation:

I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm

Summertime

A Bushel and a Peck

How we Wake

He pats my lips with thirty pounds of consecutive kisses.

I see his pursed mouth even as I continue dreaming.

This little force who will be two next month.