I had wanted to carry something with me, something talismanic, on this vist to Old Ashkenaz, the recent land of my ancestors, and the distant land of many of our ancestors. Then one of my teachers pointed me to this poem, and that was it. It was these words that I brought, back to their place of origin.Read More
I ran into the Shechinah in an art museum. It was the Art Institute of Chicago. Maybe not the way it is now, but the way it was when I was a kid. She was in one of the Impressionist rooms. In front of Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of la Grande Jatte.Read More
Maybe I come from a long line of non-swimming, land-locked Keller men, flagrantly violating this rabbinic injunction, generation after generation, or generation before generation, all the way back to the Exodus from Egypt, where some proto-Keller would have stood gaping at the Sea in abject terror.Read More
But this was another time.
When scents were devised with sensibility.
Mortar and pestle. Delights olfactory
Made with industry but no factory.
A time when the word "natural"
Was not needed before the word "fragrance"
Because what else would it be?
Mesopotamian and Canaanite cultures also had a priesthood function for people like me, for the girlymen who served the gods and goddesses dressed as women, called kulu'u in Babylonian and k'deshim in Hebrew, which again means "holy ones," but which was translated into the Latin Vulgate by St. Jerome in the 4th Century as effeminati (a term which I must immediately begin using to describe my own tribe).Read More