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Torah (poem)/ tattoo (anniversary)/ truth (thanks)


This week’s Torah portion, Chayyei Sarah (life of Sarah) begins with her death, coming on the heels of the near-murder of her son by her husband (coincidence?).  Even though the title speaks of her death, no mother’s life would be complete without the successful pairing of her child(ren) to a suitable life-mate. After the purchase of a burial site for Sarah, Abraham sends his servant Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac — which he successfully does. Rebecca voluntarily leaves the tents of her family within 24 hours, fated to continue the covenantal line. But what if she didn’t go? What if she lost her nerve? Yes, I know that’s how it worked out – but it didn’t have to. We could have all been the children of Rebecca’s third cousin. Or Esau. Anyway, chance — that’s the focus of this week’s poem (first published in Drash, a small but cool literary journal).

Next, the 1-year anniversary of my tattoo. I’m thinking of adding color to it. Vowels maybe. A little swirly something or other. The plain truth is lately jarring. All suggestions welcome. I’m also – and this is the first time I’ve said this out loud – thinking about getting another tattoo, of another sort. It’s just a wistful feeling right now, but those feelings have a tendency to snowball. Tattoo #1

And truth: this is a shout-out to all those who have read my poetry in draft form & told the truth about deficiencies, confusions, and outright silliness therein. Big fat thanks to Shana Ritter, Julia Heimer Dadds, Jenny Kander, Mark Minster, Charles Greer, Beth Lodge-Rigal, Marie Deer, Bruce Solomon, Rhonda Pettit, Denise Breeden-Ost, and my mom Anne Swartz (who usually just says “I don’t get this”).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/12/2009 8:03 pm

    Fellow tattooed Jew here. Its’ beautiful, both the appearance and the concept.

    I just found your blog via The Velveteen Rabbi. Great stuff — I’ll be sticking around. 🙂

    • sue swartz permalink*
      11/13/2009 9:03 am

      Well, thanks. I’m blushing. And you’re not too bad yourself – just looked at Dear Diaspora, was moved (deeply) by the posting “You are Here”. I’ll be subscribing shortly…

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