Thursday, August 25, 2005


Well, I am. There’s no getting around it.

I don’t talk much about my personal life or inner feelings on this blog. There’s a reason for that: I’m a private person, and the Internet is as public as it gets. So I tend to keep the shutters drawn pretty tight. I like my privacy.

Still ... I just came back from shiva at Yonina’s apartment a while ago. I met her daughters and some of her grandchildren, which was great, though of course I can’t help wishing that we might have met under happier circumstances.

I got to share stories about Yonina with her daughters as they showed us some of her photo albums. At one point, when they were discussing her involvement in the folk-music scene, they asked each other where her banjo was. I was glad to be able to tell them. (She gave it to a local banjo player several years back.)

Through it all, there was a persistent feeling of “last.” For example, I found myself thinking: This is the last time I’ll ever see this apartment. This is the last time I’ll ever sit on this chair. And I remembered how often I had sat there when Yonina was alive and we talked for hours while she gave me guidance or one of her wonderful treatments, or while I massaged her feet. This feeling, though sad, wasn’t anything particularly acute or dramatic. It was more like a strong and steady awareness of finality: that for me this was the end of an era, one of the most important of my life.

When Yonina’s healing course began, she told us: “The one thing I am willing to guarantee about this course is that it will change your life. I’m willing to sign to that.” In my case she was absolutely right. I owe her a great deal, and wherever she is, I love her very much.

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