Rabbis And Priests
I never got along with teachers or rabbis or priests, I was told early on I have serious authority issues. When I was ten or eleven, I was dragged against my violent protests to Hebrew School for a few weeks before the very exasperated rabbi threatened to toss me out of class, and I jumped up and said "when?," and raised my hands in victory.
The rabbi seized the notebook I had been writing in while he was talking in response and found a love letter to Susie (I can't recall her last name) stuck in there. In the letter, I told Susie how boring the class was and how wrong it was to imprison young children and brainwash them.
She had winked back at me and nodded and passed the note back to me.
When my parents were called in to hear that I had successfully been expelled, the rabbi turned to my father with a dire look and shake of his head, and said "watch out for this one. He loves women more than he loves his studies and his God."
Well, I thought as I was marched out in shame, he finally got something right.
Susie was one of the first strong women I met, and I thought she was beautiful, even though I doubt she was by most societal standards. She was beautiful to me, she stood up for herself and tormented the rabbi with impertinent questions about the Bible and faith. She had a keen instinct for posturing and equivocation.
Susie also liked me and invited to get some ice cream with her at Rigney's. My heart went crazy.
I thought I would be punished severely for my rebellious behavior, but it turned out my parents didn't care much about Hebrew School or me, either, for that matter. The whole thing was forgotten, I was on my own, and I began my own spiritual journey, which continues to this day and even has had some rabbis in it.
But I admit that that first rabbi was correct, I love strong and beautiful women more than I love my studies or anyone else's idea of God In a way, they are God.
They are holy to me. I haven't seen Kelly the past few weeks, but I wanted to think of her this New Year and wish her and all the strong and beautiful women of the world their moment in time their due. I don't know why I love strong women so much, they have always seemed the most radiant of living things.
Kelly has never once looked away from my camera, balked at my photographing her, or wearied of sending her smile out into the world. I have a lot of strong women around me, and beautiful ones. My daughter Emma, her daughter Robin. And some strong animals also – Lulu, Fanny, Zelda the sheep, the Romney Gang Of Four, the fearsome barn cats Minnie and Flo, and the very empowered pony Chloe.
I live with Maria, an especially strong and beautiful women, she is radiant and has a smile the equal of Kelly's, it simply lights up the world around it, and my own life. These women are very powerful and willful, like Susie, they all seem to cut through the chaff.
So I wish the Strong And Beautiful Women Of The World the New Year they deserve. If the rabbi were still around me, I would tell him that I believe God has great plans for these women, in fact, I believe they will save the world and restore it to health and harmony.
That is my New Year's wish and my projection. That goes for you, too, Susie, wherever you are.