Wednesday, December 12, 2007

on hanukkah and other subjects

The 59U went by as I was walking to the bus stop at Hillman and I slowed down, dejected at the prospect (we seem to write this often, but do we ever speak it-- "the prospect of x..."?) of waiting for an inordinately long amount of time (all time seems inordinately long when waiting) for another Murray Ave-bus to appear. But, then, right then, the 61C appeared. What hope! I alternately cursed and prayed for the light to change so that I could make it across the street to board before the bus pulled away. And I did. It was a big double-bus with a teacup in the middle. The woman in the aisle across from me was asleep, and there were two guys a few seats up talking to each other. They weren't sitting together, but were on opposite sides of the aisle, a seat back- meaning that one could have moved up a seat and they would have been closer. I found this very strange. They talked the whole way home, though I do not know on what because today, for the first time all year, I listened to music on the bus. I was so proud of myself for abstaining and told myself that I enjoyed the complete bus experience and world experience (of sound!), but today seemed so much calmer without bus talk.

I had been wanting to tell a 61C story for a long time; there are so many; it has been pulling at my heart; I did not know what else to write. I can tell more. I can write a book. I could draw pictures, too, though they do not shout as much as words.

The apartment is sooo clean! Don't worry, dad, I am doing a great job of studying for finals. But oh how clean it is! Quite enthralling. enthralling. Proper lighting, accent lighting, has a great affect. As does sweeping and straightening.

Hume, everyone's favorites commercialist modernist political theorist, often wrote essays titled "on x." I borrow the idea from him. Do not believe he ever wrote on Hanukkah. I confused Rousseau and Hobbes on my political theory final. Their considerations of man in the state of nature, at least. Haval haval haval.

Tonight is a summer night. Mad, I know! But true how true! Still in the 60s in Pittsburgh and it is 2am. I live for nights like this. Other things as well, but how powerful of a sentence that is!, even if on first read we know it cannot be true. It sounds like it should be in a movie. Or maybe it is.

Hanukkah. Beautiful. Two memories: leaning over menorah on dining room table at home and getting hair caught on fire (did it actually catch fire? or did mom just shout to be careful?) and making shapes with the melted pool of wax. Here, in this place where I live, it is almost more Jewish than Jerusalem. Only five businesses on Murray Ave had any sign of Christmas, and one was Starbucks. So few homes have lights, which is empowering and sad because lights are so beautiful.

A lit menorah in the window of Gino's Barber Shop.

Eight night of Hanukkah in our apartment. My 20-shek menorah from Mr. Zols on the left.


Kate said...

I told Wendy how my Mr. Zol menorah was only 20NIS and she was so impressed! I'm glad I got the price right. :P

Rebecca said...

it may even have been only 19.99 NIS! I won a sufgahniah at Zol's last year...

Dad said...

Your mom told you a story about her childhood friend whose hair caught fire -- although I think that was before Pesach, not during Hanukkah.

I do not remember your hair ever catching fire. Memories are confections of actual self-event self-observations, and of the ideas the self-observes. A Bricolage, per the ideas of French Anthropologist Claude-Levi Strauss, whose cousin invented blue jeans during the California Gold Rush. (Mr. Sutter, of Sutter's Mill where the 49's gold was first found lived seven miles north of here, in Lambertville, NJ.)

For some ideas on bricolage see How Resilience Works (

Also related and timely:
A Hanukkah Sermon (

Resident Traveler said...
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