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Day 5 Houston

I was in Kansas City on Thursday, Lawrence  yesterday–where I got to see one of my brothers and his wife–and then on to Houston in a tiny spinewrecker airplane.  Last night in Lawrence two teen-aged boys came to the event and Ii was thinking, boy am I cool–I even speak to sixteen-year-old boys.  Turns out they’d been sent by their English teacher to sit through an author appearance, and afterwards, one asked me who I was.  I said my name and he asked if I was a writer, or just reading someone else’s book.  So–a good corrective for the over-active vanity!

I fly early tomorrow to Chicago, where I’ll race to the western suburbs for an event and hope to be home in time for Kol NIdre.  I feel melancholy much of the time on the road–one is lonely, cut off, and then I get to events and am happy to see everyone and perk up again.

I also feel melancholy about observing Yom Kippur in such a distracted way.  It’s a funny thing–I’m at the atheist end of the agnostic spectrum, but Yom Kippur is such a sacred day.  After many years of walking away from Judaism, I started observing it out of respect for a grandmother who was murdered in the Vilna ghetto on Yom Kippur.  I was named for her, and as a child, I hated being named for a murder victim–I thought it doomed me to follow after her.  Now, though, it is a day where  I can get centered, where fasting brings a kind of peace and introspection, and I wish I didn’t have to spend part of the day doing laundry, filling prescriptions and repacking for the next week on the road–but I hope my grandmother will understand and forgive me.

P.S.  I’m posting in a Houston hotel; Genny has pictures from Bethesda which I’ll add when I’m back home at my own machine.

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