My Wife, Marsha Epstein – My TRUE Beshert and my TRUE Love

I met my wife Marsha, online, in January 2013 and I wrote three pieces to her, which I add to this November, 2021 post.  We married (legally) in 2014 and since then, my life has been a complete flurry of my wife’s cancer (thankfully in total remission!), my oldest sister’s death (who I miss each day), the ins and outs of living with the one (Marsha) who I love, new pets, and a general state of too busy to express my thoughts here, as I once did faithfully.  Not to mention….Covid!

With this post, I wish to let the world know that Marsha is my Rock and my Joy.  She is my life’s TRUE Beshert.  My life’s TRUE Love.  I thank God, and her, each day for our love, and for our ability to be married.  We share Wedded Bliss and Daily Fun and Joy.

I previously did not show you how BEAUTIFUL she is, so I’m showing you now.  And add 2 photos from our wedding.  We were wed at Beth Chayim Chadashim by our Lesbian Rabbi, Lisa Edwards.

Waking Confusion

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I awake in my bed this morning, not yours.
My legs search for the luxury of your warmth in vain.
Back and forth your house mine.
Were it not for precise schedules long discussed
written down
schedules not remembered
without a book
we could not track whose bed we sleep in.

One, two nights at the most we sleep alone
else the hunger for your touch
slay me.

Profound and Sacred

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May our intimacies always be
profound and sacred.

Profound and sacred sharing of our


Touch Touch Touch

More Laughter

Sacred Calling In The Divine
as witness to what we share
what we Create.

Sacred Sharing

Sacred Praise and Blessing for
This Gift of You.

I used to wallow in time

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Time…..a commodity
a cognitive construct
a shaping of reality
a shaping of sanctity
a figment of our imagination

too little
too late
right on
not enough
too much
does anyone ever have too much
what to do with it all
too busy
just enough

When I am with you
there is never enough
When I am with you
it is suspended
in the exquisite

When I am not with you
I wait
I long for….breathless
I hunger for….breathless
time with you

I used to wallow in time
some days it felt oppressive
the l-o-n-g s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s
of sorrow

The sorrow is long past
its intensity will not enable

But it now enables
glory in Gratitude
for my Time with you

We are 3 Days Past the Conviction of More Evil in Minneapolis

Will things truly change?  Will police become less trigger happy?  Will Black Lives Stop Being Killed?
Nope.  The very same day that Evil was convicted, another young Black Life was murdered by police:
Ma’khia Bryant.  
And sadly, there will be more.  Police are not trained to de-escalate situations.  Sadly.  And they are trained to intimidate and use unnecessary force.  Sadly.
Why do they receive Army surplus weapons, tanks, killing machines?  The American public is NOT the enemy.  

AND the repugs continue to believe that the rapist won the election.  And they continue to refuse the vaccine.

I can see now why the world entered into the “Dark Ages” in the 200 – 1400 CE time.  It’s easy to let stupidity take over.

Why Are We Not Calling The Man Who Inhabits The People’s House Evil?

The Electoral College is voting today, December 14, 2020 and the Evil which still inhabits the People’s House has still not quelled the anger of his supporters…..all 70 something million of them; nearly half of all U.S. voters.  
Someone will surely die, and this past weekend, several have been gravely maimed.  
Why is the new media not calling out this man for who he is?  He is mentally deranged and he supports a lie….that the election was “stolen” from him.
The sooner this lie is put to rest, the better.  We do NOT need more people in large groups on the streets, yelling, threatening, and goading each other.  
This is a time of great pain for many.  Let us honor their losses, of friends, family, loved ones as well as their loss of career and jobs, monetary security, and loss of integrity.  This is a time to mourn.  This is a time to acknowledge Covid’s grip on our world, to do what is right: social distance, and wear masks.  And by all means, when the vaccine is available to you, by all means, take it.

Black Lives Matter, Black Bodies, Women’s Bodies

Lately, I’ve been reading and admiring the young Black voice and profound insights of Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Black Lives Matter Movement.  Just yesterday it was announced that he won a MacArthur Genius Award ($500,000 given over 5 years).
Ta-Nehisi writes about the embodiment of racism.  How racism was and is FELT very primally in one’s body, in his body.  Ta-Nehisi’s book: Between the World and Me, written as a letter to his 15 year old son, talks about his abject fear growing up as a Black young man in Baltimore.  A fear which he felt viscerally, deep in his body.
He writes:
“Racism dislodges brains, blocks airways, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth.  You must NEVER look away from this.”  And: “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body – it is heritage.” 

Mr. Coates also rightly notes that whites “presume” their “whiteness”.  How easily white society forgets that we are ALL AFRICAN.  We ALL originated from one Black people.
We are ALL multi-colored skin.  “Whiteness” is a myth, as is the concept of “race.”  But it has, and repeatedly continues to use the “just-ice” system to destroy lives with skin which happens to be darker.  Racism IS America’s heritage.
The Black Lives Movement’s representatives Daunasia Yancy and Julius Jones tussled with Hillary Clinton this summer, asking her to account for her role in the mass incarceration of young Black men.
  She and Bill advocated harsh penalties for non-violent crimes.  Hillary pushed back, asking the Black Lives Matter spokespeople what specific legislative changes are they asking for. 

Legislation is an engine to change minds and entrenched attitudes, but I believe Black Lives Matter is asking globally for whites to change their hearts, to change their centuries of stereotypes about Blacks.  To stop seeing Blacks as “the other.” They are asking not to be murdered willy-nilly by the State’s Police Authority which operates in a near terrorist mode against Blacks.

Of course, I could not read Ta-Nehisi’s work, nor could I hear interviews with the Black Lives Matter representatives without thinking: “Yes.  Of course.  Everything that they are saying is exactly how it feels to inhabit a woman’s body.”   And Black women  experience BOTH racism and sexism.  Thank you to my dear friend Demita Frazier, and to Barbara and Beverly Smith and the other pioneering Black women of the Combahee River Collective.  You can google their Collective’s manifesto which clearly identified the multi-layered forces of oppression they experience as Black women: race, class, gender, and sexual orientation.  Today, the term for this multi-layered consciousness of oppression is: “intersections” which I don’t think truly conveys the intensity, sometimes horror, of what it means to live in a Black and “non-white” female body.

Society would not consider me Black, despite my being of African origin (as we ALL are), but I am female and have experienced firsthand how Sexism primally, viscerally is felt in my body.  How often did I experience abject fear, cold visceral fear while walking home as a young girl, young woman on the streets of New York City.  My near rape in the hallway of our Manhattan apartment building when I was 8 years old created a firm knowledge that I was not safe.  After this near rape, I carried a small pocket knife for “protection”.  Of course it wouldn’t have protected me from another assault, but my body felt safer.  The men sitting opposite me in the subway jerking off (yes, in public).  The cat calls and lewd remarks made while minding my own business just walking on the street.  The calculations I made when entering my apartment building:  if I enter via the basement and quickly run up the stairs to wait for the elevator on the first floor, I’ll be able to hear if someone is following me.  Always afraid, always looking over my shoulder, my young being,  ready to avert the next attacker.

We are well into the TWENTY-FIRST century and society’s attitudes towards women have not  budged since my youth.  The assaults and rapes (on our streets, in our schools, workplaces, and our military) to our bodies, our dignity, our right to exist that we still experience must stop. Even worse, the lack of consciousness amongst young women seems to also not have budged.  This summer, the 15 year old young woman raped at New Hampshire’s St. Paul, elite prep school kept repeating that SHE was sorry, that SHE didn’t want her rapist to “feel bad”, that SHE didn’t want him to “think less of her.”  Sandra Bland was threatened, pulled from her car, handcuffed, head banged to the ground by police agents of the State.  The unequal pay; no reproductive rights; menstrual protection deemed not “essential” thus taxed; the daily double standards we encounter doing simple chores and work.  Hell, the U.S. Congress didn’t have a women’s bathroom until  2011.

Yes, fear, bone crushing fear inhabits women’s bodies and minds, just as it does the bodies and minds of Black and multi-colored people.  This is America’s heritage.  Sadly, the WORLD’s heritage.    My 67 year old mind and body are tired of BOTH the racist and sexist stereotypes, the violence against Blacks, against women, the sexist and racist HERITAGE which destroys us. Enough already. September 29, 2015

May Palmyra Syria NOT Be Destroyed

The world is raging with war, killings, destroyed lives….still.  We’ve barely left the most horrible century for human murder, the twentieth, and there is no sign that it will let up.
It is end of May 2015 and there are more refugees and displaced persons now than at the end of World War II.
Boat loads of people escaping turmoil, failed states, chaos, murder, hunger, running to find a better life.  As Thomas Friedman of the N.Y. Times put it, they’re escaping dis-order, seeking order.  Most likely it will only get worse, as climate change and income inequality become more prevalent.  In California and large swaths of the western U.S., drought is taking its toll on the lives of the poorest.  Large industrial orchards suck groundwater deeply leaving poorer more shallow wells to run dry.  Towns in central California have had no running water for months now.

But I continue to Trust.  Continue to Accept that the arc of human destiny can only improve.  Continue to Understand that this movement for the better is a slow, almost imperceptible process.  I am hopeful…still.

So I share a long quote from Amos Oz, the Israeli author, taken from an interview in the Jewish Journal ( May 15 – 21, 2015.  Oz is interviewed by Rob Eshman, Editor-in-Chief for the Jewish Journal and they’re discussing the prospect of peace in the middle east and the necessity for wearing the uniform of armies:

Oz states: “Look, you have to live in this complicated world.  You have to be clearing the sewage from time to time, clean a blockage in the sewage.  And you do that, and you do that as well as you can do.  But there is not much pride in coming out of the sewage, stinking all over – you take a quick shower, you don’t walk in the street claiming, “I just cleaned the sewage.”  No, I don’t feel any pride in wearing uniforms.  I find necessity.  I don’t find…any beauty in bars on the windows and locks on the doors.  But they are a necessity.”

I don’t have a solution for this tangled, complicated, messy dis-ordered world we live in.
I don’t know how to stop ISIS and other fanatics from killing, destroying, leaving terror and horror.

But I wanted to share Amos Oz’ words because they echo how I feel.

May there be Peace, Shalom in this Dear World …….soon.

Hanukkah 2014

Seventh night of flaming light in our home.

Watching the women dance in the flame,
playing their instruments, background to the light.
Gratitude, always Gratitude.

Marsha and I have been through a mighty test.
She diagnosed with cancer, survived the brute
chemo radiation hell.
“If one survives this burning, cell killing poison
they must be meant to live,”
I commented to one of her doctors.
He just smiled.

Me losing my oldest and last sister.
We used to be three.
Issue of same mother and father.
Womb blood, blood of childhood fights, blood
of Mine.

There at her death.  Holding squeezing her hand
to let her know my presence.
She did.
She squeezed back even as she gasped for air
in her last days.
Every last bit of her strength was given up to breathe.
Every last bit of her strength squeezed out of her
each hour each minute
she fought
for air.
She fought for hours
till finally
the rattle
the tell tale sounds of the end.
I held onto her hand to the end.
Until it was over.

I’ve been Blessed with
Being Present at the death of
both of my sisters.
Blessed with holding them
long after their last

What a year we’ve had.
I am grateful that we can give light to Women Playing
silent tunes
with these miracle flames.


Prayer Written for my B’Nai Mitzvah Class

Marsha & I are taking a B’Nai Mitzvah class, with our Bat Mitzvahs scheduled to take place Saturday, July 26th (2014).
Our Temple, Beth Chayim Chadashim ( happens to be the very first, yes folks, the world’s FIRST gay and lesbian (and bi and transgender) Temple in the world.
Rabbi Heather Miller who is leading our class has asked us to create a prayer.  Easy for me because I pray to G-d daily, several times a day.  
If you’ve read some or all of this blog, you’ll find several prayers which I’ve written over the years. Here is a new one:

My Dearest G-d
Barauch Ha’Shem
My Dearest G-d
Yod Hai Vov Hai
El Shadai
Ha Shem
Help me to love You with all my heart and soul.
Help me to realize that loving You is the MOST important thing in my life.
Thank You for my life, for my wife – the woman who completes me –
for my health, home, family, and friends.
Thank You for the Creation of this Dear World.
Thank You for making me a Jew, for creating me in Your image, and for sustaining me in all that I do.

Flying to the End of the Earth One Day

I am still moving in with Marsha.
Post wedding, I have time to go through old files and…
lo and behold, came across a ditty from years and years ago.
A quarter page of Frances Stern Nutrition Center letterhead cut neatly to make scrap paper.
(more about Frances Stern
Nutrition Center in a future post)
On the back of the scrap letterhead, I’d written the following:

Flying to the end of the earth one day
      I beheld Golden Irises…
Diving to the floor of the deepest sea
      somersault seahorses dance with me…
Listening to the stars as they fade away
      I can hear angels laughing.

I’m sure that I did NOT write this…..but for the life of me, I can’t recall where these lines came from.

Does anyone know?
I think it’s beautiful.

Our Wedding Cake created by Joanie & Leigh’s Cakes

Needless to say, I have been quite occupied in the past year!

I met Marsha Epstein on J-Date (Jewish Dating) back in January, 2013.  We met face to face on February 22, 2013 and my life hasn’t been the same.
We wed just one month ago on March 16, 2014.
I can honestly say, that I have never been happier in my entire life.
Now that the wedding planning is over, I will have time to write and continue to share my heart and thoughts with whomever happens upon this blog.

Poem written by Lucille Clifton

“i am accused of tending to the past”
       by  Lucille Clifton

i am accused of tending to the past
as if i made it,
as if i sculpted it
with my own hands.  i did not.
this past was waiting for me
when i came,
a monstrous unnamed baby,
and i with my mother’s itch took it to breast
and named it
she is more human now,
learning languages everyday,
remembering faces, names an dates.
when she is strong enough to travel
on her own, beware, she will.

[Lucille Clifton b. 1936 d. 2010, was a phenomenal poet who wrote about feminist and African American themes.]