Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Sitting on Shpilkes

Do any of you people know what it's like to sit on shpilkes? Those pins and needles get you antsy; it's tough to sit still; you're waiting...sometimes you're not even sure what it is exactly that you're waiting for.

In my case, I've been sitting on shpilkes for some time -- I'm restless at work, although my job entails deep concentration and being alert; I'm restless at home, and try to use the Internet as a tool for relaxation, but then again, some of you might notice that I'm not relaxed. You might see that I "hit" your site several times a day -- I like to see if there were any new postings or comments. I apologize, and I hope you don't go cursing me when you see that it's ONLY TorontoPearl who left a comment or was the person behind a viewing, and not someone new to the site.

Why am I on shpilkes you might ask? Not quite sure, but I think that a lot has to do with a project that I took on since October -- I learned about a web site -- -- which I've mentioned before. I befriended the creative and wonderful soul behind that site, and have chosen to help promote his work and that site. Although my life as I know it is very busy with work and family life, it now also has this added dimension. One of the ways I chose to promote "everything Seraphic" was by suggesting to our community Jewish newspaper that I write a piece about Mr. "Seraphic" -- I was given the green light and met the deadline of January 10, but not the word limit. Instead of some 750 words, I wrote (and wrote and wrote) nearly 1500 words, and offered an explanation to the editor as to why I felt I HAD to do so.

I'd have thought that my piece might appear in the paper the following week...but no. I've had to wait -- patiently? -- for it to make its debut. Space is an issue, and if the editor is kind enough to salvage most of those 1500 words, of course he needs space for the piece.

Well, yesterday I was finally notified that my piece is in the editing stage and is slated for publication probably in next week's edition. This Jewish newspaper is not just local or provincial, but it works its way across Canada and points beyond where ex-Canadians might choose to keep up with the major Canadian Jewish community news. So, there might be a pediatrician in Toronto who has the paper in his waiting room; there might be a librarian offering the paper to a patron in Montreal's Jewish library; there might be a snowbird reading the paper in Arizona or Florida; there might even be a recent "oleh" reading the paper in his room at the ulpan program in Raanana.

To think that my words will get noticed by numbers is delightful for me, as I don't make my living as a writer. To think that I will draw attention to Seraphic Press and the story behind it is worth more for me. I'd been asked at some point by a family member: "What's in it for you?" I was sort of taken aback and replied: "Nothing. Just making someone...and myself happy." (refer to

As a copy editor and editor, I understand about author sensitivity to how her/his words are altered; now the shoe is on the other foot. I am the writer whose words will be edited...

Perhaps that is why I'm on shpilkes -- waiting for my piece to finally appear in the paper, and waiting to see how it's been shoicheted!

With Apologies to Carly Simon

Do you remember that great musical hit from the 1970s -- "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon? To this day her audiences don't know whom she wrote the song about, but there's great speculation, and Mick Jagger tops the list.

Well, in this day and age, Carly would have to change the lyrics just a smidgen...

"You're so vain
You probably think this blog is about you
You're so vain...
I bet you think this blog is about you, don't you, don't you...?"

Maybe some of you out there could help revise the rest of the lyrics -- why not give it a shot?

Enjoy Helping Others

"Experiencing joy in doing acts of kindness for others will increase the quantity and quality of your kind acts. When you enjoy doing things to help others, you will always be able to find enjoyable things to do. The life of a person who loves to do acts of kindness will be a life of joy."

Thank you, Rabbi Pliskin, for your uplifting thought for today.

There is an American standard song lyric that goes something like this: "...make someone happy, make just someone happy...and you will be happy, too."

Forget about doing a mitzvah for the sake of a mitzvah. Just think of putting a smile on someone else's face, and no doubt, as a result, you will soon have a smile on your own.