Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sometimes I Wonder...

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Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn't just be better off using this blog of mine as a pure venting venue, as an exclusive room for ranting.

I've been at it for a year and in hindsight, I don't believe that I've made my blog a forum for shouting out about what bothers me, what turns me off, what injustices hide on every street corner. Yes, I've revealed my passively angry self a few times, but perhaps not often enough.

I haven't ranted nor raved too much; however, I've revealed plenty. Do you feel you know me any better now than you did just over a year ago when you stumbled across my blog name? Could you reiterate what makes me tick? Do you feel you know me so well that reading my posts is just like sitting across from me at a cybercafe table and sharing a tete-a-tete?

Sometimes I wonder if I've sometimes revealed too much, if perhaps when you meet me, you'll think you know everything there is to know about me...except perhaps my real name! Did my poetry say too much, or perhaps did my "All About Me" list from many moons ago set you on the path to knowing Pearl? Or maybe the memes I replied to appeased your personal curiosities about me.

Like any true jewel, I believe I'm multifaceted. Yes, this Pearl might be saying too much at times, but believe me when I say there's much more to me than meets the printed computer screen. I'm a composite of contradictions: I appear very conservative, yet some of my offbeat thinking makes me liberal; I am gentle and mild-mannered, yet can shrill with the best of them; I often appear bold and self-assured, yet I am the biggest wuss and scaredy-cat when it comes to many things; I am very creative in my thinking, yet sometimes lazy to put forth the effort to bring those thoughts to fruition.

I'd like to think that the value of this jewel appreciates over time, just as your appreciation of Pearlies of Wisdom does too. So here's to many more "revealing" sessions about me...

"My Zayde" by Moshe Yess

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As I stroll through blogland, peeking in the windows of your blogs, I notice that so many of you, especially at this time of year, or during the High Holidays, recall your grandparents with such a fondness, such a warmth of spirit.

Unfortunately, I only knew one grandparent, and he passed away soon after I turned four years old, so my memories of him are rather limited. But his gentle spirit, his smile and his goodness live on in my mother and all she represents.

For all of you who have been fortunate to know and have a Zayde, or a Zaydie, or a Gramps, or a Grandpa, or a Saba, or a Papa, or--as in my case--a Grospappi, this song with its beautiful and tear-jerking lyrics are for you.

My Zayde lived with us in my parents’ home,
He used to laugh, he put me on his knee.
And he spoke about his life in Poland,
He spoke, but with a bitter memory.

And he spoke about the soldiers who would beat him;
They laughed at him, they tore his long black coat.
And he spoke about a synagogue that they burned down one day,
And the crying that was heard beneath the smoke.

But Zayde made us laugh,
Zayde made us sing,
And Zayde made a kiddush Friday night;
And Zayde, oh, my Zayde,
How I love him so,
And Zayde used to teach me wrong from right.

His eyes lit up when he would teach me Torah,
He taught me every line so carefully.
He spoke about our slavery in Egypt,
And how G-d took us out to make us free.

But winter went by,
Summer came along,
I went to camp to run and play.
And when I got back home,
They said, “Zayde’s gone,”
And all his books were packed and stored away.

I don’t know how or why it came to be,
It happened slowly over so many years,
We just stopped being Jewish
like my Zayde was,
And no one cared enough to shed a tear.


But many winters went by,
And many summers came along,
And now my children sit in front of me.
And who will be the Zayde of my children,
Who will be their Zayde, if not me?

Who will be the Zaydes of our children,
Who will be their Zaydes, if not we?