As I mentioned yesterday, this is a reflective time of year in the Jewish calendar, and I've certainly been in a reflective mood since my birthday at the end of August, on which I entered a new decade.
On August 29, 2001 I turned 50. To celebrate, Carol and I brought all the people whom I counted as my family (having been discarded by my birth family long before) to Hawai'i for a week-long celebration, an opportunity for them to get to know each other (some had never met) and also get to know my very favorite place. It was an amazing time for all of us.
As I approached the 10-year anniversary of that occasion, I realized that my whole life is almost completely different now. 9-11 was still two weeks away. I had yet to acquire my first 78rpm record. I had no grandchildren and only one of my three stepchildren was married. I was still performing with the Wholesale Klezmer Band. I had not yet been to Green Mountain at Fox Run or met the wonderful teacher/counsellor/friend who has helped me through so much of what I've chronicled in this blog. For that matter, I had not ridden a bicycle for over 20 years. I was just starting to work on my first KlezKamp as Associate Director, and had just returned from the very first Aloha Music Camp (and the Mohala Hou Foundation was several years from coming into existence). I had never painted a watercolor. I had not been in contact with my sister in almost 20 years. I had never met either of my nieces and in fact didn't even know of the existence of the younger one and had never heard of my now-beloved brother-in-law. I had never played the 'ukulele or lap steel guitar or studied Hawaiian. I had never been to Madison, Wisconsin or spent much time in Vermont. I had never meditated or done strength training, never bounced on a fitball, and had pretty much stopped dancing. I was not (and could not be) legally married, and had not yet met two of our now closest friends, who came to us as a result of our marriage.
In short, almost everything that occupies my energy now and many of the people and projects closest to my heart were nowhere in the picture.
I am extremely grateful for all the changes of the past decade. Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
A hui hou.