Thursday, June 10, 2010

Keep or Toss? Changing My Mind

Got lots of comments on this blog and via personal email in response to my question about what I opted to keep from the memorabilia listed in Down the Rabbit Hole of Memory.

I probably should not have been so darn surprised when authors urged me to keep the diaries and faith folk told me to hang onto my prayer journals. What did surprise me was the passion with which some advised I keep these things. So compelling were these notes that I ended up hauling diaries and prayer journals out of the trash where they had been unceremoniously tossed. I may do as Laurel suggested and bury them somewhere.

Two very different types of readers thought I should hang onto the needlepoint but it's still in a pile of stuff to disperse and yes, I do have someone in mind. (Note to the gal pal who thought I should keep the Shaker box: consider it yours!)

So what did I keep? I kept the Hippo Mug bestowed by the first ex-and-annulled husband after his drunk mother called me a kike.

Why? I have my reasons ─ beyond the fact that the Hippo Mug has survived 30 years of major life changes.

Please trust me when I say it was an authentically tender gesture on his part in the face of the family freak show, a gesture made more poignant by the reality that as graduate students we could ill afford any fiscal frivolity.

Even more important, I believe the Hippo Mug has served over the years to remind me that my Jewish identity is real, durable and will always be so even though the altar I approach has a cross as well as a menorah on it.

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