Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Going to Brooklyn To Leave Egypt

There is a reason it took the Hebrews forty years to make their way across the desert and it wasn't because Moses refused to ask for directions. It is said God wanted the Hebrews to birth a generation that was born, not into a slave mentality, but into freedom.

Leaving the Egypt of a dangerous neighborhood called my mind is a daily event that often unfolds in solitude and privacy. How wonderful was it, then, to sit down at a friend's table on this auspicious night, along with millions of others around the world, to begin an exodus into a better life and more loving heart.

We were many things at many moments - family, friend, Brooklyn Italian Roman Catholic, neighbor, husband, Jesuit, comrade, mother, brother, sister-in-law, guest, teacher, student, Gay, straight, wandering Jew... mishpocheh.

This evening's journey was the same taken those thousands of years ago and called us to walk its walk. So when a request for the youngest to ask the Four Questions it was someone about to turn 50 who stepped forward.

As in any journey, dishes were filled...

... hands flew with ideas and thoughts...

...until Exodus was done, dessert was served...

...and more talk filled the table, including a Robert Frost poem sung to the tune of 'Hernando's Hideaway' from Pajama Game

It was during this particular exodus and in the midst of my own private and solitary questions that a line misread in Psalm 118 reminded me that as I shed my slave mentality, my journey would bring me to freedom and a new promise land.

And so I walk, calling art to become my deliverance.