Posted: June 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

There are echoes in my head tonight, that make me warm, that make me safe, that flood my heart to overfull.  Sounds from my weekend. 

Lyrics from a song we sang in church this morning, playing over and over, rewinding atop any and all external noise, loud and full and led by the beautiful voice of Aracely Bock – if you haven’t heard her sing, you should hit this link.  The only thing more lovely than her voice is Aracely herself. 

Shouts of “HAPPY FRIDAY” as hundreds of us rolled along the streets of the south side of Chicago – sure, we met some folks unhappy that we rode on their road, but a whole lot of people came out to stand on sidewalks, watch, wave, smile, and shout it back to us.  Our childlike shouts and screams, whoops and whistles, grunts and roars as we drove en masse under overpasses (which provide superb echoes), all reverting back to 9 years old again in that moment.  

Laughter and talk with friends, over coffee, over food, out in bright sunshine. 

My fiance, sharing his heart.  Doing his goofy voices.  Holding ground that proves to me again and again that he is who I thought he was, a thing so wonderful I can hardly believe it’s so.  Saying things to me, about me, that I dare to believe.  My favorite of all the sounds he makes:  his prayers as we huddle under his tallit in the early hours of morning over his Siddur.

Giggling on the phone with my daughter. 

Hebrew prayers spoke/chanted in a Saturday synagogue, where I am a fish out of water but learning, maybe more slowly than I have ever learned.  Accents around the lunch table afterward that just made me quietly glad to listen, hoping they would say more words.  

The woosh and clank and roar of the subway trains and buses.  The honks of impatient drivers.  The shouts of chaotic street people. 

Secrets shared in quiet, and some opened up for a wider audience.

The crash of waves on Lake Michigan at a very windy sunset, and the patter of sand blowing against my skin.

The reliable sound of my car, back to its old self, no longer dying on a whim in inconvenient places.

The tender edges on voices, as many shared during and after church about places in life that have made them ask God, “Why?”…and the rustle as so many reached for tissues, for the corners of shirts, dabbing delicately at the corners of our eyes.

The ruffle of the breeze in the crazy, over-packed, chaotic, impossibly beautiful JPUSA garden, with the background music of splashes and giggles from the kids’ sprinkler area across the picket fence.

Live music on the beach, with a beat that haunted me for hours afterward.

The sound of my name in so many friends’ mouths, each saying it differently but each with a smile, with love, with undisguised welcome and gladness.

The warm welcome – soft smiles, genuine interest, ready conversation  as I rolled in home, here in Rock Island.  I cannot measure for you how much nicer it is to come home to people who love me, rather than a quiet apartment of my own.  Privacy is over-rated, in my opinion.

I am unreasonably blessed.  Ridiculously, unfairly, impossibly blessed.  And will surely sleep suffused with these sounds tonight.





  1. Cala says:

    Love it.

  2. linda says:

    Karen I could see the sights an hear the sounds. I could also hear the love you felt, the joy and happiness an feel the warmth surrounding you.

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