Monday, September 26, 2005


Over the last two weeks I have been dealing with one of my dreaded coughs. I have written about these frigging recurring coughs I get and am bored to tears with the subject. Last night, I actually did resort to tears. I don’t do this very often because while I don’t think I am in denial, I really just won’t go to the “feeling sorry for myself” space. After two weeks of non-stop coughing though, something obviously got the better of me, and last night as I sat on the loo just before going into the shower, I lost it!

I cried and cried and cried and really got into a space of not understanding why this happens to me, feeling sorry for myself. I felt sorry about the fact that in spite of my best efforts to keep a healthy headspace about everything, I find myself in this situation where my body just gets the better of me. I cried about the fear I experience when I get to this place.

While thinking about this today, I reminded myself of one of my core beliefs, that there really and truly is a blessing in everything. As dark and horrible as things might be at times, and as challenging and hard as the places are that we sometimes find ourselves in, if we are willing to look, there is the beauty of blessings.

When I have one of these coughs, the best place for me is on my reclining chair, with my c-pap machine on. I have to just surrender to stepping off the treadmill of my normal day-to-day activities, rest my body and take advantage of the fact that when I use my breathing aid, I don’t cough. When I don’t cough, I don’t get physically wiped out and I prevent myself from having to build up my strength and get back to where I was before the cough started.

So I thought …

I thought about my husband. How he stood there last night and watched me cry, and cry and did I say, cry!? Therein lies a blessing. Someone who knows when to say and do nothing. Someone, who in his silence and stillness creates a safe space for me to let go.

I thought about my son. This caring, nurturing being that comes to my aid with tissues when he hears me coughing from the next room. Therein lies a blessing. This strong child, who in spite of any fears he might have, rises above them and knows when to back off, take care of himself and can sense when I just don’t have any energy to spend on him.

I thought about my Mom, who doesn’t burden me with the thoughts I can read in her mind as she aches watching me pretend that I am not struggling because I don’t want to burden her feelings. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my friend Jodi who just arrived here because she hadn’t seen me on line and because we hadn’t spoken on the phone in a couple of hours. These are gestures you expect from people you have a longer history with. These are moments that shift friendships to the next level. The simplicity of a random act of kindness and love. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my neighbor Alyson. I thought about her voice mail telling me she had gone away for the weekend and wanted me to know that even though she wouldn’t be next door, her cell phone would be on the whole weekend. I thought about how cool it makes us feel when we know people stop and think about us as they go about their busy lives. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my sister who stops and calls me incessantly through her madly busy work days, just to hear how I am doing. Always being in someone’s orbit. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my friend Leigh, who sent me a bouquet of cookies because cookies are good medicine and who was content with text messages and emails telling her not to call me but to wait until I was ready to call her because I was not in the mood for yapping on the phone. I thought about how she just gets it and it is always ok with it. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about Marti, who is minutes away from getting married and how she just keeps my home, my child, my laundry, my food shopping, and, and, and all that ticking over, even though it is probably the last thing she feels like doing in her life right now. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my friend Denise (no, not that one, my American friend, Denise). So similar to the South African Denise in so many ways. I thought about how she too somehow laughs with me when I need her to, cries to me when she needs to, and never says no to watching Ross for me when I need her to. Therein lies a blessing.

And I am smiling as I write this, about the people who will email me and bitch at me because I might not have mentioned them in this post. Therein lies a blessing.

Friday, September 16, 2005


Dear Mick
I am really sorry I didn’t make it to the show last night.
There’s only so far I can push myself when I am running

on empty and there just wasn’t enough juice in me to
get there.

You do of course realize that I would never intentionally

do anything to hurt or disappoint you. I hope that having
to ignore my empty seat wasn't too much of a distraction.
You know I love you and if it had been humanly possible
for me to be there, I would have been.

Rock on, dude – you’re the best! Always have been,

always will be. The album is totally a bigger bang –
my favorite so far, track 5, ‘streets of love’

See you at the Garden in January, no matter what!


Saturday, September 10, 2005


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
No religion too

Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Imagine no possesions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will live as one.

- John Lennon

Monday, September 05, 2005


When Daniel and I got married, I had been working for a large, Jewish congregation in Johannesburg, South Africa, under the leadership of Rabbi Ady Edward Assabi. Over the three year period that I worked for him, he became my mentor, teacher, friend on a soul level and someone whom I looked up to as I had never done before. Our three year friendship encompassed a lifetime.

He officiated at our wedding and in celebration of our 12th wedding anniversary on September 5th, I decided to transcribe the Rabbi’s speech. I watched our wedding video for the first time in many years a couple of weeks ago. After 12 years of marriage, I realized how deeply profound this speech was. There was no way I could have appreciated the depth of his words at that time.

Ketubah – Jewish Marriage Contract
Chuppah – Jewish Marriage Canopy
Kippah – Jewish men/boy’s head covering

"This ketubah witnesses before G-d and man that on the eve of the second day of the week, the 20th day of the month of Elul, in the Jewish year 5753, corresponding to the 5th day of September, 1993, the holy covenant of marriage was entered into between the bridegroom Daniel Nathan and his bride Dawn at Johannesburg, South Africa. Duly conscious of the solemn obligations of marriage, the bride groom made the following declaration to his bride:

To be consecrated unto me as my wife,
according to the laws and traditions of Moses and Israel I will love, honor and cherish you. I will protect and support you and I will faithfully care for your needs as prescribed by Jewish law and tradition.

The said bride made the following declaration to the groom: I pledge you all my love and devotion and I take upon myself
the fulfillment of all the duties incumbent on a Jewish wife.

Bride and Groom then together declared before G-d and man
that they had signed their names to this ketubah of their own free will without reservation or restraint and that they intend to be bound by this holy covenant so long as they shall live.

Having read the Ketubah which is the binding Jewish document of marriage,
standing here under the chuppah which symbolizes the presence of G-d, having shared a cup of wine as we hope you will always share all your joys and sorrows from now on, I can almost declare you to be both civilly and Jewishly husband and wife.

Before I do so I would like to express to both of you and your respective families,
my personal, deeply felt best wishes for what will hopefully be an arrival at an abode of peace and tranquility.

You have both walked a long way through the pain and agony and the tribulations of life.
You have had plenty of the cup of sorrow. And one of the basic elements that makes you the couple that you are, is probably your respective mutual experiences and your heightened sensitivityto the needs of each other. And so you found each other, almost as an act of Divinity and you ran into each others arms as if you were destined for each other from the day you were born.

You might have each taken different routes, but that which needs to be,
will eventually take place. The ‘D’ cannot stay away from the ‘D’. And that was the role of the Levites in olden days. They were running in between. Serving the priests on the one hand, and representing the people on the other. And this Levi here has done his fair share of running until he came across the dawn of a new light in his life. The emergence of true care, of compassion and understanding as only you Dawn, know how to give and how to express.

Both of you will have to put everything you have into this union.
You will have to remember that you are two separate individuals; that you do not become one today; that you retain your individuality and the need to respect each other’s individuality; that what you pledge to do is to walk together through the path of life, hand-in-hand – what ever it may bring, and to support each other - as friends, as companions and as comrades.

The one thing that you need to remember at all times is that the openness,
the ability to say what is on your heart, the avoidance of any kind of keeping things to yourself, but rather verbalizing it when you feel it and when it comes, and being able to accept it from each other with mutual respect - is what is going to make every day a very special day

As G-d renews the work of creation
so must you renew your love for each other. As the cycle of life continues every day, and the beauty of its harmony, so must you enhance each other every step of the way … and please G-d you will be blessed with the ultimate fruit, and you will have the privilege of raising little boys and girls in good Jewish tradition - faithful to the heritage from which you come and destined to spread and radiate the love that you feel for each other.

May G-d be with you wherever you turn.
May you bring out the best in each other and may,
through you - those who come in touch with you - be blessed for ever more. Amen"

March 29th, 1947 – June 15th, 2003

Perhaps it is your wisdom that guides us,
perhaps it is that Divine spark you spoke of …
what ever it is, I could not think of a better way of honoring your memory
other than simply stating, we have done it … and then some!
On the eve of a new school year, as I lay my son’s kippah out for him to wear to school tomorrow, I know you are smiling down on all of us.
I thank you and I miss you.

Signing the Ketubah

Ady Edward Assabi