The work I do can be incredibly lonely.
It's every week on Thursday.
The winds blow and the tide comes in and out.
There are groups that make my heart sing.
There are groups that have me on my knees.
Probation has absolutely given me a run for my money.
I don't stop.
I have wanted to.
I haven't wanted to.
I have cried.
Oh, how I have cried…for them, for me, for all of us.
I have cried out of sorrow for the broken I have seen and cried from seeing the joy of change.
The last quarter of 2015 was hard, hard as hard can be. We say in Israel what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
So I entered 2016 stronger than I have ever been but worn out.
I survived the hail, but it wasn’t easy.
What makes it sweet is all the giving and kindness I have received, and the great fortune of good, good people that do good things.
Philips-Lerner is a remarkable law firm .Once a year they adopt a center.Every year they pick and support a local non-profit, and then help organize an event for them.
When a dear friend sent me the call for proposals I was skeptical.
“Do it,” she said.
I answer, “They will never choose me.”
I have taken a tough beating this fall from various directions.
“You never know,” she said to encourage me.
I was so close to being defeated.
But, I listened.
I wrote, I applied, I presented and, crazy, they chose me.
They chose my Juvie girls.
The chose to join my ever-growing ripple.
You will be hearing of our plans. It is beyond exciting, it is absolutely exhilarating! In time you will be invited. I will ask you to step up and come, and I know you will.
Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben a close friend, a Rabbi friend who I absolutely adore, has decided to make domestic violence his retirement mission. We are working together now. His mission is aligned with so many of the old dreams I had for my one-woman show “Flowers Aren’t Enough.” It is surprising, exciting, fantastic and all around extraordinary.
He sent me a Mother’s Day gift, something I have wanted for a while. I love this sensitive man.
I open the gift and, oy, I cry again.
Good, there is so much good in this world.
Good people, good organizations.
Plain simple goodness.
I have two groups in two facilities back to back.
One is a large group. One is very small.
One can't wait for the culminating show, even though we just started. The other doesn't want to perform.
I navigate with these girls and their stories.
"Ms., How can any good come from me?"
"I've had so much fucked up, I wouldn't know good if it hit me in the face."
I laugh. “Good will not hit you,” I say trying to think what to say, how to answer.
“Good, well, good will show itself to you and you must choose it. But it's tricky the good, because you don't always understand that it's the good.
She looks confused and I'm losing her.
I’m a little lost myself, not sure what I’m trying to say.
"Ms., That's a lotta words for some simple goodness.”
“You are right,” I say.
"I feel like God doesn’t want good for me.”
Oy! Now God is involved.
“Okay, listen,” I say.
“This isn’t about God. This is about you. I know you have lots of bad around you, BUT I believe that there is also great good. You need to believe it’s there. Look for it, find it, and then hold on to it.”
Then, I add,
“What I was trying to say before is that sometimes it is very small, one person, one little thing. Sometimes it’s not what we wanted or expected or thought is would be. But it’s there for us to have and take, and sometimes we have to be the good for someone else.”
“Like you,” she says.
“I try,” I say. “I know you can be good.” I tell her
“You think?” she laughs.
“I am sure,” I answer.
“Start small. Start here in this facility, where you are now .
Don’t curse. Be nice when you don’t have to be. Be respectful,” I say.
“It will have a ripple effect.”
“Isn’t that the name of your organization, Ms.?
What’s that Jewish word you call it?” she asks .
“Adva,” I say, “and it’s Hebrew. I’m Jewish.”
“Okay, Ms.good Jew,” she says. “I’ll try and make an Adva.”
“Good,” I say laughing.
“Next week?” she asks.
“Absolutely,” I say.
“Now that’s good right there. See ya Thursday, Ms,” she says.
“You got it,” I say.
She takes her friend’s arm.
“I’m gonna be a ripple of good,” she tells her.
Her friend laughs.
“That’s funny,” her friend says.
“You’ll see,” she says.
And I really hope she does.