But these ladies are Jewish... and they're good! They showed up clutching a few things I couldn't exactly see, and some sheets of paper (we are Jewish, therefore we xerox). They were all quietly excited, appeared to be floating slightly above the floor, and I was too. They asked for matches & foil. Then Eddy put on a kippah, and an amazing experience began.
First they lit up some sage bundless, and Diane smudged the room, the doorway, and me. It felt right. Then Julie gently sprayed a scent that she compounded just for me... designed to refresh, renew, and inspire. Together the scents created a special atmosphere.
Eddy had brought a beautiful hand-made blue glass bowl with the word Ahavah (love) fused into it; she filled it with warm water and added a touch of the spray. This was to be a hand-mikveh: a cleansing for the creative hands, and also for the eyes. As I washed my hands in the water, they all sang Hebrew prayers that Eddy wrote, to a Debbie Friedman melody. They asked God to bless the hands, bless the eyes, and bless me. They blessed God for the gift of talent, and I silently blessed God for the gift of true friends.
Then a candle was lit, which I held like a Havdalah candle, and we created a hevdel... a separation between the past and the future in this room. We blessed HaMakom... the name of God, and also this place that is my studio. We blessed the source of life who releases the one who is bound. We sang Shehechiyanu.
This was incredibly moving, and each person briefly said what was in her heart. We cried a little, hugged a little, and reluctantly said goodbye. I gave them each a little thank-you gift, a tiny pink flashlight, with thanks for helping to light my way. These are all ORA women... it seemed appropriate.
I wish I could describe to you how this room feels now. It's so peaceful and stable. I don't recall it ever feeling this way. The love of many people has gone into it, my gratitude inhabits it, and I trust that wonderful things will emerge from it.