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Has Jane created a monster? I am inspired to post again, already.
Tonight at shul (synagogue), I saw a woman who looked familiar and it wasn't till I heard her voice at the kiddush (reception) afterwards that I remembered that I knew her from Chicago. I thought we knew each other from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) synagogue in Chicago, Or Chadash, and I said, "Of course, you remember Pat, " and she smiled, but said no, "It was Horizons [the GLBT community center]."
"I was your GLBT youth group advisor!" I exclaimed.
She smiled. It had been 18 years. Of course. It flooded back. "Do you remember the Saturday when we studied Flirting in Literature?" She had missed that one. It was my favorite time I ever spent with the group.
I had looked through own my library at home and had photocopied favorite sections of GLBT fiction, where characters were flirting, and then had cut and pasted them into a booklet that I photocopied for each of the youth.
It was so safe, to *study* flirting, and it was so remote from what the rest of the world invited them to *do*, i.e. to flirt with one another, as GLBT and questioning youth. They ate it up.I wish I had saved a copy of it. Probably, it's somewhere.How gratifying, to remember being a facilitator/instructor back then, just naturally.
Looking at the woman's face, and actually, she was only two years younger than I -- I was the youngest youth group advisor in the history of Horizons to that point -- I remembered myself at that barely adult time of my own life and how I was gaining self-esteem right along with the youth who came to the program.
Talking about the unit we did on Flirting in Literature, two single women, who were listening, and one of whom I knew already, said, "Could you do that for the [LGBT] Center [in Manhattan]?" They thought it sounded great at any age.
How fun, to have people be so receptive to an educational program I designed. How fun, to have the continuity of getting to see one of the "youth" nearly two decades later.
I feel good because I'm reminded that even as my much-less-than-fully-formed self back then, still, I was able to be of creative service to people who needed, like I did, to feel more self-assured.
This Passover season is designed, I feel, to remind Jews of our freedom [originally, from Egyptian slavery] and our redeemability, and thinking about tonight's accidental reunion, I feel so much freer than when the now-grown woman knew me as her youth group advisor, and also, that I am, human or humane service by human/humane service, steadily earning a thrilling sort of redemption.
What are you doing/what have you done that earns/has earned you your version of a thrilling sort of redemption?