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Rolling past the Bakery counter at ShopRite tonight, the intricate designs that topped a number of the cakes and pastries impressed me; a human being or more than one did that, I registered, gazing at the glass case. Who knew that the frosting-incarnations of Sesame Street muppets could look so realistic, bursting from cupcake-tops?
Two nights ago, I was talking with a local friend who's mom is dying, telling her about the fun time I was having with my mom during my mom's weekend visit -- how we went to shul together on Friday night; met some friends of mine, including her, on Saturday morning; went to NYC for the afternoon, to a memorable art exhibit of the Bruke group of German Expressionists and saw some Klimts on another floor for good measure; how my mom found the best book in the museum giftshop, *Klimt's Cat;* how we came home and read it, and pieces of other books; and then watched a British mystery on PBS; and then on Sunday, how we went to the three generations of Wyeths show at the Montclair Art Museum prior to driving to Sarah Lawrence College to hear a high school friend read an excerpt of her memoir at the associated literary-journal-debut party.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Don't be jealous," I said tactlessly to my friend whose mother can hardly talk anymore and is bed-ridden.
"I'm not. I'm happy for you," she said.
Writing this, I'm reminded of a prior blog entry because if the roles had been reversed, I'd have been happy for my friend and in parallel wildly wistful, and giantly jealous of her. I was so envious of my friend who did the reading, since both of her parents attended and looked healthy and were visibly many years younger than my mom.
Envy is creativity-poison. Jealousy is the hallway to madness.
Why focus on it, rather than relishing and retelling all of the fun my mother and I had? What's the payoff? I think I'll spend a different blog-entry on that. Meanwhile, more purely and painlessly, I want to be able to marvel at other people's talent for writing and living. That's my prayer, God.