God said to Abraham, "Lech l'cha." Roughly translated as "Go," closely translated it means "take yourself." Pick up your stuff and move. In 2019, I did that. Life had been sort of upside-down for a while (thus the infrequent blog posts). And then, the opportunity for a new life, and a new love, presented itself. For the first time in my life, I moved out of my home state, my comfort zone, my people. And, sadly, my Jewish community. I moved to St. Louis.
The good news is, St. Louis has a huge and diverse Jewish community. More good news: the art scene here is also large and very active. The bad news is that Covid-19 hit. Still, I was determined to make connections, both Jewishly and artistically.
Being Jewish and being without a community of Jews is hard; we are a communal people. I often joked, after I converted to Judaism, that if you become a Jew, you will never be alone. And you shouldn't be. I can do Torah study with my Nashville chevrah torah on Zoom, but the High Holidays are just too weird staring at a computer screen.
Most artists will tell you that doing art isn't usually a communal thing and that it's hard to find enough "alone time" to do practice their craft. A pandemic will give you time you didn't anticipate and maybe even fetch up some new inspirations. And, there are nice surprises, too.
In September 2020, the venerable St. Louis Post-Dispatch did an article about my work that sort of blew me away. You can read it here. (You may be asked one survey question to proceed.) I have worked hard to fit in to the arts community in St. Louis, enter shows, and find gallery representation at Artisans in the Loop.
The end of 5780 was decidedly troubling, and scary; surely 5781 will end up being better. I hope it is for you. And, when the call comes, Lech L'cha. Go.
PS Go vote in November. It's critical.
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