Archive for The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation

Cinders and Silver

Posted in Crooked Mirror, Life and What about It with tags , , , on October 16, 2013 by Louise Steinman

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“Cinders drifted over the heads of family and friends—- fire season in Southern California. The rabbi sang so ecstatically from the Song of Songs, some of the wedding guests wondered if he was on acid.” Those are the first lines of my new book, The Crooked Mirror, which I liberated from a manila envelope last week and held in my hands for the first time. It is new with possibility.

Those lines are a description of the day Lloyd and I got married at the Will Geer Theatricum in Topanga Canyon, exactly 25 years ago today, when Rabbi Singer blessed us with his ecstatic song; when all four of our parents were alive and smiling with pleasure. It was so frightfully hot that my mother remarked “there’s a baby parked under every bush.” My Russian cousin Maya was there, and her husband Grisha— both gone too soon. My niece Sarah had just been born; my nephew Matt turned 14 on that day. Tali and Yoni Pressman were our “ring bears,” emerging from Caliban’s cave, which remained on the stage from a performance of “The Tempest.” One of the chupah holders was David Redford, an elegant and talented young man, a casualty of the AIDS epidemic.

We were so happy that day, emerging from the woods together to meet our beaming rabbi. Lloyd so handsome in his brown fedora and white shirt, me shimmering in a silk dress the colors of fall leaves. And after the guests left, while the klezmers played on, Lloyd danced the kind of dance Greek men do, sunk low on their haunches and waving a handkerchief. My father peered through the hedges, saw his new son-in-law, his daughter’s second husband, dancing alone in the garden. This he reported to me proudly.

After the wedding, Lloyd and I drove up to Ojai, for a wedding night with scents of eucalyptus and oranges. And now I’m writing this from Ojai, a few quiet days to prepare author talks for a book tour.

Our marriage is now twenty-five years old, silver they call it. And we still find ourselves dancing around the kitchen together to the Stones, to Mose Allison, Radiohead, laughing and jostling hips. The Crooked Mirror is about to move out into the world on its own in a few weeks.… so let it be full of possibility, as is our marriage and each day of what remains of all our lives.
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