This week marks 2 religious holidays for us here in Goa. Roshoshana, the Jewish New Year, and Ganeshe Chaturthi, the 5 day festival celebrating Hindu religion’s Lord Ganeshe’s birthday. Preparations are already underway in Panjim for the festivities. Furniture vendors are set up for a mile along the park side walk with makeshift tarp tents. I took a taxi into town earlier today and saw at least 40 vendors, all plying the same cheap furniture. Told Scott about this miniature High Point market week and we both had a chuckle. Hindus all across India will be purchasing not only furniture but also unfired clay statues of Ganeshe to adorn their homes, only to be discarded into the sea at the end of the celebration. The earthenware supposedly disintegrates and is meant to be ecofriendly….but with the sheer volume of revelers like you see here in this photo grabbed from Google I can’t imagine it’s a good thing for the environment. Wishing you all a very happy new year– mazeltov!
L’shana Tovah Katy & Scott ~ neesa & evan
And peace to you also.
Sent from my iPad
Dear Katy and Scott, Our synagogue has a tradition of sending out messages to ponder as we get ready for the New Year during the month of Elul. My message this year ‘Crazy Wisdom’ was about the two of you – who I feel more closely connected to than ever before as I read each new blog post. I received many comments and you now have even more followers on Going to goa. Happy New Year to the both of you – and thanks for the inspiration. CRAZY WISDOM
I have been saying a misheberach prayer for Scott Morgan since October of 2012 when Scott was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and given 4 months to live. In Scott’s typical manner, he threw himself a huge goodbye party at which he stood and regaled everyone with stories of his travels and adventures, gave away much memorabilia, and then promptly made plans to depart for India where he planned to stay until he died (see Going to Goa-his blog). The cancer has not gone away, but the 4 months have long since passed and Scott, while very ill, is still very much alive.
As I get older and watch more friends encounter serious illness, I wonder who do I emulate, how will I navigate if given such a diagnosis? Scott’s doctors find his present condition remarkable and are starting to speculate on what can cause the body to continue in spite of all symptoms and diagnoses. ‘Posi-scott-tivity’ is a term coined by his beloved Katy. Another close friend remembered the ‘crazy wisdom’ of Tom Robbins and wrote of how Scott embodied the essence of crazy wisdom. Below are two quotes from Tom Robbins. They are very similar, yet slightly different.
“Crazy wisdom is of course the opposite of conventional wisdom, It is wisdom that deliberately swims against the current in order to avoid being swept along in the numbing wake of bourgeois compromise, wisdom that flouts taboos in order to undermine their power; wisdom that evolves when one, while refusing to avert one’s gaze from the sorrows and injustices of the world insists on joy in spite of everything; wisdom that embraces risk and eschews security, wisdom that turns the tables on neurosis by lampooning it, the wisdom of those who neither seek authority nor willingly submit to it.”
“..crazy wisdom is a philosophical worldview that recommends swimming against the tide, cheerfully seizing the short end of the stick, embracing insecurity, honoring paradox, courting the unexpected, celebrating the unfamiliar, shunning each and every orthodoxy, volunteering for those tasks nobody else wants or dares to do, and perhaps above all else, breaking taboos in order to destroy their power. It’s the wisdom of those who turn the tables on despair by lampooning it, and who neither seek authority nor submit to it. What’s the point of all this? To enlarge the soul, light up the brain, and liberate the spirit. Crazy wisdom is both transformative and transcendent.”
As we pray to be inscribed in the Book of Life for yet another year, may we lighten our loads and unburden our spirit, embrace joy and risk laughter
Dear Judith & John,
The beautiful words Judith has written here are equal to the comfort and beauty and warmth of the Textillery travel blanket you thoughtfully provided Scott for this trip of a lifetime. What a godsend that blanket has been and continues to be!
I will softly read your words to Scott and I know he will smile…and remember, all the good times. Thank you for your friendship and Happy New Year!
Peace and Love,
Katy & Scott
This is another message for the New Year that I hope you will be able to read to Scott. I know that he has loved his throw – and hopefully this poem about a tallis will make him smile. To wish everyone a special Happy New Year, I’d like to share with you a poem I’ve been thinking a lot about. Being a weaver, the use of stripes and checks ‘grabbed me’ – and I love the image of stripes as infinite. For me personally, this translates to ‘anything is possible’ – there are no barriers in your way.
So may the way be smooth, the path straight, and may all your hopes and dreams be possible in the upcoming year. Love always, Judith
Symbols Whoever puts on a tallis when he was young he will never forget; Taking it out of the soft velvet bag, opening the folded shawl, Spreading it out, kissing the length of the neckband (embroidered or trimmed in gold.) Then swinging it in a great swoop overhead like a sky, a wedding canopy, a parachute. And then winding it around his head as in hide-and-seek, wrapping his whole body in it, close and slow, snuggling into it like the cocoon of a butterfly, then opening would-be wings to fly. And why is the tallis striped and not checkered black-and-white like a chessboard? Because squares are finite and hopeless. Stripes come from infinity and to infinity they go like airport runways where angels land and take off. Whoever has put on a tallis will never forget. When he comes out of a swimming pool or the sea, he wraps himself in a large towel, spreads it out again over his head, and again snuggles into it close and slow, still shivering a little, and he laughs and blesses.
Mazeltov Ganesh !! Love it. Put some matzos on that spread !!!!
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