Ear­li­er this week, Lenore Weiss wrote about a post­card she received, her still, small voice”, and her deci­sion to move from Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia to Mon­roe, Louisiana. She has been blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

I was read­ing a book about Spin­oza this evening and had a thought about my sig­nif­i­cant oth­er and bak­ing soda. You see, he stash­es box­es of bak­ing soda every­where, in the refrig­er­a­tor, in the cat’s kit­ty lit­ter, in the bath­room cab­i­net, plus, stored in the ordi­nary place for bak­ing soda, next to the bak­ing pow­der on the shelf with the flour and sug­ar, wait­ing until they are called upon to replen­ish oth­ers.

Why, does he do this, I ask, not to be crit­i­cal or to sug­gest some oth­er method­ol­o­gy, only to be curi­ous. Why does one house­hold require so many iden­ti­cal box­es of bak­ing soda?

He looks at me and says, They are cheap enough. And I need them.”

We are long past any fric­tion regard­ing way­ward tooth­paste caps or dis­cus­sions about which way the toi­let paper is sup­posed to roll. In no way, do I wish to cause a brou-ha-ha about bak­ing soda. But maybe, if I were to be total­ly hon­est, maybe I had oth­er motives.

I think the ghost of his moth­er lives here. I know that sounds very B movie-ish, but I don’t con­sid­er it a bad thing, I sim­ply rec­og­nize her pres­ence. We are liv­ing in his mother’s house, a love­ly woman whom I met twice before she passed away. I have been giv­en clear­ance to do what I will with rear­rang­ing and redec­o­rat­ing, but it takes time for me to set­tle into a place.

I see his moth­er in the cur­tains neat­ly piled on clos­et shelves for dif­fer­ent times of the year, an array of col­ors to allow her and the house to change with the sea­sons. I rec­og­nize her prac­ti­cal­i­ty in the kitchen with the cof­fee and mea­sur­ing cups with­in easy reach. I see her under­stat­ed love of nature with pic­tures she has placed on her walls, scenes of flow­ers and birds. Most­ly, I under­stand the choic­es of a woman who once she had the option to build her own house, decid­ed on the best she could afford, thick rugs, lots of stor­age space, and a gar­den filled with the iris and zin­nia.

The log­i­cal sys­tems she orga­nized dur­ing her life­time are still in place, includ­ing her appre­ci­a­tion of bak­ing soda that has been passed along to her son.

I also see a small gift that I gave her in the front of a dis­play cab­i­net that con­tains her prized doll col­lec­tion, and I thank her for every­thing she had put into place to help us to build our lives togeth­er.

We start now.

Vis­it Lenore Weis­s’s web­site here.