Tag Archives: compassion

Repeating the Ancient Tale

On Saturday, my sweet daughter will be called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah. She will lead our community in ancient prayers and chant ancient words, and more importantly she will find her own meaning in them.

As Jews, our task is to wrestle with narrative–to preserve history, to reinterpret the past, and to write new stories that will carry us into the future. It’s a tradition that resonates with me as a writer and as a person who has seen again and again the power of stories to change lives.

Also on Saturday, in a beautiful intersection of occurrences, my next novel, POINTE, CLAW, enters the world. Somehow it seems fitting that this book, which wrestles with the challenges girls and women face in our culture, is born alongside my daughter’s passage into adulthood in the Jewish community. It’s a fierce story and she is a fierce girl.

I hope you’ll understand that I’ll be focusing on my daughter this weekend. Book celebrations will follow later in the week. I’ll be posting a series of answers to questions posed by early readers of POINTE, CLAW–some serious, some goofy, some revelatory–also I’ll be sharing a mind-blowing review by a teen reader. Lots of book events to come in Los Angeles area, the Bay Area, Portland, and Seattle. Details here.

To close, I want to leave you with one of my favorite poems. (I honestly don’t know the author. It’s been attributed to multiple people.) I’ve shared it before. These are words I return to again and again. I offer them in love.

We are simply asked
to make gentle our bruised world
to be compassionate of all,
including oneself,
then in the time left over
to repeat the ancient tale
and go the way of God’s foolish ones.

This weekend we repeat the ancient tale and go forth to make gentle this bruised world. Join us.


A #Readdukah Realization

I was planning on posting a Jewish book a day for all of Chanukkah as part of the #Readdukah celebration of Jewish themed books. You may have noticed that I flamed out after six. Mostly that was because days seven and eight fell on the weekend and I was busy having fun with my family, but also I realized that I have not read nearly enough Jewish children’s books!

So in lieu of days seven and eight, I’m adding an addendum to a New Year’s Resolution (look at how prompt I am with that!). My plan in the next year is to focus on reading books by and about marginalized voices. In addition to my list of books by authors of color, I plan to add more Jewish authors and also Muslim authors.

I firmly believe that books can bring us together across vast differences, and our world needs this more than ever right now. Let me leave you with a quote that I have returned to again and again for solace and encouragement. (I wish I knew who wrote it, but it has been attributed to multiple sources.)

I love these words because they remind me that our task really is a simple one:

Make gentle.

Find compassion.

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