The world knows about the songs she wrote.
I know about the poems and heartfelt musings she keeps together with some sketches in the back of the file cabinet in the section marked “misc.”. Most of them are from when she was in high school. The words are fading and it’s hard to make out the script that used to be mandatory in English classes, but it’s tangible and smells like cheap construction paper and my grandmother’s house.
The majority of her writings make their way into the piano and off to some production or other. Most of the time I don’t think about them. Most of the time I just write.
I write words to my children, day after day, month after month, year after year, and I wonder how they will read them when they are older. As I write, I hum the tunes to songs I sang straight through the long hours of childhood, through the minutes of confused youth and right into the second of my very own adulthood.
And then I stop.
And I listen.
And I hear her words…
…well hello little stranger…entirely new…only born an hour ago…look at you…open up your little eyes a glimmer or two…hey there…can you see me…I’m the one who’ll be there taking care of you…and all the things I do for you…are things you’re gonna do…for children of your own…someday…
…there’s just one more adornment…I’ve added in…my own little prayer…I always sew in…may I live to see…that a bride you will be…and I’ll sew you a dress for your chuppa…as we walk down the aisle…it will have all been worthwhile…
…all those dreams…my child…that you dream tonight…will come true…you can be sure…close your eyes and dream of tomorrow…for tomorrow there’ll be more…
…little one…yes it’s true what they say…fathers cry for their children…and Hashem does the same…when we hurt…so does He…yes He does feel our pain…
She wrote…while we were young…and as we grew…and changed…she wrote…and wrote…and wrote…
She hasn’t written in a while. She says she doesn’t have the time. But maybe…she doesn’t have the need…because here I am…writing…and humming her songs…with a smile on my face and understanding in my heart.
5 thoughts on “I Write the Songs that Make the Whole World Sing…”
For some reason I feel compelled to tell you how startled I was when I began connecting the dots on your blog. Seeing things through your eyes has been an experience. Keep writing – you, too, have a gift.
ah – so you do remember me:) if you don’t know which one i am though, let me remind you about the Bamboo Cradle and me dressed in my brother’s clothes squirming around on your lap…took me a while to realize i was not a privileged first grader who got to be in the play – i was a prop.
🙂 I know exactly who you are. And maybe you were a prop – but you were also a privileged first grader who got to be in the play. Do you remember when our paths crossed a bit later though? If you don’t want me hijacking this post we can switch to email…
I grew up listening to a cassette tape my mother loved- women performing for women. I think it was called “ashira” anyway, “hello little stranger” is a lullaby I remember from that tape…. Anyone know where that exists? I’d love to get my hands on all those songs!
We loved that tape too. My sister brought it back from Israel one summer, around 1986.