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Joy Serves G*d in Joy as a passionate performing percussionist, poet, publisher, photographer, publicist, sound healer, spiritual guide, artist, gardener and Gemini. "Ivdu Et Hashem B'Simcha" -Psalm 100:2 ....... Joy Krauthammer, active in the Jewish Renewal, Feminist, and neo-Chasidic worlds for over three decades, kabbalistically leads Jewish women's life-cycle rituals. ... Workshops, and Bands are available for all Shuls, Sisterhoods, Rosh Chodeshes, Retreats, Concerts, Conferences & Festivals. ... My kavanah/intention is that my creative expressive gifts are inspirational, uplifting and joyous. In gratitude, I love doing mitzvot/good deeds, and connecting people in joy. In the zechut/merit of Reb Shlomo Carlebach, zt'l, I mamash love to help make our universe a smaller world, one REVEALING more spiritual consciousness, connection, compassion, and chesed/lovingkindness; to make visible the Face of the Divine... VIEW MY COMPLETE PROFILE and enjoy all offerings.... For BOOKINGS write: joyofwisdom1 at gmail.com, leave a COMMENT below, or call me. ... "Don't Postpone Joy" bear photo montage by Joy. Click to enlarge. BlesSings, Joy
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SHIN TREE by Edith's Pool



SHIN * TREE by Edith's Pool

- Joy Krauthammer  © 2012


This morning at 7:30 am, as most mornings for the last 3 weeks, I've been blessed to swim again in Edith's pool this summer, and 89 year old Edith continues to serve as my excellent Life Guard.  With her sitting at the edge of the pool, I never experience anything but absolute joy. With high Valley temperatures, I'm grateful for the warm water once my body gets immediately acclimated following the few moments of body entry chill. 

What I call the Shin* Tree gives me much pleasure. Many shots I've taken of the mature three palms only five feet from where I enter the pool, but this morning I focused on the little fig tree growing in the middle of the bottom of the very tall three palms where they join in joy. There's a couple of other plants also in the center; a baby palm and another plant, maybe another tree. Usually I photograph looking up to the top of the tree with big bunches of dates hanging and large fronds, and with beautiful blue sky behind.

The fig probably caught my attention because only this last week has my fig tree offered me luscious ripe dark purple figs. Because I pruned so severely this last January for Tu B'Shvat (birthday of the trees holiday), it has taken longer for the fig tree to regrow new branches and to manifest its bounty. (I gave away all the small branches for people to grow their own fig trees, hundreds.) The figs are now also higher and harder to reach because of the powerful pruning I needed to do to save the heavily laden branches from totally toppling the trunk. In sadness, I feared that I might have lost my 31 year-old magnificent mother tree but she survived the surgery.

I share this "joy in the morning" with you.  Since Tisha B'Av (a day and three weeks period of mourning Jewish tragedies that befell us at this time of Av over the centuries) is now over, I can again feel great pleasure in the pool. Sometimes I consciously limit my swimming to only exercise and health. Yesterday I prayed so long and deeply on the steps before entering the pool, that I forgot my intention to swim and when Edith came outside to greet me, I was still praying and dry, and alloted swim time was disappearing. Yesterday was tomato juice ** making morning for Edith, so I could not stay too long.

Last week I experienced a new vision in the pool. I was a set of oars; kayak oars. My arms became oars and I was happy when I realized this. Sadly, I have not kayaked since over a year ago. Even in Costa Rica this year, I didn't get to kayak.  As you may know from my other posts, other years, in the pool I've been cymbals, a seahorse, a turtle and a cello, but last week I was oars!  I shape-shift. Many times I imagine that I'm in a lake, especially when there are leaves and palm seeds floating on the pool surface.  Edith's pool is a great place of visualization and holy meditation for me.

Today like many mornings, from inside the pool I look up at Edith sitting in the old grey plastic chair and see the morning sun shining from the East through her beautiful wavy white hair. I sometimes wish that I had my camera in the pool, at the deep end where she sits near by, because there is more shade. With another new good camera, I don't think I'll risk it. Did you see my fun water ripple shots from last summer? I love standing on the pool steps and jiggling my hands or knees in the water so that waves form and make wavy water reflections and I meditate on them and become mesmerized. 

Lola, Edith's large black lab continues to doggie paddle swim with me, chasing after her green tennis ball that Edith pitches far out to the pool or garden for Lola's exercise.  

The hummingbirds continue to visit. Edith saw ten today. They are too fast for me to count as they fly over to suck in through their long thin beaks, her specially made sugar food mixture in the four hummingbird hanging feeds. The dragon fly visits in the pool as I swim, as does an occasional wasp flying by or floating on the water. And of course, Edith's garden grows and feeds her family and guests, and I luck out this week with ripe red large yummy tomatoes. I used to eat them on the spot standing in the dirt, but now I carry them home to eat each bite with basil leaves on the plant that sits on my kitchen counter. It's my third basil plant from Trader Joes; For my birthday, Edith gifted me with the second basil. Most amazing about this plant is that every time I add water to the pot, the leaves exude a strong basil aroma, so I keep watering it for that pleasure. 

I save some of the tomato loot to share with my sister, Faye. Yesterday I shared fresh lichee nuts with Edith. It's a rare treat to find them in the grocery. I also love to share my figs with Edith because her fig tree is still young.  (I love sharing my figs with everyone!) I'm greatly grateful to have dear Edith in my life. I love her.

PS
A week after posting the above, Raul the tree climber ("a monkey"), came by with his spiky climbing shoes, ropes and electric saw, and cut off most of the palm fronds from 5 tall trees, leaving the trees looking very different, naked.  Edith's trees and Edith's huge furry cat have all been shaved this week.

* Shin is a letter in the Hebrew alphabet which appears to visibly have 3 legs joined together. Shin is also a letter that represents a name of G*d, Shadai, thus I love what I call "Shin trees"; trees that look like Shins. Shad is also the Hebrew word for breast. G*d can be compared to a loving breast filled with mother's milk flowing to us when we yearn and there is a 'let down' of the milk.
August 6, 2012

Excerpt from Chabad's Tanya Iggeret HaKodesh, beginning of Epistle 8

Now, the descent of this illumination downwards to this world, is called “G‑d’s kindness,”
For though this illumination is drawn down as a response to the divine service of the Jew, it outshines it out of all proportion. Its bestowal upon the lower worlds is thus truly an act of “G‑d’s kindness,”
המכונה בשם מים, היורדים ממקום גבוה למקום נמוך כו׳
which is referred to as water(10 Zohar II, 175b) for it descends from a high place to a low place....(11Cf. Tikkunei Zohar 69:105a)

“G‑d’s kindness” is drawn down through man’s “arousal initiated from below.” It is thus the coin that one gives a pauper that grants the giver the gift of “beholding G‑d’s face” — the internal aspect of G‑dliness — during prayer. In this way, man’s kindness and tzedakah elicit G‑d’s kindness and tzedakah. - Chabad




To read more about Edith, my dear friend and life guard:
I shot photos of the tall palm trees reflecting in the pool, and also baby tomatoes, and I include them in collage in "Swim Time". 
and
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*More SHIN TREES

Shin Tree, Brandeis Bardin 
from a fire, giant magnificent tree adjacent to House of the Book
burnt down leaving Shin tree trunk.
Joy Krauthammer  © 


Shin Tree, Brandeis Bardin
along a path during an early morning walk
Joy Krauthammer  © 

** 
Edith's Tomato Juice, as she calls it, or Andaluz Gazpacho, as I call it.
Either way, it tastes heavenly
Joy Krauthammer  ©  2012

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Bon Bon Cat


Bon Bon Cat

by Joy Krauthammer ©

Bon Bon, Annie's cat, has been living with Edith for a few months. Today was the first time I had interacted with Bon Bon. She doesn't like new people, is what I'd been told because she'd been abused in her earlier years. It was morning swimming time for me at Edith's and I was surprised that Bon Bon came outdoors to the garden by Edith's pool. I decided to jump right in and greet Bon Bon, or rather allow Bon Bon to meet me. I carefully walked slowly over to the standing huge grey cat with very long thick hair and I said, HI.  Cat looked at me, and meowed and I also meowed and we continued the conversation. She came closer and closer. Did NOT run away.  I extended my right arm and put out my open hand. Bon Bon came over and smelled my fingers as I expected. I had passed the Bon Bon test. I felt good because an animal liked me and maybe trusted me. I tried patting Bon Bon's head between her ears but that didn't go over as well, and we both retreated. Since we were sort of friends, I took photos of Bon Bon. Here's one of sitting Bon Bon a moment before I stroked her head and she walked away back into the house.




PS
Bon Bon, one week after the above post, received a new furdo, and if she were a dog, would look like a poodle. I need a photo of her tail.  She still likes me, and especially likes when I stroke under her chin. Bon Bon loves to roll around on ground in front of me. Babies should roll this easily.

FACES OF BON BON 
are taken within a couple minutes of each other as she quickly moves with many more faces. 
Send this cat down the catwalk; She's beautiful with many moods.
Why didn't I use a video?

Joy Krauthammer ©














Joy Krauthammer ©

Bon Bon AKA Sparkles or Caty, one year later 2013
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Joy Krauthammer ©



Joy Krauthammer ©


Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©

Joy Krauthammer ©


Joy Krauthammer ©
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Hummingbirds

HUMMINGBIRDS

Hummingbirds love to feed in Edith's garden. Every morning I see them by the crowd ("a host of golden daffodils"?) when I arrive for my morning swim. Lately, Edith has been counting about ten at a time. There had been dozens before. Edith continually makes them a sweet drink. Frequently, I take down the four hanging feeders, Edith fills them, and the birds return in all their tiny glory. I hear their shrill sounds. I watch the orange-tailed bully and watch in awe at their fast flights.

During summer 2013, there are fewer hummers than previous seasons, and the feeders don't empty quickly as they did before. I only see a few hummers at a time, including one with a bright red neck.

Here's one photo of one hummingbird in flight while eating, one sitting while drinking, and the tail of another.

Lola the dog and Bon Bon the cat play beneath the birds.

Hummingbirds
©  Joy Krauthammer

PS
In my own garden, there is one hummingbird very morning, and throughout the day that sits on top of the tallest branch of my fig tree. She leaves to feed and returns. Sitting nearby on the top branch of the pyracantha, is a Mockingbird singing her beautiful symphony. This lasts all spring. As the leaves fill the  early summer fig tree, the hummer is no longer visible to me, if it is present.

Hummingbird in fig tree
©  Joy Krauthammer
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