Where to begin? How about with the documentary about my friend Carla Zilbersmith, called Leave Them Laughing. You can go to www.leavethemlaughing.com to see the demo; it's very moving and gives a beautiful portrait of Carla, her humor, her amazing voice, her grace and grit and honesty.
I think the filmmaker, John Zaritsky "gets" Carla in all her many-facetedness. He and the producer, Montana Berg, have dived deep into this project. They haven't shied away from the pain, the bawdy humor, or the unexpected joys of the journey. This film is a labor of love. It's a poem. He needs money to finish it, so if you have any, please check out the tax-deductible ways to contribute that are listed on the web site.
C and I, meanwhile, are in Full Wedding Frenzy, which means cake tastings, wedding dress alterations (me), suit shopping (him), vision statement and vow writing, debris and clutter-clearing, gardening and house cleaning, buying sofa beds and pillows and pillow cases for our house guests, buying baskets, silk petals, and gifts for the flower girls and ring bearers, booking wedding night retreat space, talking to my Dad who is as excited as we are, maybe more, and designing and sewing a chuppah. This last involved buying a sewing machine (buying tools is a guaranteed way to make C happy,) visiting a fabric store and buying fancy scissors, and a lot of visits to make-your-own-chuppah Internet sites. Who knew?
There have been meetings with the caterer and the facilities manager at the synagogue. I have actually had conversations about what color tablecloths and should the napkins be contrasting or complementing. Tablecloths! Just like in Carla's wonderful play, Wedding Singer Blues.
Meanwhile, I had armpits that had not been shaved since one abortive attempt when I was 13 years old. (I know--T.M.I. But still.) There was virgin forest there. I'd resigned myself to wearing short-sleeved shirts in the summer when I was working, and just letting my freak flag fly when I wasn't. But in honor of the solemnity of the occasion and of my sleeveless vintage wedding dress, which i bought with carla at the Vintage Expo, I thought I'd practice shaving, just so I'd be sure to get it right for the big day. Tonight I sit here with naked armpits that have little red bumps on them--irritation from the razor. Eccchhhh! I wish we lived in Europe.
That's pretty much life right now. Tomorrow we rent a truck and go to the dump. I buy lots of plants and attempt to weed the rosebushes and make something presentable out of the backyard. We haul out C's treasured fabric remnants and see if they go with any of the beautiful cloths I brought back from Malawi. We write up a program. We tease each other, we hug each other, we pray.