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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

TEXAS ~ A Fenced In and Out Feat of Joy

A Fenced In and Out Feat of Joy

by Joy Krauthammer

January 26, 2005

This week, six years ago. I was visiting my dear friends, Hesha and Jeff Abrams, for their daughter Danielle's January 23, 1999 glorious Bat Mitzvah in Dallas, Texas. I had never been to Texas. A couple mornings later, a hotel breakfast waiter advised me to drive to Houston to see a great garden. In a rented car, driving to Houston, and being spontaneous, I found and explored first the Kimbal Museum and took fun photos, so therefore arrived late in the afternoon at The Botanical Garden.

Oh, my. The Garden gates were closed and locked. It was after hours. I parked the car out in the middle of the large empty lot. I had missed the garden being open and I did not want to miss the garden. I had flown in from Los Angeles and driven a long way to Houston via Dallas. I was upset.

With a travelling friend from Los Angeles in tow, I left her standing by the eight feet tall, secured, strong brown impressive wooden gates as I walked around the Garden's fenced exterior hoping to find an entrance. Found NO entrance. I looked through a narrow opening slit in the fence and I could see that I wanted to experience what was inside. I could see an inviting pond and green plants. I was fenced out. I went back to my friend and with determination, said, "Here, hold my purse".

I had just months earlier been to Jerusalem, and visiting my daughter, Aviva, at Hebrew University during her Junior year abroad, found the gates at some dormitory areas were locked on Shabbat. How to get out without walking around the whole large campus again to an open gate? I was fenced in. I followed Aviva over to the walls and fenced locked tall gate. My tall, slender, agile college age daughter went UP and OVER. I was left alone on the inside. Where do I place my feet to even try to get a hold? In my Shabbat dress, I clambered UP AND OVER. Wheww. Heart racing and proud of myself!

So, since I now had this new gift, a new skill, in Houston, Texas at the Garden gate, I went UP AND OVER! Is it freedom when you go into locked spaces?

My good friend and travelling companion did not want to follow me. I was trespassing. We were LA dressed, not like boundary crossing cowboys. We were dressed for a museum and a Bat Mitzvah.

I insisted that my friend throw her purse and mine over the top of the fence. Then, up and over she went. Not a happy camper, was she.  My friend, nameless for this story, was red from embarrassment. What I had made her do. oy oy oy.

Once inside the Botanical garden, and all to ourselves, we looked into the Koi fish filled pond, and feeling fulfilled, walked over to the neat, sandy, rock designed and raked quiet Zen meditation garden. Then, from inside the Garden we heard a voice, "What are you doing here? The Garden is closed." The tall slim, in his forties gardener, was surprised to see us. I joyfully explained the story of my anticipated garden visit feeling proud of my maneuvers, illegal as they were. I was so excited to share my story of breaking in and entering his Garden, closed to the public at this late hour. A feat of joy.

Zen garden photo of Joy by gardener
Zen rock garden photo and collage by Joy Krauthammer  ©

So the nice friendly gardener who had waited years for this desirable loved gardener coveted position to open up in the Garden, took us on a personal tour, and took our photos with my camera. I took his photo. The gardener escorted us to the tall big, black iron revolving turn stile, only one way out gate, and we departed. I was a happy camper! I mailed his photo to him. The gardener knew what it meant to have an opening.

Oh, and then in the darkened night, we two friends snuck into a famous big-time rodeo in Texas, because since it was opening preview and practice night, only cowboy participants were allowed. And it was our only night in Houston. There were a whole lot of guards around and it was not easy. Took three tries sneaking in, but we did it! We had had good practice at the Garden. Oy did we LA gals look out of place. No boots, no cowboy hats or spurs, dressed only in our city finest, but we enjoyed smiling at the cows of all colors as they were groomed, and watching from the front row, the smartly coiffured horses practice their gait and parade in the ring. I bet they can jump more easily over fences.

That's my Texas story.

Back in Los Angeles, I caringly created an original large framed photo collage of our daring memories, and gave it as a gift to my courageous travelling friend.

A year and a half later, in LA, I was at cousin Adina's college graduation party and a young gal, Mina Yaroslavsky, the age of my daughter, looked at me with recognition and said, "Aren't you Aviva's mom? I saw you climbing over the Hebrew University tall security fence in Jerusalem as I was jogging past."
Was my face red!
Israel was my first fenced feat of Joy.
I've now conquered Texas!
     ~ ~ ~

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