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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



- Joy Krauthammer


Oh! Ann recognized me from an hour or so earlier when I organized the spontaneous take over of the Men's Room because the Ladies Room line in between conference sessions was way too long, and I did not want to wait!  Years earlier in my MBA program, I had learned a lesson: "Where there is a need, fill it!" The few men cleared out and the Men's Room was ours! We filled it! Another guy did come in and used a stall but we needy women mostly ignored him. No waiting! (See photos)

Immediately prior to the Art Therapy workshop and at the end of the Poetry Therapy session at the UCLA all-day conference, "ON THE EDGE OF CHAOS: FINDING flow & resilience THROUGH Creativity & the Arts",  I think we had also just experienced 'performance art' in the Men's Room.

During the Poetry Therapy session I shared the few words that my husband, z"l/obm would speak about in his own life filled with metastatic brain cancer. 

"I don't want to live; all I want to do is die. Take a gun and shoot me." Bam!
Marcel would say this to me, to friends, and even to strangers upon introduction when he was asked, "How are you?"

The workshop had been given by Dr. Robert Carroll, a poet and psychiatrist who focuses in his field on brain cancer patients, giving them the ability to express their thoughts and feelings through poetry. I wish that for a moment when I chose this workshop to attend, that I had recalled (having heard him speak before) Dr. Carroll's focused specialty, and realized how I could again react. Hearing him refer to a UCLA Neuro-Oncology symposium on brain cancer held in this same building, put an immediate unpleasant feeling, a straightening jolt in my body, alerting me to the traumatic past.  The PTSD was unwelcome. As if only yesterday, quickly my mind went back to 1988, 25 years earlier. Only a few buildings away in the hospital, Marcel, from two post-brain surgeries, had been comatose for three months on life-support, and filled with medical tubes.

Dr. Carroll recited his own personal medical poem "What Waiting Is".  Bedside, I had waited daily for three months in the UCLA hospital for Marcel to regain consciousness. All the other patients with head-bandages, got up and left after their five days post-surgery. Not us. While Dr. Carroll stood and recited his poem, I sat forward and catching his eyes, I looked straight at him intently listening, not looking at the poem on paper. I related all too well to "waiting" through all the difficult medical experiences and two-dozen surgeries. When the poet MD was through reciting, I wanted to respond with my own writing and insights on the blank paper in front of me, but there was no time for our group to write.

I had shared out loud that I felt it was a great gift to teach Poetry Therapy, and offer people a cathartic opportunity to express themselves. (In the early 1970's I had known Dr. Jack Leedy, founder of Poetry Therapy, because we worked in the same Brooklyn hospital.) My husband for the 18 years of his cancer (no adjectives suffice) didn't write about it emotionally, but only to keep a hand-written factual medical journal in a little book; Lots of details. Only once Marcel complained to me, when pain was so bad, and that he otherwise would never tell me about the pain so as not to upset me. Instead of writing about the pain, or living life with cancer and treatments, Marcel loved humor and wrote jokes.

What I had wanted to share in session after hearing the poem about "waiting", is that when in the ICU waiting room, it does not matter what culture, race, or religion one is; Black, White, Asian, European, Jewish, Arab, what wars are fought between peoples-- we are all present for our loved ones, waiting in cold rooms for hours, overnight, days, weeks, months, with others waiting in fear, horror, stress, concern and love, in the unknown, maybe with tears, maybe with visitors keeping us warm. We embrace the stranger. We feel for the stranger. We empathize with the stranger.  We hear each others' stories. We hear their foreign languages. See their foreign outer garments.  We are all in the same small waiting room and we wait. Maybe we have ethnic snacks to share. Maybe we recognize others (even our own internist because their grandma is sick/dying) and we learn of their loved ones. Maybe we even keep up those bonds formed in the ICU when our loved ones die and are buried, and we even see the others' loved ones'  gravestones and artifacts left in love. We remember our humanity, and it didn't matter how different we are on the outside, but that our hearts and souls have been touched by love and compassion, maybe tribal commonalities, and maybe even by fun colorful socks.
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