01 March 2008

multiple personalities

I was reading Gubbinal's blog this evening. She and I share so many things -- knitting, cats, Tums... She found a site that lets you find out how many people share your name. There are 40 Gubbinals. There are only 32 of me.

Like Gubbinal, I Googled myself... I studied at Sarah Lawrence, I have worked for Lilith magazine, I have donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign (NOT!), I have written about soy gelato, I've done medical research about the results of Chernobyl, I'm an optometrist, I've written about the ordination of gay rabbis, I'm a psychoanalyst ...

I followed the Lilith connection, and discovered that "I" got to read an essay by Cynthia Ozick aloud. (Cynthia Ozick is one of my favorite writers, both for her fiction, and for her essays on everyone from Henry James to Anne Frank. If you haven't read The Puttermesser Papers, do.)

I've always been interested in Lilith, although I never have subscribed. I poked around the website a bit and discovered a blog called Jewesses with Attitude. Is that a fabulous name for a blog, or what? (I have, more than once, been called a "Jewess," and each time, although the term was not meant to be particularly nice, I have been delighted. There's something so transgressive about it that I'm tempted to add it to my non-existent business cards.)

I also discovered a series of essays about friendship under a heading, "Like teabags in a single pot," that included a piece written by Deena Metzger, whose book, Writing for your life, has been on my shelf forever.

Here's a quote:
  • There's an old folk tale called "The Sorrow Tree": for aeons, people complained continuously and piteously to God. Unable to bear it, God suggested that they hang their sorrow on the Sorrow Tree. Then they were to choose any sorrow they wished from among those hanging there. They circled and circled the tree, looking for the very sorrow that would be exactly fitting and bearable, the one sorrow that would fulfill them. But after much searching, each inevitably reclaimed his or her own pain.
Very Buddhist, isn't it? Your path is your path because it's your path. At least mine includes friends with whom I can share tea, and fountain pens, and knitting. And Tums.


KSD said...

Maybe you're a sleepliver? Inhabiting other lives while asleep in this one?


Bridget said...

Whenever I Google my name, I find that I have mostly been dead in Ireland for about 100 years ... but I guess if I'm dead, it might as well be there! :-)

Carrie K said...

That's a lovely proverb.

My what an exciting life "you've" led!

KnitNana said...

Oddly enough? There are 0 people with my name. Which I guess means, I don't actually have it (I put in the name I go by, which is a nickname).
My legal name, however, there is only 1 - which is me, right?

Donna Lee said...

Because my last name is wood, the entries I get when I google myself (how weird that sounds) are inevitably strange. And what a lovely proverb. Our lives/paths are ours for a good reason. We each have lessons to learn and our path is our teacher. And "Jewess" is such a neat word. You don't hear it much and it always gets attention when you do. I would love to see business cards that said "Teabird, Jewess extraordinaire".

Aunt Kathy said...

Well there are 753 of me with my maiden name and 3 of me with my married name.

That was interesting, I always find something wonderful to read when I come to your blog

Paula said...

I have always believed that the path we are on in life is our very own and for our own experience!
Although some of the trips and stopovers I have experienced on my path are not always pleasant,
I do cherish the friends I have made along the way!

It makes me happy that is a Buddhist thought too! :)

Penny said...

i love my subscription to lilith. it was one of the nicest gifts (beyond the ball winder & swift) that my inlaws have given me.

It says there is 1 person with my name, but I know through google alert feeds there is a nurse in Iowa with my name. Though she probably had it before me...

Anonymous said...

I tried this site and learned that I don't exist - not one person in the country has my name.