Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Passing time...

Let me start by setting the scene: I am sitting at my desk in the basement of the Cincinnati JCC (not a fancy place), some random musical is playing from playbillradio, and I sit here dreaming of Klezkamp.

Yes, I am the pathethic person dreaming of a hotel filled with Jewish and non-Jewish, Yiddish loving, artistic types that flock to the cold every year. Each year I dream of being the cool one at KK...the one everyone wants to sit with...that people all know (and secretly wish to be)...the life of the party. The reality is...I take a week off from my job every year to work at KK...and I love every minute of it.

I wont get any work done this week. I know I fly up to NY on Saturday and the rest of the week is just trying to make time pass. I know I am only a week away from the Dance Band playing "shark in the mikvah"...one of music's great tunes. I know I am only a week away from a hotel lobby filled with music, conversation, and people sitting checking their email (just to stay in touch with the real world). I know I am only a week away from the best music I hear all year. Ahh...I can smell that kosher food already. See you all Sunday! Amber

Why is this week different from all other weeks?

It occurred to me this morning, as I fielded emails and phone calls from various KlezKamp staff members and worked on getting my own class materials in order, that getting ready for KlezKamp was a lot like preparing for Passover. We keep a kosher home, so there's always a lot of cleaning to do, and we host two seders, so I spend an entire week shopping and cooking. As in my preparations for KlezKamp, I wear two hats: I'm the cook, but I also lead the singing and have to help my wife Carol make decisions about the overall logistics for the household. And there always comes a moment, usually within 36 hours of that first sundown, when it feels as though it's never going to get done, that we'll start the seder and discover huge holes in our preparations.

Yet somehow, when we sit down and I look around the table at the faces of our family and friends, the candles lit and the flowers providing a brilliant flash of springtime to what is often a dreary winter day, I'm always ready. Peysakh always happens.

And so it will be on Sunday, as I stand at the Epes Center greeting old friends and welcoming new participants or running the staff meeting that afternoon. Despite how it feels today, I'll be ready. And KlezKamp will happen.