Stacey Zisook Robinson is a single mom. She sings whenever she can. She writes, even when she can’t. She worked in Corporate America for a long time. Now she works at her writing and looks for God and grace, meaning, connection, and a perfect cup of coffee, not necessarily in that order. Stacey has been published in several magazines and anthologies. Her book, Dancing in the Palm of God’s Hand, has just been published by Hadasah Word Press. She recently launched a Poet in Residence program designed to work with both adults and kids in a Jewish setting to explore the connection between poetry and prayer as a way to build a bridge to a deepened Jewish identity and faith. She blogs athttp://staceyzrobinson.blogspot.com, and her website can be found at www.stumblingtowardsmeaning.com.
I take a handful of pills in the morning. Every morning. A couple of vitamins, yeah, but mostly it’s meds to cover various ailments and conditions. Apparently, I drew the short straw when it comes…to general health. Every so often, one of the conditions flares, or I get some flu or bronchial thing, and we have to add a pill or two. That means two handfuls of pills, because I can’t swallow them all at once. This routine comes after I’ve already pricked my finger to draw some blood… >> Read More
Someone drew a swastika on the sign-box outside of Klau Library. Klau Library is on the campus of the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, the principle rabbinic and cantorial…training arm of the Reform movement. I've seen the picture of this desecration in post after post on Facebook. Almost every single post comes with the comment, "I am speechless; I have no words." I am not speechless. I have many, many words to offer. I am outraged and sickened and saddened. But I am… >> Read More
The Christmas push is on. Red and green and bits of tinsel are being crammed into an aisle or two in many stores. An almost infinite variety of Christmas wrapping paper is popping up everywhere. Last…week, I was treated to a host of heavenly angels doing an easy-listening rendition of some carol or other while I shopped for peanut butter and cat food. And in the spirit of multi-culturalism, here come the Hanukkah displays: matzah, kosher grape juice, and yahrzeit candles. Every Jewish holiday. Every time. With the exception of… >> Read More
My son is many things. He is smart. He does sarcasm exceptionally well. He's a teenager, though in the later stages and I am really enjoying the man he is finding within himself. He is black.
We…live a middle class suburban life in a pretty integrated suburb of Chicago, so while he has experienced some of the ugliness of racism directed at him, those episodes have been few and far between. The perpetrators have been his classmates for the most part; the one exception happened a few years ago, when he… >> Read More
As a kid, I didn't live a particularly Jewish life. We were sent to Hebrew school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and got dropped off at Sunday school. We fidgeted through services occasionally—usually…because we were attending a bar mitzvah or it was High Holiday season. I went to Saturday morning services pretty regularly the year prior to my own bat mitzvah—only because it was a requirement. My parents were under no such requirements, so their weekends were filled with other things. They got their Judaism through osmosis,… >> Read More
I was at a rehearsal dinner for a wedding to take place the next afternoon. I left my phone in my purse, so I missed the news of the massacre that took place in Dallas. I woke up the next morning to…the news that five police officers were killed by a man who opened fire at the end of a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally, specifically targeting white officers. It was surreal, staring at my Facebook feed, which continued to retell a tale of the violence and savagery that has become all too common, all too… >> Read More
Every time I clean, something gets dirty.
I do 10 loads of laundry, and the minute I’ve folded the last pair of jeans, hung the last shirt (and immediately made the beds because folding a fitted…sheet, no matter how many times you've asked your mother, no matter how many YouTube videos and life hacks you've watched, that particular skill just escapes you even now), there suddenly appears five socks and a wash cloth. I wash dishes, and as I'm drying my hands, my son slips a fork into the sink.… >> Read More
I'm dating. Again. Post-divorce, post 50, I’m dating. I suppose it's fitting—I didn't do much dating during the prime dating years of adolescence and young adulthood. My teens and 20s (and if…we're being really honest, most of my 30s) were relatively unscathed by the trials and tribulations of this particular social lubricant. Not by choice, mind you. I wanted to date. Would have loved to dive into the dating pool. I envied my friends who wept and wailed and crowed with delight, sometimes all in the… >> Read More
My family drifted, rather than fled, the shtetls of Europe. I think. I'm not exactly sure; none of my relatives really liked to talk about it, so I get a patchwork quilt of family history.
I know…my zayde on my father's side left his village of some Unpronounceable Name—that was sometimes in Poland, and sometimes in Russia, depending upon which brand of Cossack was more successful at pogroms that day—and made the journey to Palestine, where (I'd like to believe) he drained swamps and made the desert bloom. And then he… >> Read More
My 16-year-old son has a fluency with, let's call it, "truthiness." Did you brush your teeth? "Let me check," he says. Did you do your homework? "The teacher must have lost it." How clean is the…litter box? “I cleaned it yesterday. Wait. Let me check.” Sometimes I let it slide. Sometimes I don my parental armor and dive, once more, into the breach. Sometimes the battle is played on his turf, not mine. “The game is cheating.” No, it’s not. It’s a computer. “The kids aren’t playing fair.” No, they’re… >> Read More
My son is many things.
He is funny and smart and sarcastic and kind. He's an avid anime lover and can rattle off every statistic known and unknown for every character or card or deck imaginable,…but he cannot remember his homework, or that he even has homework, or where said homework might be if he's managed to even do it. He loves his cat, pasta, and debate. He hates doing chores and will play the game of "let's see how high I can pile the garbage until it falls over… >> Read More