Tuesday, April 19, 2011

and off again

by J J Cohen

Last night marked a minor milestone: a seder where the haggadot were on iPads. Better for the environment, and easier to google the answers to the four questions when you're stuck. The event (chez Wynken de Worde) was improvised, informal, and completely enjoyable. My favorite part: when the kids opened the door for Elijah, and swore they felt a tingle as his ghost came into the room. Well, someone drained the wine from his cup while they were gone.

Tonight my family attends a more formal seder at the house of nearby friends. Tomorrow we hop a plane to Cambridge, MA, famous mostly because I was born there quite a long time ago. Among the things we'll do during this trip: eat a very early dinner with my parents (4 PM, because they are 80); visit several museums; walk; devour our body weight in ice cream; have dinner here with 11 close friends on Friday; and walk the Freedom Trail, because my son is studying American history right now and would like to see things like the blood stain left over from the Boston Massacre. The Freedom Trail is (I know) likely to rouse all kinds of unpleasant grade school memories for me. We walked that dull red line so many times on field trips that this saturation in colonial history turned me into a protomedievalist. Seriously: something about growing up when and where I did ensured that I'd look to distant times and places for my studies.

We're staying at a B&B very close to Harvard Square. I'm look forward to returning to Cambridge, and also a bit anxious about returning to the place of my graduate studies, since I am, oh, a little ambivalent about the experience. On Thursday, by the way, I'll be delivering a paper here. Come if you are in town.

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