easy come easy go: a kaddish for adrienne cooper

I hadn’t thought about her since we were kids. Hadn’t thought about what might have become of her. What her contribution might be to the world. All I remember is that she was a prima donna when I met her. In 5th grade.  Unreachable. Unapproachable. Two years my senior, and yet we were in the same Hebrew School class. For years. Years and years. Years and years and years. And I don’t think we once shared a single conversation. Not a single sentence did we exchange.

But a video of her singing crossed my FB feed tonight. And I thought, Adrienne. Well, wow. Well done, Adrienne. There you are on stage and I feel exactly the same. Like a little bug in the distance watching the artiste. Would I ‘friend’ her? Would I, at long last, get to know the larger-than-life Adrienne Cooper?

I made some comment about how she didn’t seem to have changed a bit since we were kids.

And my friend who posted the video informed me about 10 seconds later that Adrienne Cooper died just a few hours earlier. On Christmas.

Not possible!

And I, little bug that I am, will never know her anymore than I already do.

Hebrew School at Temple Beth Abraham. Lessons with our beloved Rabbi Schulweiss. With debates on large, unanswerable questions. Adrienne always having a ready, articulate answer. And good posture.

And I, little bug that I am. Would think very hard. Slouch. And keep my mouth shut.

About mira

Mira Z. Amiras is Professor of Comparative Religious Studies and founder of the Middle East Studies Program at San Jose State University. She is past-president of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, and has served on the Executive Council of the American Anthropological Association. She is co-founder, with Ovid Jacob, of Beit Malkhut, a study group in Jewish sacred text. She's most attached to the creatures of her body and her household — first and foremost, her kids, of course: Michael and Rayna — and then the other folks large and small of various species, including Roshi and Vlad, a whole lot of hummingbirds, the old parrot who lives next door, and a beautiful garden that does what it will.
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