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Turning Tides: Fingerprints

As told to Leah Gebber

I found G-d on a beach in Hawaii. A strange statement from a woman whose great-grandparents were holy Jews, Kohanim from Aleppo, Syria. And yet, this is my story.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

fingerprintI was an artist, looking for beauty and harmony. I was a listener, allowing the sound waves of the world to penetrate my consciousness. I was a seeker, finding meaning in ancient lore and culture.

And so, when I received an invitation to join my friend at her home inHawaii, I snatched up the opportunity and flew out there during my college break. At that time, I was very interested in Aborigine culture; I’d spent time inAustraliaand had learned to play the didgeridoo. Originally, the didgeridoo was a storytelling device — ancient people sat around campfires handing their stories to the tribal children, and used the didgeridoo to provide the soundtrack, imitating the call of a coyote or the rumble of thunder. 

I took my didgeridoo along toHawaii. I dreamed of playing onto the surface of the ocean, sending vibrations through the water. On my first morning, I got up early and made my way down toCaptainCookBay. It’s an idyllic spot, and at sunrise, it was not yet infested with the kayaking, snorkeling tourists.

I walked into the turquoise water, set my didgeridoo upon the surface, and began to play. In the predawn stillness, the water rippled and dolphins jumped arcs over the waves. I was entranced. When I got tired, I returned to the beach and lay down on the sand to rest. An old man with long white hair approached me. “This is not an instrument of our land,” he said, pointing to the didgeridoo. “It’s not from your people, either. It’s time to look at your own hand and examine your fingerprints.”



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