Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boston Romance: Part 2: Hot tubs, Humble-"ization", and the Holocaust

I know... how am I ever going to reconcile hot tubs with the Holocaust? 

 As I was saying yesterday, on our little "get-away"... we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast. Clarendon Square Inn. I would highly... HIGHLY recommend it. 5 (plus) stars. It's located in Boston's South End on a quaint side street. We were the first to arrive and so they offered us a complimentary upgrade to the luxury suite. Woot Woot! The room was bigger than our house. I'm not joking (our house is a little less than 1,000 sq. ft). It was a beautiful, beautiful place. 

And best of all... it featured a hot tub located on the roof, over-looking the Boston skyline. We were like little kids discovering the cookie jar. No, no... discovering crayons. No, no.... discovering the jungle-gym AND mud. So, after our evening meal... we headed up on to the roof top to enjoy a glass of wine in the hot tub. 

We slept like babies (why do people say that? Babies really don't sleep all that well if you know what I mean). But before we dozed off, we set our alarm for 6:00am. WHY? We were going to watch the sun rise from the hot tub. 

Beep Beep. 6:00am. And at first we hesitated. But we thought... "you lazy butts you... when are you ever gonna get this opportunity again?" So, on with our robes... and up to the roof. 

And this is where the "humble-ization" comes in...
It was so quiet and calm as we sat experiencing the city's morning. All the sounds on the streets were laying to rest. The only sound was the rumble of the jets taking off at Boston Logan. They flew over our head every 20 seconds. Going somewhere. Thousands of thousands of passengers that each had their own lives and their own families and their own hearts and their own hopes. And I asked my husband,

 "Do you feel small?" 

I sure did. Going to the city made me feel small. There are so many people. Different people. And I am simply just one of them. One person in a million-billion (okay, maybe like 6 billion) trying to make my way on this earth. Some are filthy rich and famous. I'm sure we walked along the same roads that those flashy movie stars have. And some are dirt poor. Like the man we followed on our way to buy a coffee... hitting the sides of all the trash bags left out in the street... to find cans to return. 

"Yeah. I feel small," he answered. 
And then he added something that made me feel like this vast, hugeness wasn't so vast after all. I can't remember exactly what he said. But something to the tune of "we are all different, but part of the same whole." 

Later that day, we walked through the Holocaust Memorial. This particular memorial is made up of glass pillars, with the names (no... numbers) of each person killed in each concentration camp etched into the glass. Millions and millions of numbers. Millions and millions of people. 

And in between each pillar, there are great stones with quotations chiseled into them. This particular quote chiseled it's way into my heart. 
-quote: Martin Niemoeller, Lutheran Pastor

All different... but part of the same whole. I'm beginning to have the feeling that all the hatred and evil in the world finds it's root in "otherness". Uncountable, hideous atrocities have been committed (many.. in "the name of their God") because of "otherness". The "Jews". The "Catholics". The "Protestants". The "Hutus". The "Tutsis". The "Muslims". The "Christians". The "Blacks". The "Whites". 

I have been told that there was a study done on the so-called German "doctors" who were administering gross brutality in the concentration camps. The study followed them into their home-lives and found that these same men who committed things that most would not even utter, were loving husbands and fathers. WHAT??? 

How can that be? When we "de-humanize" someone and make them "other"... you would be surprised what we are capable of.  

After leaving the Holocaust Memorial and the quote that burned itself onto my heart... we made a pit stop at Starbucks. My husband went in, and I waited outside. There was an adorable dog that was leashed to a post, patiently waiting for it's owner. I expected some upper-middle-class-American-woman dressed in Talbots to walk out and pick up the adorable pooch. But while I was waiting... two young men came out of the store to pick up their puppy. They wore skin-tight pants. Black leather jackets. Spiked hair. With what looked like huge lug-nuts sticking out of their ears. Tattoos. They kissed that little puppy and brought him home. 

 Something inside me was uncomfortable at that moment. And I thought... what is it inside of me that is uncomfortable right now? What is it inside of me that makes me think that I am "other" than them? That they are different? I think it's probably the same feeling that started so many of the world's horrid messes. I think it's probably the same feeling that the Germans had when they gave their Jewish fellowman and woman and children numbers, not names. 

And I thought to myself... I've got to grow.  I've got to terminate the "otherness" that I find in myself. You would think that a person such as myself that has two "other" skin colored children would have this all figured out. But she's got a ways to go. 
I've got a lot to learn from those two men and their puppy. 
One thing I know... I want to change. 
And that's a start.   


  1. I love Boston- the last time I was there for an art education workshop so I was without my monkeys and husband- but my husband grew up just outside of the Boston so we've taken a few 'romantic' trips there.

  2. Such a fantastic blog! I had read the quote about speaking up before, but it really hits home every time! Thanks for sharing!


  3. Big lump in my throat. I know how you just made me feel but I can't find the words right now to tell you. This will be on my mind for a looooooong time.

  4. Powerful. I don't know how to put into words what I am thinking/feeling after reading this.

  5. Thanks for commenting =)

    Yeah, the snow has really been an issue. It never knows when to start or stop. Just make sure you're dressed warm.

    You should follow me, and I'll sure follow you.

  6. Jenny, as always amazing! Let me just start by saying that nowadays it is pretty challenging for me to find focus to read long posts but I absolutely love reading yours, every word, every bit of it! I can feel it in my heart, you just have a way with words I would say!

    I adore the idea of watching the sunrise with your hub in a hot tub, you guys are rock stars! And regarding the holocaust... no words to describe hu! I have german and jewish in my blood and I just can't wrap my brain around the concept of someone killing someone else based on a judgment of being better (WTF!) but this kinda stuff still happens nowadays... I guess we can do our lit contribution to the world by praying and - like you humbly confessed - by removing the "otherness"...

  7. This was such a comforting post to read, being in the midst of a lot of change, your perspective and joy just warms my heart. Wanting to change and accepting it with open arms is all you need, crack that door of willingness and amazing things happen, thank you for reminding me of that

    A+ on the B&B by the way, as much as I pretend not to be, I'm a total sucker for a hot tub, so glad you guys had a great trip!


    also, i have been to that holocaust memorial and it is sooooooo incredibly sad. the holocaust gets me down like none other. and that quote. i love that quote.

  9. Woah. That rooftop hot tub sounds nothing short of magical. mmmmm...mmmmm...good.

  10. I am a little speachless. Thanks once again for a great post. PS Sounds like you and hubby had a great weekend.

  11. Beautiful Jenny! Thanks for sharing, as always...

  12. my eyes are burning from holding back the tears. such a lovely and powerful read, Jenny!!! thank you!