Hello all

This is my first post and I’d like to write a bit about what i’m thinking about today.  Last night was my first insomnia free night since 11 September – this year  – not 2001.

I know Americans all have their 9/11 stories – my real story is maybe a bit – remote perhaps because I live in New Zealand – as far away as you can get from NYC without getting closer  – but no less personal.
My daughter was working about 1/2 mile away from the WTC.  When the first plane hit, she was just locking up her bike at work,  She hopped back on and peddled back to Park Slope where she was living and called to say she was going back into Manhattan to donate blood.   I couldn’t get back in touch with her for a terrifying 48 hours. It was 3:17 AM here when she rang.
Every year around this time I suffer PTSD insomnia.  I awake at 3:17 AM and just lie there – free floating anxiety.  Sometimes it will last for a week and sometimes it can go on for months – adjusting to daylight savings – but it always stops pretty much of all by itself (believe me over the years I have tried everything – from drugs to sleep clinics to mantras-  and all the stops between.
Religion – it’s complicated here as everywhere else.  I was married to someone who remains a big deal in the Jewish community (he won some sort of award (no – not a knighthood  – but close) for services to the Jewish community).  I think every Jewish mother  in New Zealand with an unmarried daughter was salivating when we got divorced, my exe’s mother probably placed ads in the local papers. .
The last time I went to synagogue (also the first) in New Zealand was right after 9/11.   At the time I was living in Dunedin – where once there were many Jews (mostly wealthy merchants) but now there are very few – not enough to support a rabbi. I went to a couple of memorial services for 9/11 in churches etc – but somehow that didn’t really work for me.  So I decided, for some reason (probably more to do with (culturally) missing NYC than (spiritually) missing Jews) to try a synagogue.
The old Dunedin synagogue was converted into a fantastic art gallery and there was nothing under ‘synagogue’ in the directories.   Someone I worked with told me she thought there was a ‘synagogue’  located in an old 1950s style house near the university and gave me the number of a friend’s friend – someone she thought ‘might be Jewish.’  When I called the  phone number, I had to play the “I used to be married to …” card to find out the address of the synagogue.  I think AA is probably an easier crowd to break into!
Of course it was Rosh Hashanah or maybe Yom Kippur I don’t really remember.  In the “synagogue”, which looked remarkably like every house on the street I grew up on in Brooklyn, about 20 people were holding a ‘service’  – without a rabbi.  Every so often they would stop and discuss (sometimes it was more like an argument) what came next.
Oddly, also in the crowd was the academic who interviewed us in the States before came to NZ.   This burly red-headed Irishman (obviously not Jewish but his wife (from Asheville NC was) came along to “make up the numbers”.  It was strangely moving – something very European about Jews coming together ‘secretively’ and patching together a service. There was some great music – who would have thought there was a klezmer band in Dunedin.  Unfortunately for weeks after I received (too) many phone calls and emails inviting me ‘return’ or at lease attend obscure religious events.
Hopefully the spell is broken and I can return to regular sleep for a while – at least until my next significant birthday approaches.