Several times a month I stand on a small stage, acoustic guitar slung across my chest, singing songs I have written to a couple of dozen attentive listeners.
I could not have imagined that scene 23 years ago, when I was an intern at Lilith and about to get married to a man who had attended my Modern Orthodox yeshiva high school on Long Island.
Editor Susan Schnur interviewed me for an article about the handmade quilt we used as our chuppah. Family and friends had lovingly decorated squares and we stitched them together at a quilting bee the week before the wedding. I stood in a poofy ’90s wedding dress under that quilt with my soon-to-be husband, while a rabbi I knew through the Jewish Theological Seminary, where I was working on a Master’s degree in Jewish literature, conducted the ceremony. In a few years, I assumed, I would be moving forward with the settled-down life that seemed the fate of most I knew—kids, house, synagogue sisterhood, PTA.
Two decades later, my life could not be more different. I am a singer-songwriter and performer. I have no children. I do own a house and am married, but not to that man with whom I stood under the chuppah quilt. He and I divorced—complete with a get—nine years later, and since 2008 I have been married to a man who is not Jewish.