Do people in the twenty-first century still dance?" My heart beat thundered in my ears, far louder than the slow music. "Um," I said, barely able to swallow, my throat had gone so dry. "Sometimes." "How about now?" he asked. And then his strong arms were encircling my waist, his breath soft against my cheek as he gently whispered my name: "Susannah. Susannah....
For myself I couldn't care less, but I have a lover. Not a partner, Susannah, or a friend or a significant euphemism, but the love of my life. And he believes. And I've watched him tie himself in knots, as he struggles to find a place for himself in texts that were written thousands of years ago, with the deliberate aim of excluding him.
I had lost confidence and a sense of self. Who am I? Am I a person who cowers in fear at the back of a spin class, avoiding everyone's gaze? This uncertainty about who I am, this confusion over where I truly was in the time line of my illness and recovery, was ultimately the deeper source of the shame. A part of my soul believed that I would never be myself, the carefree, confident Susannah, again.
Susannah Heschel's The Aryan Jesus is a brilliant and erudite investigation of the convergence between major trends in German Protestantism and Nazi racial anti-Semitism. By concentrating on the history of the Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Religious Life, Heschel describes in forceful detail the Nazification of all aspects of Protestant theology, including the Aryanization of Jesus himself. This is a highly original and important contribution to our understanding of the Third Reich.
Relationships are physics. Time transforms things- it has to, because the change from me to we means clearing away the fortifications you'r put up around your old personality. Living with Susannah made me feel as if I started riding Einstein's famous theoretical bus. Here's my understanding of that difficult idea, nutshelled: if you're riding a magic Greyhound, equipped for light-speed travel, you'll actually live though less time than will any pedestrians whom the bus passes by. So, for a neighbor on the street with a stopwatch, the superfast bus will take two hours to travel from Point A to Point B. But where you're on that Greyhound, and looking at the wipe of the world out those rhomboidial coach windows, the same trip will take just under twenty-four minutes. Your neighbor, stopwatch under thumb, will have aged eighty-six percent more than you have. It's hard to fathom. But I think it's exactly what adult relationships do to us: on the outside, years pass, lives change. But inside, it's just a day that repeats. You and your partner age at the same clip; it seems not time has gone by. Only when you look up from your relationship- when you step off the bus, feel the ground under your shoes- do you sense the sly, soft absurdity of romance physics.