E. S. Danon
My Everyday Inspiration - Finding Meaning In Daily Life
I’m currently reading Hillel If Not Now, When? By Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. It just so happens that I have my new makeup palette sitting on my desk, from Ulta, which is inspired by my favorite artist Frida Kahlo. On the side it reads, “Never apologize for who you are.”
This is fitting in several ways, for not only my novel, but also for my life.
Hillel was a convert who became a top Jewish leader, and even though he did not need his logic to get to the top, he gave it anyway. He understood the true meaning of Judaism, and the importance of logic/asking questions. In this he was not apologetic.
Frida was unapologetic in her life when she went against the norm, against “societal logic”, and lived life to her own logic.
The world remembers both of these individuals for their creations, in the forms of words and art, which might be otherwise if they simply did not question life. Eva, the main character in my novel, Moon In Bastet, rediscovers herself by asking questions. Logic is a key facet in this story, and resembles both Hillel and Frida in this way. Moon In Bastet is unapologetic in its argument for equality and compassion, even when presented against societal norms with the hope of inciting change.
Furthermore, I’m a Spanish Jew. Is it a coincidence that all of my favorite artists are Spanish/Latina? Dahli, Picasso, Kahlo? Who knows, but I have an inkling that my soul remembers something that I did not in my waking life. For if you read Moon In Bastet, you will find that I didn’t rediscover my Jewish identity until later in life, which was so wrongly taken from me in more than one way. And when I think of Hillel, I think of my argument in Moon In Bastet, and my logic, and can’t help but think that the scholar would nod his head at me and say that yes, I’m anything but a convert.