an observation about clients

Lat night I had a tallit design meeting with a woman who is both an old friend and a repeat client. My friend is also a therapist ( the default occupation for women in my neighborhood). As we were evaluating different verses to use on this new tallit I had a bit of an epiphany.

I do these design meetings where we figure out the right verses for a piece and then design the piece around the verses, fairly often. Sometimes the route to figuring out the right texts and designs for a tallit is a direct one. One of my favorite work memories was coming up with the text for a Torah mantle that was being designed to honor the wedding anniversary of two college professors. We each had a bible or a prayerbook in hand and we each shouted out verses to one another. One of us would shout out a verse and another would nix it with gusto. After about ten minutes, we got the right verse. That process felt almost like being a contestant on Jeopardy.

When I work with therapists, the route is much more circuitous. We talk about intentionality and meaning. We look at verses that are not right because understanding how they don't work helps us to find the right verse. We share stories from our lives. It is a round about, evocative process and it helps to create a piece that is powerful on many, many levels.


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