Although I have transcribed many hours of audio tape (the ramblings of self-declared genius Manfred Clynes as well as various luthiers for a project that has been perhaps permanently postponed), this is the first interview I have had published, and it feels tremendous! It takes a lot of work to shape an interview for the masses. I drove about an hour North to Ventura and recorded almost two hours of interview. Then, I transcribed those two hours, at which point I was faced with a behemoth of text that felt rather disorganized. From that, I had to determine what I should focus the interview on – what to keep and what to discard.
The interview actually dealt a lot with corruption at the various women’s centers as well as other infighting between minorities and majorities, as well as anti-semitism within the Movement. I decided that without more in depth investigation into the nature of these confrontations, I could only give a cursory account of these conflicts, and so instead focused more on Shelley’s growth as a feminist and her relationship to poetry.
In relation to Yom Kippur, Shelley says, “Every Yom Kippur I’d pull out my journals and read them until sundown, then I’d do a self-evaluation and set new goals. I looked at all these aspects of myself. Not to be so controlling. My fear of being alone. I looked at my body. I don’t want to say I ever conquered anything 100 percent, but I really made a lot of headway on myself, and I’m proud of it.” This Yom Kippur, maybe I will start writing in a journal again. I stopped writing in my journal when I was in my early twenties because it became a space for me to complain, and I found no relief in it. I still have journals for writing poetry, but I think starting up a personal journal, where I consider myself in relation to what is happening in the world, where I evaluate myself and where I might be headed, could be a great way to start out the new year. So, happy new year to you! And with that, here is the sound of the shofar: