So F#*king Special

My daughter, the fairy child with the shining eyes loves dancing. Doesn’t matter what it is: From Natasha Atlas to Tupac, from Bob Dylan to Ylvis she is moved.

Transformed from the girl of the earth with the scrapes on her knees, who crashes into you for a hug, she becomes transcendental.

And yesterday, we walked the old ways of Yafo in the gloaming between dust motes, and she followed the sound of a guitar from far away.

I’ll be real with you: Poetry does no justice to the way the air changes when you’re within the walls of the old city, to the way sounds echo softly from all sides.

“OMG, this is so f#*king awesome,” would cheapen that glimmer of sea through the cracks in the walls, it would weaken the strength of the sunlight that streams off the water. But music? Music gets it SOOOO right… and so does moving toward it as my daughter did.

We found the man and his guitar: First the Beatles. Then Idan Raichel. Then Oasis. Then Shalom Chanoch and finally this:

“But I’m a creep

I’m a weirdo

What the hell am I doing here?

I don’t belong here.”


She stretched her arms out and drifted in the dusk, my mermaid girl on land a denizen of two worlds — ours, and hers.

I gave her ten shekels to put in the glass jar by the musician’s left foot.

Suddenly shy, her cheeks pink and her eyes on the stones below her feet, she dropped the coins into the jar, and missed his smile.

She danced again, in circles floating while the music played, and meanwhile he sang.

“Whatever makes you happy… Whatever you want…”

She looked at him. He looked at her:

He was singing to her, only her and his eyes glittered as he sang these words .

She threw her head back and laughed. We all did, all of us there gathered in that half-light where the walls meet and the sun has more meaning….

“You’re so f#*king special…. I wish I was special…”

And while the echos of our laughter faded into the stone, my daugher smiled as she twirled around: “We’re all special!” she said as she flittered toward the light. 


So F&#king special

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel, She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems. She now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors and talks to strangers, and writes stories about people. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She also loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.