I got used to writing and posting every day during Elul. I resented it, and felt under the gun and annoyed, in a free-floating annoyance kind of way, since no one was pushing me to do it except for me. I had made the commitment to myself, thinking it would be a gentle walk in the park. I was (honesty being called for, i suppose, especially today) wrong. Frankly, it would have been much more satisfying to take out my annoyance on You. As it was, I grumbled and had many manic thoughts of chucking the project, more than a handful of times, especially near the end.
I finished, despite my resentment. And now, not a day later, I kinda miss it.
"Hey," I feel like saying, "we made it-- it's a new day, a new year. Wow. We are on the other side. Ta da." And then i toss the glitter and confetti high into the air. Ta da indeed.
So I was thinking-- and you don't have to play if you don't feel like it-- I was thinking that Elul was an astounding thing, the act of preparation, with prompts and a guide (thank you to my friend, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer). Why not continue, through the Yamim Nora'im-- the Days of Awe, these ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?
What better time than now, to reflect and prepare, than when the Gates are flung wide and the Book of Life and Death is unsealed? I know, I know-- "now" is always the right time, but spiritual f wonkiness aside, this now seems quite apropos.
And forgive me, but I don't have a premade list that someone has so kindly bequeathed me (or the world). So I will have to make it up, right now. I hope you don't mind. I'll try it, see how it goes. Like Scheherazade's King in the Thousand and One Nights, I can always change my mind tomorrow.
Happy new year, my friends, whether you play or not. May the year to come be filled with blessings and light, sweetness, healing and peace.
Here's my list. Let me know if you like it, and certainly if you think of any other principles that might be good to reflect upon as we gather at the Gates.
01 Tishrei Celebrate
02 Tishrei Wonder
03 Tishrei Yearn
04 Tishrei Wholeness
05 Tishrei Peace
06 Tishrei Ready
07 Tishrei Fear
08 Tishrei Mercy
09 Tishrei Justice
10 Tishrei Awe