About Me

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I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

10 Tishrei 5774: Awe

I am late with this, the last of my #blog #DaysofAwe essays. Not that I think anyone is keeping score, or pining for lack of my dubious words of philosophical pondering. But I had made a commitment, if only to myself, and so feel the need to finish (there is also a small amount of free-floating,  slight squishiness that I am late with the final installment; this close to the whole redemption/repentance thing, I am loath to let this linger too long).

And, while I know that I am the one who assigned myself this task and these topics, I question what in hell I was thinking. I mean, really-- justice? Mercy? Awe, for God's sake? And all those other topics that smarter, deeper, more spiritual minds than I have spent several lifetimes learning and discussing and studying and figuring, and a few other -ings that I'm sure would daunt anyone. And then there's me, tripping lightly over everything to bring you (and me) a few paragraphs of on topics weighty and profound.

I am-- you should excuse the cheap literary device here-- awed at my incredible presumption.

This realization, perhaps, goes some small way in explaining why I am late with this last essay, and why I continue to drag my feet. But in this extra time I have gifted to myself, I have had a small epiphany, a new understanding, or at least a new understanding of awe in action.

My last essay, on Justice, brought e to this amazing place-- the recognition that, while God may be responsible for changing my, I am responsible for changing the world. This is a sacred and holy action. Now for the epiphany, the last leap-- of faith, of wonder, of awe-- a God-moment reminder of a beloved principle, because I love this idea, and have been surprised by it's truth time and again.

When the student is ready, the teacher will come.

I have been blessed with some amazing teachers, who have taught me everything important, everything that is meaningful or profound or real or has transformed me and changed me. Certainly, my son has taught me everything I know about love and God and patience (and he continues to teach them, even as I continue to learn them, sometimes eagerly, sometimes a little (a lot) less so).

That's the easy one. There are so many others, a lifetime of people who have shown me, in words, in actions, in living their lives, how to stand in that holy and sacred spot: how to be changed, and how to change the world. There is my rabbi, who teaches me, not just words of Torah,  but their meaning and intent, their rich and harsh beauty. there are musicians and music-makers, sober folk and drunks, those touched by God (and they know it) and those who forge their own wayward path to redemption and return, who would laugh at the idea that they walk a path with God. There are friends and strangers who hold up mirrors for me until I am ready to see, ready to learn, ready to grow. Together, they teach me, ever and again, that Torah is everywhere, in everything, as is God, and we stand closerthanthis, always, to the gates that lead us back to God, to each other-- as if we ever even left their nearness.

To my teachers, known and unknown, I am humbled by your gifts, the lessons you have given me. I am awed, truly and deeply, by those connections-- like gossamer, like spun webs, delicate and glistening with a tensile strength that is astounding.

God changes me. I change the world. And in between are my teachers, who show me, with grace and love,  how.

Shana tova
Wishing us all a year of blessing and love and readiness for all the teachers who will be sure to come.