I am not ready. I'm not close to being prepared. Life. Work. This day. This week nor next. Not ready for parenting (don't even get me started on parenting (let alone single parenting). I would need to climb a very tall ladder to get to the ground floor of unprepared in parenting). I'm so unprepared that this essay was due yesterday. It is now 9:13pm on the sixth of Nisan (though given the Hebrew division of days, it's probably the seventh of Nisan. Oy.).
I have good intentions. I have plans. I make lists. I talk it-- out loud, in my head, alone or in groups-- I understand the concept. Really and truly, I get how much easier, how much smoother life flows when I am prepared. I may even have experienced the whole prepared thing once or twice, somewhere along the line. It felt-- good. Right. It all just fits.
Mostly though, I'm the one who hasn't read the instructions; the one who's forgotten to print the presentation on the day of the big meeting; the one still cleaning the living room even as the doorbell rings. I am grateful for convenience stores in airports, so that I can buy the eleventy sevev items I managed to forget. I would continue in this tirade, but I was running late and left all my notes sitting on the kitchen counter. Or in my car. I think.
Mostly I spend my life winging it. I have become the Master of the ad lib, tge Queen of last minute projects and cramming. I can hit the target 98% of the time when shooting from the hip.
I am NOT ready. Ever. I am not prepared.
What difference does it make if I'm prepared or not? I'm not hurting anyone. Well-- not really. I'm the one who is frazzled. It is my life that's in (total) disarray. I am not a Boy Scout (for several obvious reasons), although I was a Girl Scout, but I was a horrible and unprepared Girl Scout, if preparedness is even a thing for them.
It's Passover. Or close to it. It's the season, the celebration of our redemption. And there is something important, something sacred and holy about preparing for these days.
As I begin with the physical tasks of preparation-- cleaning out the cabinets, polishing the silver, figuring out the menu (because all of that is part of the holiness of preparation) all of that creates a shift-- from the physical to the spiritual. I am changed. I move into a slightly different rhythms. There is a purpose, a minfulness, a thoughtfulness that washes over me, so that I become ready for Passover-- not just my house, but my heart.
I don't always finish the physical stuff, the cleaning and polishing, the cooking. I'm still, you know, me. Chances are I will have started late, with no real plan in mind, other than some vague, inchoate and amorphous idea that I should host a seder and invite a bunch of people.
But my heart-- my heart changes, quiets, is so much more present. And it changes enough, exactly enough, for me to enter into that holy andsacred place joyously, mindfully grateful that once we were slaves now we are free.
c stacey zisook robinson
05 April 2014
- 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.