About Me

My photo

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.

Friday, October 3, 2014

#BlogElul 29 (#Tishrei 9-10) - Return

I like the symmetry of return.

I like the idea that, no matter how linear we think we are, or time is, or God is, we tend to find a way back. As I've written before, even God recognizes this: why else create t'shuvah before ever creating the Heavens and the Earth?

Those rabbis, diving into text that is written in and between all the magnificent letters of the Torah! At least, that's how I see midrash. Today. Tomorrow? Perhaps they are just stories, made up to fill in the holes, or the blanks that God left. Or maybe Moshe left blank spots - too weary having to carve a second set after that little incident with the Golden Calf, carving in one night what God had taken 40 days to do the first time around. Or just maybe, it's all Torah.

Torah. Even that isn't linear - we begin at the beginning, but there is no end. Again and again, just when we think it's over - the story is played out, the cast has all gone home - we begin again. I love when we unroll the whole thing - we see the whole of the story, from end to end to end: parchment and ink. All the words. All the mitzvot. All the awe and fear and trembling and demands that we be holy, that we care for one another, that we love, in between the anger and pettiness and war.

Unrolled, we wrap it, this sacred, holy, ancient, living thing - we wrap it around our children, we hold it up, to study, to read, to chant, to learn and teach.

We return, again and again to this, the beginning, the middle, the end. It encircles us all, draws us in, holds us dearly.

I stand here today, returned to this place, and offer this poem, that I wrote last year, to begin the journey to return. As I said, I like symmetry. I offer this, as my prayer, that we make this journey together, and that we return, again and again, to find wonder and love and God and each other.

The Edge of Everything

We gathered,
all of us,
having walked this long road
Before.

There is so much I don't
remember of it:
Cold
and dust
and heat-cracked pavement.

And noise!
God, the noise--
It could tear you apart
and get inside your head
and all you want
is just a little piece of
Quiet,
A chance to
Breathe
without feeling like
Everything--
your hope
your fear
your love
and
doubt--
All of it,
All of you
was caught
somewhere in your chest,
or maybe your throat,
And all you want is just one small
Breath
to be easy
and quiet.

So we gathered
there,
Here
at the edge,
the very edge of
Everything;
Stopped in our noise
and our doubt
and fear.
Stopped
at the edge
of love
and hunger:
At the edge of want,
to catch the light
of a thousand suns
and ten thousand moons
and absolute

Stillness.

Glinting of silver
and an infinity of
Blue,
Subtle variations
of color
and depth,
Caught
in the  reflection of
Sky.
Caught,
all along the edges,
with light.

We gathered here,
Together,
at the edge,
bathed in
silence
and bending light,
weary and
ready, 
to leap. 
To dive into that pool
filled to overflowing
with love
and doubt
and hunger 
and hope,
that waiting pool of 
Self.

There, 
And filled now with sudden, shivery
Stillness,
and stars that reel
in mirrored waters.

And so I leap
With the light of
Heaven,
Of earth and sky,
Reflecting
all my doubt
my love
and longing.

And I remember
A road of dust and
Heat-cracked pavement
And I gather in the noise
And light
And breath-stopping fear,
Gather them in, to
Release them
In a single
Graceful sweep:
There is beauty in my pain.
There is more in
Letting go.

And so I breathe:
I am returned
To the edge of my
Beginning.


May your new year be sweet, and may you be sealed in the Book of Life for a year of joy.