Begin? Seriously? As if I'm ready! Thank God that we number our days from evening to evening, or I'd be behind before I'd even begun. The first blessing of the day...
Today, the first of Nisan, and the prompt is Begin. Start. Go. One foot, then the other. Gah! I am so not ready for this - not the beginning, not the journey, not the anything. There's a house to clean (seriously-for-this-holiday clean, which I've never done before, but it seems right to do so this year and I have no idea what I'm doing and I can't believe how much stuff there is to do, just to do this one thing and I'm wondering if I can just expand the scary closet (don't ask!) to house all the stuff that I just can't get to in time), and thinking that paper plates and plastic silverware are an excellent option, and the manuscript to edit and the worry about money and jobs and, you know, just plain-old stability in my life - in Nate's life. The car needs to be fixed and the groceries put away and the tutor is coming and I forgot I'm chanting Torah this morning, but there are these words rattling around in my head, begging for release, begging to float in ghostly delight on my computer screen.
There are all these tiny, little threads - some frayed, some not (some knotted beyond belief), and I run from here to there and back again, times infinity, trying to hold onto them all, trying to keep them all in order. Not that I have the slightest clue about order. Each thread, each task, each job - they all occupy the exact same space in my head: insistent and immediate. DO THIS NOW - at least, do it until the next thing, the next thread drifts into my field of vision, usurping my time and attention until the next thread. So mopping the kitchen floor and getting the breaks on the car checked hold the same urgent necessity - at least for a moment, while I see both threads peeking through clenched fingers in my fisted hand.
How in the world can I possibly begin, when all these things, all these threads, all these tasks remain?
Maybe this is why God gave the Children of Israel no time. Yes, yes - there were plenty of major hints and promises along the way, including ten rather horrific plagues and some awesome magic. And sure, there was the sheep standing in the middle of the living room, waiting. There were some really huge clues that they were getting ready to leave, and soon. Even so, there's a huge leap, sometimes, between "Getting ready" and "Go!"
There's always one more thing. There's always wait just a second. There's always ooops, I forgot, let me just run back inside, I won't be a minute. There's always tomorrow.
I will never not have a gazillion threads in my hand. If I waited to tie off each of them, finish each task, complete each job, be 100% totally ready - let's just say I would make Moshiach hold on a second, I've just got to do this one more thing...
Sometimes, no matter how much prep work I do, no matter how much still needs to be done, no matter how unready and unprepared I feel - it's time to put one foot in front of the other and begin.
For anyone who is interested in playing along, here is the list of prompts created by my friend, Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, chosen to help us bend a little more, think a little differently as we prepare for Passover and freedom. Blog daily, pick a prompt that fairly sings to you, and let the pixels come out to play on your screen. There is a lovely hashtag (#blogExodus), so that you can follow all the various threads. If pictures are more your thing, there's a hashtag for that, too (#Exodusgram)
Once we were slaves, now we are free...
- 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.