44/6 to go
I read this quote by Emerson on the subway wall today: ‘life is a train of moods like a string of beads’.
and so is this count up and so is each day, including today – a train of moods, a progression of becomings, seemingly a single string – but each bead a totally different story. Somehow each beads gets to be its own thing, tell its own story, even as it is just part of the whole, its true purpose.
As i near the end of the count, coming closer to the mountain, to night #50, I have to remind myself that each day counts for its own sake, regardless, despite of, the days that were and will be, and regardless of what may happen at the end of the journey, or not.
Today, according to the legends, the people arrived at Mount Sinai – camped at the base, and began, in earnest, to prepare for the encounter with the inexplicable divine. The week of preparation for the sacred.
But the true way to prepare for this desired intimacy is by not waiting for it. Just letting it be, and focus on what’s happening now, not later. Isn’t that the hardest lesson? isn’t that the point of this whole count?
It’s like going to a restaurant and ordering something and then keeping asking the waiter – when is my meal coming? is it here yet? instead of talking, really present, with whoever you’re having dinner with, or just being still.
Gevura of Malchut is the discipline within the magnificent majesty of it all: boundaries, self imposed, blinders – to focus on what’s on the plate, and on what’s now, not everywhere and later.
The mountain looms above. The stage is set. day 44. only 6 to go.
ps. on Jerusalem
my mother called this morning from Jerusalem to wish me happy Jerusalem day. the 27th of Iyar was dedicated in 1968 by the Israeli Rabbinate as the official day of gratitude to God for the miracle of liberating Jerusalem during the Six Day War. My mother, who is aware of my ambivalence about Jerusalem’s self proclaimed status of ‘united’ city, added ‘ you know that you were born because of this holiday..’ For my mother, who moved to Israel from London in the 1950’s, a 20something year old idealist religious Zionist – the victory of 1967 was a major spiritual moment. It felt like the days of the Messiah were coming and she wanted another child. I was born two years later. I may not share her politics but i share the dream: Jerusalem as symbol of peace, a beacon for the possibility of all people living together in mutual respect and compassion, united by faith and spirit, like a string of beads. Inshallah in our lifetime. Amen.