Friday, May 30, 2014

42 toward the Omer

malchut shebysod

One minute til nightfall and I've put off writing this all day, though I've written other things, emails and lesson ideas and one list of Things To Do This Summer, but the counting of the days is more inexorable even than prayer

Monday, May 26, 2014

41 toward the Omer

ysod shebysod

Home. The place that predates tefillin. Up too late. Quiet outside of my music, my keyboard-tapping, my nosebreath. Old fears of night when nothing moves. Compulsive touching of doors until they hang just so. The taste of triangled spanakopita, refrigerator-cool, tender.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

40 toward the Omer

Maybe I could have a journal that I would only write in on Shabbat and I would only ever open it on Shabbat and I would never let myself make money off of anything in it, assuming that I could

In this long time of inexorable impending revelationstrike I do feel like I'm desertwandering, except that implies not knowing where I'm going, and I do, both that and that even as I walk toward I might be walking away, away

When do thoughts of community and habit and fear and reluctance and promises and even beauty equate to a mountain that I hold over my own head? I'll try to be selfkind until my next Megillahdik acceptancemoment, it always comes

Saturday, May 24, 2014

39 toward the Omer

netzach sheb'y'sod

Dad wakes me at 2:45am. Dark. Bathroom, then screen door opens and closes, defined sound in the silence. Watch the step down, they say. I walk my way over stones and through the gate, lie by the pool.

The West Virginia sky is starred with all of the stars. Five sets of eyes gazing up for an hour. The dog sleeps amid blankets. Infrequent streaks, long periods of being. A good time to practice nowness, I think.

Other thoughts gently come. God as a nondirective counselor. I'm not sure what to do, I say. God says, It sounds like you're feeling aimless. Nah, I say, it's more like too many aims, and none quite deep enough.

*Note: the time was 1:45am. Given my policy of not editing after the day of writing has passed during the Omer, I am not changing the original, at least for now.

Friday, May 23, 2014

38 toward the Omer

Tiferet shebiysod

I could write a poem about the beauty to be found in the foundations of one's existence and how much I miss math and creating but I'm too busy playing with my brother's hair so peace out y'all

Thursday, May 22, 2014

37 toward the Omer

I sit down (well I'm already sitting, I'm on a plane) to write a poem about doubt and realize that many things feel more attractive right now, like saying the prayer for traveling or taking a nap

Moscow, two thousand and nine. Pasha's apartment. Sitting cross-legged on the carpet before the travel laptop I've forgotten to turn off. A moment upon which nothing and everything depends. The indicator light glows steady. I stare motionless.

If I'm not with You who am I if I am with You who are they if I am with them who are You if I don't know can I be with you if not now when

Once we reach altitude we hit turbulence and the man to my right and I turn to each other and I say We're good even though there is nothing to anchor my words but my own certainty

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

36 toward the Omer

Late afternoon. A bat ben bat Levi and a ben bat ben bat Cohen daven mincha in turn between the two baby grands in Practice Room 312. Rotating watch over what is nowhere everywhere and always.

She wraps the phylactery straps back into their resting positions as he sinks into a preemptive farseeing wistfulness she notes There will be music outside of the Temple too right he says It's not the same

Beautiful pain, wrenching hope, waiting against wait for the day in Jerusalem where his gifts will spill out of his hands before the stones of the outer wall. Tsimtsum music. Hidden sun allows clouds to glitter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

35 toward the Omer

malchut shebhod

I wonder if I could raise the outer layer of my skin just a bit so I was conscious of its enclosing attribute whether I would feel like I was being held all the time

My newfound soulblanket gives me a tissue for my besnotted nose and I rest in this place where it is safe to cry and the safety is beautiful enough that it leads to more crying

Evan sits at my kitchen table and laundry sits on my bed and books on Catholic liturgy sit in their library-given plastic carrying bags and my tiredness sits as prickles all over my upper arms

Two faces in the recital hall back row a strange surprise with all the matter of factness of I'm your friend that's what friends do and I realize oh that's what it's like I'd forgotten

You people the handlinked farandolae dancing around the rooted trees but on the side of life not of nothingness and actually you're the rooted trees and I'm a dancing thing in the center needing that

Monday, May 19, 2014

34 toward the Omer

Yesod shebHod

Sidewalk, friend, twilight, bushes, coolness, breath, night. Two lines that cross always have that point at which they meet, I say. Is that a poem yet? you ask. It is now, I say now.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

33 toward the Omer #2

The person behind the counter at the coffee shop liked my sequins and I liked their hair colors and skirtedness and neither of us contras though we're both the type. We'll get tea.

This dance floor--spinning skirts passing held glances moving bodies splendidly determined and undetermined in distribution--humble acquiescence when you let go to become again one firefly lost to me among the soullights--

a glorious ember sauntering away through the air in amiable aimlessness that however aimless is undeniably awayness--it's not winking out, I tell myself half-convincingly, it's just winking for a very long time

33 toward the Omer

Hod shebHod

Splendor within humility or humility within splendor? There is no need to choose, it's one word after all, our layers constantly internalize and externalize anyway, charged sentiment particles giving off and absorbing energy

32 toward the Omer

Netzach shebHod
endurance, ambition within humility, splendor

We drift from street to street as music floats among the neighborhood hills, a patchy aural mist in place of rain that does not come. The week waits before and after now.

Revival appears as snow peas out of a Ziploc baggie, bursts of dance, a stone path made for this one seated conversation, the first chord of a Hendrix song plucked into being

This drummer gets it, he really does, sound pulled out of moment, inherence just waiting to be cupped between hands, nurtured, brought to human awarenesses, sunflecks ever appearing on the ever-shifting waves

Cupcake tin

God washes out the cupcake tin, water collecting in separate pools, tilted out, collected again, tilted out

Friday, May 16, 2014

31 toward the Omer

In what might be our last hug (how can it be our last hug) I let go before you do because I continue to be scared about showing too much affection

although there is no reason to hide it anymore because this was our last hug (how can it be our last hug). It sinks in that I let go first

which means that you would have been good with a longer hug and I could have gone for it instead of worrying and it would have been beautiful as one last moment

(how can it one last moment) instead of what it was which was me worrying about sinking into it into us for too long although there was beauty there. God says you gave it. I took it. There are no takebacks.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

30 toward the Omer

All you've gotta do is write thirty words, Molly, thirty words between the papers, thirty words and then it's time to switch laundry loads, thirty words and don't forget davening

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

29 toward the Omer

Feeling doubly removed from Buddhism, adamantly attached to attachment. There is yet beauty, I self-remind, in watching "your" balloon float away into nothing. Empty hand, connection yet. Baby steps.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

28 toward the Omer

Mary Daly teaches us that rapism, being cosmic in proportion, must be met with “Great Refusal” rather than refusal on a case by case, population by population basis.

Monday, May 12, 2014

27 toward the Omer

God is like Grandma's charm bracelet stringing us all together even as we alternate clinking and dangling separately like swinging chairs on that lovely amusement park ride

Or maybe God is like Grandma herself with the bracelet the world and it's a good thing God never sleeps and puts Her world on the nighttable

Sunday, May 11, 2014

26 toward the Omer

Hod shebNetzach
humility within endurance

Paper on theological method. What would it mean for the world to have significance beyond our conceptions of what it means for something to have significance?

25 toward the Omer

Walking across Central Park I see trees whose pink petals cover the grass below them as if they'd dropped handfuls of jewels through their hands
reminding me of last week when I was looking at trees thinking of the need for the flowers to fall before the leaves come in

and how this could relate to that first glorious rush and then the more settled type of love that comes afterward, or so they say
as I've never quite gotten there myself I don't think, and I realize that that's probably not how flowers and leaves actually work but still

Periods might also be like that, another cycle of necessary steps, though the image of standing gracefully in menses is less picturesque than these trees.

One of my old folks' home friends tells me "Nothing is forever. And if it gets better, that's even better." Another died three weeks ago.

Walking back across Central Park by the big lake after the rainfall I come across a part of the path half-covered with puddles lit pink
from the pink-flowered trees hanging over the path and there is moment and radiance and awe. The puddles stretch at least a hundred meters ahead

and I have to stop and I am overcome and I whisper to God, Are you going to speak to me? and stand there listening
before realizing that I don't know how the message might come so now I am left paying attention to everything as I continue walking home

The puddles lose their eternitylook as I pass them. Life's moments are mundane but seeing it all laid out before you--what beauty there is.

My Keds keep me balanced on the curb and my arm curves over the lakefence railing. Tree reflections in muddy water are like sepia photographs.

Friday, May 9, 2014

24 toward the Omer

tiferet shebnetzach

Haven't been showing enough endurance when it comes to schoolwork but maybe my endurance task for today was getting to New York by bus

Thank you for being one of today's beautypoints, Mahmood, laugh lines in the rearview mirror, teaching me my numbers again, ashrun, thalatheen, arbaeen, chamseen

I hope next week you can make it to jumah instead of waiting at the airport for passengers. Seems you're with God anyway

and of course the reverse is true too but praying can make truth glow brighter, like dancing a slow waltz around the living room

after twenty-four years of marriage. Speaking of, God, I'm writing a paper on your caring about non-humans--can we find some time to talk?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

23 toward the Omer

You know those people who when you make them smile it just makes life happy and like there is meaning to your existence?

22 toward the Omer

If I am not for you who will be if I am only for you what am I if not now when
If he is for me are you for me if I am for her am I for you if not now when
If you are for me not zim who are you if you are for her not me who will be for me
If she is for you not me who are you if he is for zim who should I be for for you
or for me or for him or zim or her who will I be in being for whom if not now when

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

21 toward the Omer

Malchut shebtiferet

Beauty sleep is not resting long enough that you wake up with a better looking face but rather resting long enough
that you wake up with a face better able to look at what it's waking up to and see its beauty

There is nobility in that meeting of body and soul and day, a stately molasses dance, a delicious sunlit morning courtship

Sunday, May 4, 2014

20 toward the Omer

What an elephant in the room you must feel to be, God, nobody acknowledging you when you raise your hand
except for the teacher who says "I know you know God but let's give someone else a turn to answer"

leaving you asit on your fingers, eagerness melting into anxiety as the rest of us rack our brains in vain

19 toward the Omer

I found the leaving of Shabbat difficult tonight but as I stepped down steps my skirt did that thing
where knees and wind make it undulate sin curve style and I thought "Though I need to figure out
a better description than that my nineteen poem could start ' skirt in the wind. / I thought of you'"
and then for what I remember felt like the first time in my life nobody came immediately to mind

Saturday, May 3, 2014

18 toward the Omer #2

Mom sent me a picture of a double rainbow over our house and I thought, rainbows upon rainbows
"What more is a rainbow than colors out of reach" my Pandora radio sings ("Swept Away (Sentimental Version)")

18 toward the Omer

Souls are just these little droplets of water that need a bit of dirt to come into here
Sometimes the drops combine with other drops to become larger water drops at least for a little while

Wasn't it something as a little kid to watch the drops of water coming down the car window?
Their paths would vary a little bit every time a new water drop trailed down an old rivulet

We kept a water dispenser over a bucket at the Siberian elementary school and the drops made music
I made a recording of the music of the dropwaters. It's on my computer somewhere. God also remembers

Friday, May 2, 2014

17 toward the Omer

Tiferet shebTiferet

There is a certain balance between the two of us here on this stoop and the universe,
some sort of mutual acknowledgment and attentiveness mixed with deference, difference, a recognition of our nonoverlapping magisteria

How is it that appreciation only comes through the experience of being separate? Or through distance's anticipation,
which itself speaks the distance into being? God, are you most here when I have no you-sense?

Correlation not causation, it's a parabola, there are two points where the curve meets the x axis

Thursday, May 1, 2014

16 toward the Omer

Gevurah shebTiferet

Trailing my hand in the water leaves eddies. Karen says "beauty in disturbance." I move forward.