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Wednesday, July 20, 2011
A River of Stones: July 20
A Small Stone:
In my tallit I feel that each day is a true beginning, that possibilities are endless like the Creator of all Beingness.
"…wrapped in light like a garment, unfolding the heavens like a curtain." (Psalm 104:1-2)
Wrapped in my tallit, the one I think of as or haganuz, I opened my siddur and began chanting slowly. I focused on prayers and texts I don’t know well, the ones I typically skip for the familiar passages I learned as a child, the ones we recite as a community in shul. I sang everything in Hebrew and English to a melody that rose from my depths; speech is difficult, song flows. My tallit is an astoundingly rich, vibrantly colored prayer shawl, tie dyed silk of orange and yellow, purchased at Elat Chayyim six years ago, my fortieth year on earth, a time ripe for studying Torah. I was engaged in an 18-month training program for yoga and Jewish spirituality teachers.
In my tallit I feel that each day is a true beginning, that possibilities are endless like the Creator of all Beingness. My eyes became transfixed, my soul transported on these words quoted from Sifre Deuteronomy, Ekev: “As the Holy One is faithful, you too must be faithful. As the Holy One is loving, you too must be loving.
Paragraph after paragraph with a single focus, this I believe is the light of Torah. This is the essence of the boundless, formless, pure energy we as humans attempt to connect to, understand, describe, contain and dress in grand words and simple ones alike, and if we listen, look, open, God’s clear message above all else is illuminated for the ages: chesed, lovingkindness for all creatures. This includes ourselves, ALL CREATURES, exactly the way we are in this moment.
Gratitude flooded my body with the lovingkindness offered to me through family, friends and near strangers not just recently, but all of my life. I want to do more, to give more, to be more, to not be so caught up in my own suffering, a well worn path I trip and slip into. To experience pain for it is a teacher, to love myself, yes, but also to release it as I breathe, to step out of my own habitual groove and expand to touch others with more than words written on a blog, as I have done for three years since diagnosis. Gemilut chassadim, acts of lovingkindness, things I have done in the past, but are so challenging now with my physical limitations, “how, how, how?” I wonder. Do I make too many excuses? I think so, sometimes I do. I will meditate upon this, upon how to do more while resting and healing.
Or haganuz, the hidden light associated with the first act of creation.
”Yehi or”…”Let there be light.”
Ps. Just called the doctor's office, a little news anyway, they are still working out "the plan"...new lesions, 5 day course of steroids, not sure if it will be at home or hospital because of the new medicine or if I'm supposed to even stay on it while on the steroids, new territory with new drug...will know more later this afternoon.