sensing tight bud self
freedom becomes possible
breathe into the light
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Monday, March 25, 2013
thin thawing line
There’s a thin thawing line between winter
and spring awakening.
There’s a thin thawing line between winter and spring awakening.
Mitzrayim and bamidbar constricted wild mind peaceful expansive heart, slender and fragile as a sheet of matzah, crisp bread unrisen, blessed twice, dissolving on the tongue if we choose briefly to allow it to rest there -here before biting down or swallowing. Choosing (because we can) to taste freedom, fully present, the subtly burnt flavor of flour and water mixed pricked and baked in eighteen minutes start to finish unites past and future generations to the pregnant pause of just this.
Your hushed mouth speaks this very moment into existence in stillness.
The Seder ritual continues as we bless the bitterness, acknowledge the difficulties real and imagined, then bind them to sweetness, another blessing for life continuously enfolds sorrow into joy, and this is our sacred offering, ingesting the truth of what it is to be human.
Dish after dish of memories flood the palate. Cousins laugh at inside jokes, the “supplemental maggid,” unique to every family. Idle chatter mingles with silverware clatter while idolatrous prattle rattles the closet doors of closed minded expectations, judgmental who’s who identities collide despite the illumination of fluidly dancing yontiff candles disclosing evidence to the contrary, gently advising us to notice, perhaps for the first time who is really who and more to the point; “who’s are NOT what’s” objectified solid frozen in history but ceaselessly transforming, same as you grown and growing bursting the seams of hand-me-down emotional garments you’d long assumed (like everyone else) were actually your-Self.
And here it is again, that thin thawing line between winter and spring awakening.
The poem above wends its way like a meditation through a few of the rituals of a Pesach Seder as imagined through my memory. Here is a link to the required elements of a Seder.
Some helpful (I hope) explanations of words that may not be familiar:
Mitzrayim- Egypt. Held within the Hebrew is the word “tzar,” meaning narrow place, constriction, contracted. From this we understand that this is also a state of heart and mind caught in thoughts and emotions that hold us in a pattern of suffering.
Bamidbar- In the desert, or wilderness; we can equate this with an open spacious heart and mind, unfettered by fear, anger, delusion, greed, sleepiness, doubt and other hindrances that may hamper our sense of freedom.
Matzah- This is the unleavened bread eaten during the eight days of Passover, reminiscent of the bread prepared in a hurry on the way out of Egypt during the Exodus.
Pesach- In ancient Temple times this was the burnt offering. It is also the word Jewish people say instead of Passover.
“Pesach is formed with three letters: Peh, Samech, and Chet. The kabbalists say pesach can be read as two words, revealing a deeper meaning: Peh Sach which means "the mouth speaks." These two words are spelled with four letters: Peh, Heh, Samech, and Chet. Therefore, the Oral Tradition uncovers that the letter Heh was skipped over.
Conceptually, the "mouth speaking" is what happens during the Seder when we retell the going out of Egypt. Haggadah means "speech." Kabbalah teaches that each month of the calendar has a strong link to a different human quality. This month, Nisan, is connected to the quality of speech. What is speech? It is bringing ideas into reality.” (Aish)
Seder- Literally means order. A Seder is a Jewish spiritual practice of rituals that unfold in a specific order including blessings, asking questions, telling the story of the Exodus and passages from other ancient and contemporary texts, a grand meal and many songs. It is a religious service that is held in the home, led by the family. Seder’s occur on the first two nights of the holiday of Passover.
Maggid-the story. One essential aspect of a Passover Seder is to retell the story of the Exodus out of Egypt.
Yontiff- This is the Yiddish pronunciation of the words Yom Tov, meaning good day in Hebrew, in other words, holiday.
Whether you are celebrating Passover or Easter, another holiday this week or simply the gift of a new season's arrival, I wish everyone joy, peace and hearts wide open like buds waking to the possibility of freedom in this moment, as the thin line of separation thaws.
May all beings be free of suffering.