Monday, September 20, 2010

The bitter and the sweet...

Its an odd thing to say, but I love Yom Kippur.  It is, in fact, my favorite day of the year.  Its strange really – the idea that the day of atonement, a day of fasting and prayer that most people think of as a chore or as penance – the idea that this day could be my favorite among so many (notwithstanding my birthday which is still one of my favorite days of the year despite the march of time).  But I do love it.  I love its solemnity and its quietude.  I love a forced shutdown and I love the ritual of it all.  I love the time spent learning and talking about stories from the Torah. 

I did the 10Q this year.  The 10Q is a sort of hippy-dippy Reboot questionnaire – one question each night between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – one question to answer about something in your life, something personal, something intimate.  The answers can be anonymous and they are locked away in the 10Q vault.  One year from now, an email will arrive as a reminder of the questions and our answers.  One year from now we get the opportunity to see how right we were in our predictions, how far we ventured from our imagined paths, how little we accomplished of our stated goals.  Its very Jewish, actually, this idea of recording these things and locking them away.

I fear I don’t have great expectations for the year ahead on a macro level.  I predicted the housing market would not recover.  I predicted war in Israel.  I predicted a distressing amount of damage to the Democratic party and a lack of recovery for the California education system.  On a sunnier note, I predicted that Child One would get into a wonderful university and that Sig Other’s business would continue to thrive. 

What I cannot predict, and what I dare not think about, is what will happen in the minutae of the forward movements of the days – today, tomorrow, the day after.   I cannot predict who Child Two will be one year from now any more than I could have told you a year ago that he would be the marvelous young man he is today.  I cannot predict the little things that make seemingly insignificant moments carry such weight.  

Child One broke up with her boyfriend tonight.  Her tears and sadness were assuaged first by coffee ice cream, and next by an email announcing that she would be the invited speaker at a fundraising event for a major philanthropic organization in one month’s time.  Her tears of sorrow over the boy were replaced instantly by tears of joy at her success.  A beat later came acknowledgement – if she could be made happy so easily by this achievement, then perhaps the boy had not been so important to her after all.  Indeed.   All things worth considering as we begin 5771 and hope that we have been written in the book for one more year. ..

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