Tuesday, September 6, 2011

When the Stars Align - What Follows?

When your motto is "Winter is Coming", the supposition is that you are a negative person. 

I argue, to the death, that I am a pragmatist - a realist - not a pessimist.  That the reality is good follows bad and bad follows good from the time you are born until the time you die.  I have had more experience with the bad, which is why I look at it as "Winter is Coming" as opposed to "Summer is Soon on its Way".  It's neither good nor bad, it just is.

So what to think when stars begin to align

What to think when the boy you like has become your boyfriend?

What to think when your best friend begins the process of beating back the odds and continues to not just live, but improve?  (And even snuck off to Florida alone for the weekend without telling her best friend.)

What to think when at least a little of your faith in God has been restored?

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I have begun to say a paragraph or 2 of Tehilim each day for Tova.  To most of you, this is a no-brainer.  I'm sure you all say Tehilim for sick people all of the time.  For me, as silly as it makes me feel - as red as my cheeks burn when i am doing it  - it suggests a level of religious commitment that I have not felt in a very long time.  (Perhaps the embarrassment is part of my penance - if so, bring it on.)

I have decided to attend shul on Yom Kippur this year.  I hope to go to Tova and go to her shul.  My mother will not want me in shul with her - the whispers of the prodigal daughter returning will be too much for her to bear.  I understand her shame.  While I may not agree with it, I suppose it would be counter-productive to attend shul and make her suffer on Yom Kippur.  (Any other day, no problem :)  ).  I don't want people to think my mother is trying to marry me off and therefore I'm back in shul to clean up my sullied image.  For while I do my best to portray the image of the good girl when I'm home, there are too many people who know what my life was before and the whispers will (righfully) always be there no matter what.

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What to think when your stars begin to align

Should you be hopeful?  Or should you worry that if it all comes crashing down, you won't be strong enough this time to recover?  Should you think back at all the energy it took to get you to this point and worry that another loss will be one that you cannot recover from?

Or maybe, you should just be happy.  Happy you have a love.  Happy that your best friend is beating the odds.  Happy that MAYBE, just maybe, you will not be cursed to live an empty, faithless existence that you have dreaded for years.

I don't know the answer.  But I don't think I am expected to.  None of us, no matter how it looks, actually know the answer.  All we can do is work at it and hope we find enough that makes some sense to us.

Because after Winter surely comes Spring again.

8 comments:

  1. I'm so happy for you. :)

    I don't have answers, of course. But just put the motto aside for now. Maybe winter is coming...no way to know that. But right now it's summer! So enjoy it and appreciate it without worrying about the winter.

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  2. Agree with the Mystery Woman, and so happy for everything I've read here, that I have no words!!!

    As far as the "whispers" - well guess what, it's actually considered a big sin to judge people what they were before. When someone converts to Judaism, you're supposed to not even talk about the past, and same thing goes for anyone who's decided to put his past behind him. The burden is on them, not on you.

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  3. Re: Tehillim/Yom Kiuppur

    Possibly the best Yom Kippur advice I ever heard was from the rabbi of my shul, Rabbi Ilan Feldman, either last year or the year before. He said (with some paraphrasing on my part) that sometimes on Yom Kippur you get really into the davening, and then there's that voice in your head saying you're just a hypocrite and it's all and act and you should despise yourself for the drama queen you are, and good lord, get a grip.

    Shocker #1: It ain't just me. Other people apparently give themselves the same exact speech that I give myself.
    Shocker #2: Rabbi Feldman's response to that oh-so-rational voice, as follows.

    Your soul came down from heaven [your age] years ago. It really, really misses it. So for goodness' sake, if once a year it gets a chance to fly and visit home for a second, just let it go. It doesn't need to make sense to you. You might want to scorn yourself for your hypocrisy, but that is not the time: just let your soul be, and don't judge. It's fine. It's real. Don't worry about next empty davening, or the one after that, or the one that won't even happen a few weeks down the line. Just enjoy the moment.

    Don't know if that's at all relevant to you, but that's what your post sparked in me.

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  4. Oh. Also the whole "winter is coming" clearly helped spark that one. And I say, if winter is coming, store up all the summer you can: what else will you eat when winter arrives?

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  5. Honey, I've eaten acorns. (Literally. Let's just say that even as a child, I had some weird scientific tendencies.) They're reeeally bitter.
    :-)

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  6. Ech. i can imagine. Fine, we will feast on tree nuts (unless you are allrgic, in which case you risk the allergy of starve to death?

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