26.2.10

Forshpeiz

Pink and sliver Shabbat tumbles in a giggling cornucopia to mystery and suspense, until the sparkles and ooh! glitter! until the clouds are brighter than the sky because it’s time now time now so come on!

And they’re wearing their fanciest stories and there’s singing and the singing is the best part actually won’t it go on forever and he hopes there’s dancing because he can fly when they finally ask him, grabbing every single hand and kissing the night to make it blush.

Sometimes you spin and you spin and it’s just dizzy after you stop, but thanks to streamers and wands and all that noise this time when we’ve gone all the way back to the end that’s when the party pours in.

Oh and did I mention there’s peacock feathers involved?

17.2.10

Storming (Psalm 29)

Revere the Lord, all you mighty ones. You who sit on high, secure in your dominion, bow before God’s raw power.

The voice of God thunders down the mountaintops, it roars from the waves. It whirls across the prairies. The voice of God incinerates everything in its path.

The voice of God arcs across the buzzing sky. It swells above the coast. The earth trembles at God’s voice, and all who hear whisper awe to the unfathomable.

The voice of God strips the suburbs bare. It disrupts the work of mighty cities—causing metropolises to stagger and buckle.

God in the flooding streets, God in the raging flames. God in the gray ash descending, in the gathering darkness and the searing flash.

And in the preternatural early morning stillness, it is the voice of God that silently whispers peace.

12.2.10

Snowfall

Early morning when we left the house, the streets and sidewalks were still feathered with whitewashed wonder. Our neighborhood had become cleaner, brighter and so close to perfect that it could have been another world. I was sorry I didn’t have time to explore this place that I used to know but didn’t recognize anymore.

Later, just before Shabbat came in, I walked through the rooms of our freshly scrubbed and organized home. The hallways were quiet as snowfall. I looked back to make sure I hadn’t disturbed their cleanness with my footprints. The kitchen counters sagged under the weight of accumulated foods. For just a few minutes, before the guests arrived, everything was as perfect and undisturbed as the streets had been that morning.

5.2.10

Distinction, המבדיל

First he washed and shaved and trimmed his nails. Then he pulled on a simple cotton robe, and his loved ones spread a prayer shawl above his head. Everything was prepared, because she had arrived.

She approached—also dressed in white. So beautiful that the rest of us had to turn away. She surrounded him, circled him and became his everything. With each step she took, he forgot a little more of the world beyond her embrace.

When she finally stopped before him, he placed all that he valued into her open hand. She scattered worldly concerns beneath his feet, where they lay motionless—brittle and fleeting. In the end she led him away. The rest of us remained behind, in bittersweet abandonment.