Guerilla performance art

Shabbat came like guerilla performance art, like a carefully orchestrated act that began so subtly that few pedestrians even noticed until it was underway. The streets were full, and everyone seemed to be doing their own thing, but then at some secret sign they came together for a shared purpose. It wasn’t destructive, not particularly helpful—it just was. The observers, the people who hadn’t been involved in the act, shrugged and went on their ways.


Becomes easy

The first moment of Shabbat is when everything becomes easy.

Shabbat is the waterslide after waiting in line under the summer sun. Shabbat is the tiny change in calculation that makes X finally mark the spot. It is the moment when the 3-D picture resolves itself, when the pie dough reaches the right consistency. Shabbat is slippers after stilettos, a real hug after a week of quick pats on the back. When the curtains open and the first streams of Shabbat shine in, the middling details and distant humming vanish.

It all happens in the flare of a match, the last sliver of sunlight. You just have to know the magic words.


Time change

Shabbat scrambles in on polished Mary Janes, rushing across the room to where I sit at my desk. “I’m here!” she announces, throwing her arms outward.

I keep writing.

Shabbat grabs my pen, throwing it across the room.

“Hey, I was using that!” I snap.

“But I’m here!”

I glance at my watch. “Well, you shouldn’t be. It’s only 4:30.”

Shabbat folds her arms. “But I’m here.”

I sigh. “I see that you are. So, how do you want to spend all this extra time?”

Shabbat stares at her feet. “Um…”

I resist the urge to groan. “You’re here an hour early, and you don’t have a plan?”

“That’s your job!” Shabbat yells, stomping one tiny foot. Then she collapses on the floor, red folds of skirt fanning out around her.

I settle beside her, wrapping my arms around her narrow shoulders. It’s going to be one of those evenings.