Saturday, November 19, 2011


Chayei Sarah
Genesis 23: 7-9 and 25: 7-11
A Cave and a Well

Grief and knowing.

The in-folding of the other into self, the retreat from the world, the nakedness of loss, the infolding of the rock around you to shield you while you grieve. The knowing that you, too, will return here to be folded in, to return to to the source... but not yet. The emergence back into life, into the living world where the other is so much a part of you that it is like she is still here, but she is not, and yet she is.

When we grieve, we mourn that which is lost, but it isn't lost, it is transformed, re-birthed in death, brought to the in-dwelling rather than the external manifestation of body.

Can you believe we will all do this?

Not only were we born, but we, too, will die, will return to the source, and those we have loved, those we have touched, those have loved us will all transform pieces of us into their own folding-in of us into them, the external to the internal, a sheltered cave of hard peace, nakedness, darkness and uncomfortable comfort.

The reassurance of presence invoked, of spirit transcendent, brought forth and remembered, we are all glimmering pieces of memory, shedding light on darkness, in life and in death, in the unfolding and the in-folding, fragments of eternity in our back pockets, in a shiny space of breath in our chests, in a smile and a love we will treasure and hold forever, until we too are folded in to the unfolding yet to come.

Avram: Promises and Questions

Genesis 15: 1-8
Service: 11/5/11
Leich l'cha

In the moment when we are called forth, to stand in a place we have never seen before, there is both doubt and trust, fear and certainty, unknowing and knowing.

When you feel both simultaneously, that's how you know.

When the vision is really there, alongside the unreality of how, choose faith, like Avram, like Moses, like all of us who have moments of vision, like our great great great greats who left their Egypts in their own time, their own place, only to pass the baton to us, to whomever was there to see in dreams and visions.

In the stars, the night sky, the unknowing of knowing, this where we become holy, where we speak and listen to those who have come before and will come after.

This sky. That sky. Tomorrow's sky. It's all our one eternal sky and we will burn as brightly as we can, with faith and wonder, love and hope, knowing even through the clouds that we can hear, we can listen, we can see and be seen, pick up and pass on, and so we are God-ed and co-created, and we possess the holiest of eternities before we become one. From two-ness becomes oneness. That's how you know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rosh Hashanah 5772

We all want to be seen. I think.

I mean, maybe not when we’re at our worst.

But really, when we are most see-able is usually when we are at our point of despair – not the peak, the valley.

Our children see everything. See and be seen. Up and down. Best and worst. Depression and joy. Scarcity and abundance.

When we cry out in desperation, we are heard and seen. When we cry out in joy, we are heard and seen -- we are seen once we begin seeking.

Sometimes we forget. We spin, we stand in place, we whir our wheels, grind our teeth on nothing, we get stuck. We make wrong moves. We fear.
We fear that the creator of all dreams and possibilities has deserted us. Most often, we forget to seek, to look and listen. We forget how incredibly hard and sacred it is to walk this God-path of being and becoming, of remembering.

We forget that it is a blessing to feel our way through this life, through our version of living Torah in this time.

We forget how it feels to be seen, events already in motion, knowing we must play our role, knowing we are part of the sacred future unfolding, and we don’t know when we are, where we are, only that we are and we must be, and that is hard.

Sometimes we run away. We sleep. We find escape.
Sometimes we feel cast out of the sacred circle.
We cry. We rant and rave, question life or death right now. Right now.

Then an angel, sometimes, ok often, a stranger, appears and calls us, knows us, by name.
We are seen. And we return…

To ourselves, to the walk forward that resonates back, envelops us and welcomes us into the breathing, living unfolding of which we are a part.
And we are reminded. We don’t have to do this alone. We are not supposed to carry others when they don’t need to be carried – we let them walk and we have faith that they will walk faithfully, honorably. We cannot walk for them. We pray they will be true to God and let them go.

We all have our own voices. Our children, our friends and loved ones call and see and live in their own way. They have their own abilities to see and be seen. The letting them be who they are, to be that which they are called to be, that’s the hard part. Trusting that God sees them too takes a lot of faith.

And so we continue in this way, gathering and letting go. Despair and joy, hope and fear. We continue and the rest unfolds around us.

May our continuing in this year feel blessed and seen. May we shelter and let go, call out and bear witness to ourselves and those around us as we see the unfolding in all that we are.

May even the hardest moments be sweet.
May we all see and be seen for another year.

Live, In Order That You Might Live (9/24/11)

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

We do pretty well looking ahead for one or two generations, maybe even three. But twenty? Two hundred? That’s living the way G-d implores…

We must return, again and again and again, to G-d. Fully. Completely. With all our heart and soul!

Here’s the thing – we set up cycles, habits, even genetic traits that are passed on from generation to generation. We do not know our ancestors. Not their names, their habits, their preferences or their heartbreaks. We only know that they loved and served God enough to bring us forth. Somehow we got here.

Here. Now.

Born of unknown ancestry, and yet they (the individuals, the collective) live on in us. And the more we return, open to, accept God, the more we give to future generations to inherit. The land, the landscape, the spirit, the rituals, the habits, the genes, the wealth, the poverty, whatever we were gifted with and all that came before lives in us and through us and on into the vast unknown we call “the future.”

God says, “return to me” and we do, with open hearts, minds, souls, even if it’s all for the future, but also for now. We live for the future but also for now. We live, so that we may live. So that we may grow in our understanding of our place in the chain of ancestry, just like Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Rebecca, Naomi…

The more we live now with God, the more we may live on in the future, through the generations.

So Live!

Open-hearted, open-souled, open-minded, open-spirited living. There is so much to come!

May it all be sweet. Sweet enough to reach those far far ahead whom we will never meet, but they will know anyway. They will know.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's catch-up time. Thank you for your patience. I don't always keep all the poems in the same place -- I am trying to change that!

I welcome your feedback, your thoughts and any ongoing conversation.