Days of Awe

Books take us to unimagined places— to the thinking of people unlike us, to living in a way we never will, into mysteries that belittle, befuddle, and illuminate.  They make us laugh, cry, think, mourn, celebrate and a host of other feelings we can’t begin to describe.  But today, I’m thinking about the blank book, the blue book of our lives.

September has always been my favorite month.  I love the low golden light, the back-to- school feel of anticipation, and the second chance at a new year. It is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the beginning of the Days of Awe culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. I’m not a particularly religious person in the traditional sense although I was raised that way. I won’t go into my thoughts about religion at this point, but rather the beauty of this prescribed time of reflection.

When my children were little, looking back took the form of an art project.  I would ask them to draw a picture of something they felt sorry about and then draw a new picture illustrating how they might change that.  We’d talk about the differences and I was always pleased that even young children feel the catharsis of letting go and getting it right the next time. It resonated with them then and I believe it still does.

If children can do this, we should certainly try.

My wish is that this be a healthy and sweet year for us all.   With peace in every corner of the world.

My thoughts for the day:

COMPASSION

I am a shiny purple ribbon
wound loosely around your legs.
I let you know I am there,
dressed in silk, my touch so light
you mistake me for an excuse.

I live within you competing
with blinding yellow of fear
blood red of desire
thorny brown of loss.

I am a slip of purple
with little traction
easily lost to hard ambition
camouflaged by noise.

You hungrily search for me
when rife with loneliness.
I guide you to look up
at a sliver of moon, the flicker
of Capricorn in the night sky,
ascend my invisible bridge.

When you become still,
alone with your essence,
you will shift, feel me graze you
become mine.

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