Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe
This is a difficult day for me. We commemorate the Rebbe’s passing fifteen years ago. I am at once struck with shame, sense of inertia (and guilt), and also deep longing for someone I never truly knew. I am humbled and overwhelmed. I can only ask that we spend a few moments in reflection. May we foster the ability to overcome ourselves, and learn to give fully. May our days be filled with meaning — a result of effort — and kindness unto others. This is part of the Rebbe’s legacy.
Blessings to all.
Posted in Moments
These are strange days in my life. The world is at my feet. I can become whoever I care to, I can drastically alter my life course by deciding so. I can break away; I can settle down (OK, in theory). But this limbo space is crushing and brutal. It awakens every insecurity I’ve ever conceived; it challenges my faith in human will.
I watch others. I am mesmerized. The artist in me wants to capture the moment and movement in poignant representation (a photo, a painting, a word, a sweep of emotion), while the cynic, the small voice, the lost child wants to disengage, and if not that — because humanity rushes like torrential waters, drenching me with sound and smell, sight and taste — then merge, embrace, become one with the energy. They seem committed, rushing to school to work to psychotherapy to farmer’s markets, devoted to a cause. Their steps, oh-so-directed, shout, “I belong here. I have purpose. I have somewhere to go.” I know this is a delusion, provoked by my (again) insecurity; we all struggle for space and air.
But, but. Where am I? Who am I? Oh, how I’ve wanted to avoid those words, as difficult to utter as “I love you.” They upstage the search, perhaps trivialize the experience. There is clarity ahead, somewhere. I await it. I will search for it; I will try.
(Now I feel I’ve officially joined the ranks of bloggers spewing stuff, psychobabble, dull ramblings. They [bloggers, that is] come in two kinds: politically outspoken warriors or internally gutted self-effacing Generation Y’ers. I hope I’ve gotten it out of my system, though I suspect not.)
Corot, The Letter
I need it.
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
— Derek Walcott
Gotta love that soulful screech.
Cezanne, Peasant (Le Paysan), 1891
Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.
— Harry Emerson Fosdick