Thursday, August 21, 2014

You don't remember what happened, what you remember becomes what happened. - John Green, An Abundance of Katherines, pgs 207-208

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hu Yerachem Am Amusim

I am taken by the Av HaRachamim that we say as the Torah is taken from the ark: "May he rescue our souls from the bad times, and upbraid the evil inclination... and fulfill our requests in good measure for salvation and mercy."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

From "Mork & Mindy: In Mork We Trust (#1.21)" (1979)

Orson: The report, Mork.

Mork: This week I discovered a terrible disease called loneliness.

Orson: Do many people on Earth suffer from this disease?

Mork: Oh yes sir, and how they suffer. One man I know suffers so much he has to take a medication called bourbon, even that doesn't help very much because then he can hear paint dry.

Orson: Does bed rest help?

Mork: No because I've heard that sleeping alone is part of the problem. You see, Orson, loneliness is a disease of the spirit. People who have it think that no one cares about them.

Orson: Do you have any idea why?

Mork: Yes sir you can count on me. You see, when children are young, they're told not to talk to strangers. When they go to school, they're told not to talk to the person next to them. Finally when they're very old, they're told not to talk to themselves, who's left?

Orson: Are you saying Earthlings make each other lonely?

Mork: No sir I'm saying just the opposite. They make themeslves lonely, they're so busy looking out for number one that there's not enough room for two.

Orson: It's too bad everybody down there can't get together and find a cure.

Mork: Here's the paradox sir because if they did get together, they wouldn't need one.

A Haiki


Life's cut off swiftly
It's proudest success is pain
Then we fly away

Inspired By Psalms 90:10

Prompted By Haiku Horizons
In Memory of Robin Williams

Friday, August 15, 2014



Thursday, August 14, 2014

From "A Better Way To Introduce Your Friends At Parties"

"She knows how to meet you in deep waters 
and pull you back up for air 
without panicking 
or judging how you got there."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"He Was A Miracle"

- Henry Winkler

Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Robin

We all have Robin Williams on our minds tonight. The sad news brings to mind this classic short short story.

A man goes to the doctor. He explains that he's depressed. There's is no peace, no happiness in his life. He hasn't smiled in years. The doctor says "I have the perfect remedy for you: The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go to the theater and see him perform - he'll make you laugh and forget your troubles." The man bursts into tears. Through the sobs he says, "I can't." The doctor asks, "Why not?" The man says, "Because...I am Pagliacci."

- Marvin Silbermintz



 On the cover of the album that captivated me as a kid.


 Performing on the streets of NYC with Marc Weiner.

The moment that opened Pandora's Box.

I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul. - Steve Martin

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

On Haiku And And And

Last night's post was actually, mostly, from way earlier in the week. But I wanted to post it and didn't feel like editing it.

Not sure what to write or where...

I recently bought a book called Haiku in English: The First hundred Years. I bought it because it is a haiku collection, and more-so, as they were counting on, because it has Billy Collins' name on the cover (because he wrote a short intro).

"The stop-time instant at the heart of haiku might be said to offer resistance to the remorseless powers of forgetfulness."


Sometimes I write those kind of capturing a moment haiku.  Often I just try to write anything that works within the 5-7-5 system.  i know the modern American haiku people don't like that.  But I disagree.  I say that myriad third grade English teachers can't be wrong.

The 5-7-5
is the crux of my haiku
Like Mrs. Phillips

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Okay.

And yet.

Two short sentences from books that stayed with me.

I almost finished a book, then I left it in the home I slept in over Shabbos.  I have 15 pages left.  I need to get me to a bookstore and sit and read the end.  It's My Salinger Year.  It is good.  A distinct, strong voice, a  voice- in a good way).  (I've recently been given cause to pause about the expression "strong personality."  I think it's a euphemism really. People who are kind, and gentle, and good can be so in a palpable, powerful way.  And yet no-one seems to ever say of these types that they have strong personalities.  Strong personality is used, knowingly or not, to mean that someone consistently fails big time to speak or behave as kindly or thoughtfuly or subtly or wisely as a refined, truly human, image of G-d is meant to, or to even seem to be trying.)

Two Fridays ago, which was shortly over a week ago, I got my treadmill delivered and assembled.  Since my fall that Friday night I have used it hesitantly and sparingly until I used it tonight for 45 minutes.  I don't quite know what to say.

I spent Shabbos with dad. In his new place. I cherish every moment with him.  You can go home again, even when you can't.

My nephew and his wife had a baby girl on Friday.  My dad said that the picture showed the most beautiful baby he's ever seen.  May everyone enjoy good helth and life.

So much of my life happens inside me.  And though I've said it till it's cliche'd, I will say again that I don't know what to write here.

Tisha b'Av went well. I wrote and linked a bit here and wrote on Facebook and in my diaries...

We need to make room for G-d to say yes for what we ask for- Advice from a dear friend...

So much to say and then again...

Monday, August 04, 2014

My thoughts on audio regarding Tisha B'Av.


Eichah - Tisha B'Av 5774


Yearning for redemption, 
grieving over exile and loss, 
sitting alone- all of us together, 
asking how we got here.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Just Haiku

"No justice, no peace,"
but there also must be truth
for the world to stand

Kindness and justice
don't often come together
unless you are G-d

The Torah tells us
"Justice, justice shall ye seek"
your way, and for real

Using laws fairly
is a complicated thing.
I yearn for justice.

Is my quietness
a form of injustice too,
as those sayings go?

Justice and conscience
should live together as one;
tell that to lawyers

Is there big justice
and medium and small size
or only justice?

Justice may be scarce
hard to find or to acheive
yet we have to try.

Counting on justice
can lead to being bitter
until you bring it

Redemption will come
to Zion and to the world
by way of justice.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Rav S.R. Hirsch on Avot 3:1

"Most of our sins are outgrowths of an over emphasis on the sensuous, physical aspects of our being and of their demands, and of a disregard, or at least, of insufficient regard for the spiritual and moral facets of our personality and its purpose." 

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beyond- A Poem

Under the physical
there's more physical

And some things get worse
before they get even worse

But dig deep and
find the spiritual

Go the distance and
see things get better

Monday, July 28, 2014

Clear Haiku

Clarity or death
Rabbi Weinberg used to say
Something to strive for

One Saturday night
The "On A Clear Day..." movie
Was viewed by my mom

So much is complex
Yet certain things become clear
As we move forward

They speak of clear minds
And it makes my mind wonder
About many things

When we say Shemah
We close our eyes to see
By looking inside

What's clear and simple
Is quite often incorrect
Yet sometimes it's true

Nixon waited to
"Make one thing perfectly clear"
When I was a kid

I want to clear space
In my home and in my head
And then take you in

Sometimes I want to
Clear the slate and start over
Sometimes I am real

Clearly we differ
Clearly we are connected
Unclear what to do

Inspired By Prompt At Haiku Horizons

Sunday, July 27, 2014

We Lost Bel Kaufman

Laugh even if you don't get the joke, laugh on credit. - Shalom Aleichem as quoted by his granddaughter, Bel Kaufman.  She also gives these examples of Jewish humor: A guy can't afford lenses so he gets frames alone.  When asked why, he says, "It's better than nothing."  Similarly - If you don't have meat, you eat bread. if you don't have bread, you starve; it's better than nothing.

She died today at 103.  She said wrinkes are caligraphy of the soul.

In a recent interview  she said that the real secret to living so long is luck. She asked the camera man to come close and show people that one can be over a 100 and still look human.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Last night I had a kind of long walk, half hour-ish, home from dinner.  Was concerned about the directions.  Tired.  Finally got to the block I was staying on.  It seemed like the numbers were going down when I needed them to go up. So I turned around walking fast, really wanting to get inside.  Sweating from the heat.  Frustrated, flummoxed. I remember seeing that the sidewalk was wildly uneven.  I'm not sure but I think that's the sidewalk I tripped on.  I didn't get the details of the nature of the sidewalk or how exactly I fell onto it.  I do reacall the senasation of falling fast, of crying out something out, maybe Oh G-d. I remember trying to have control, wanting to have control. Doing some version of the falling forward and putting my hands out and catching myself on my claws and going unscathed.  But this one time in my life so far, it didn't work.  I fell really hard and fast and it was just too much for me to totally stop, though I did mute it a bit. Could have been worse,  Thank G-d.  Not death bad. Not spinal injury bad.  Not broken bones.  But this kind of bad: Badly scraped knee, scraped hand, sore muscles, and the ridge and tip of my nose all scraped and red.  The worst part seems to be the hole between my eyes.  No, I can't explain it, why that indented area got hit so hard.  My friend wants me to check it out ASAP, thinks it needs a stich. We tried to go to a place tonight.  No walk in  (non emergency room) places were open. Other things happened over Shabbos but they all took a back seat to the stress and embarrasment of the fall. The suit is torn and bloody as is my white shirt and my directions sheet, and the repflector my dinner hosts lent me.  A man tried to help me and I'm going to leave out those details for now. I'm still shaken up, yet also grateful;.  Awkward about being seen in public.  Feeling vulnerable and oh so human.

On a related/unrelated note I really want to read and use and be helped by this book, which was reccomended, shown to me, and which I read some of over Shabbos.  Please G-d.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Check In and Haiku

I have reason to wonder who reads this blog.  I get few to no comments.  Blogs have become a dinasour in ten years. And yet.  It's place for me, it's a record for me, it's kind of a home.

I'm on the clock, as we all are.  It's Shabbos soon.  Sooner for me than some.  I'm eating with friends who are starting early.  Got to get to the shower and then the cab and then the bus and then the walk.  I'm hungry. There's something weird going on with my lips that ChapStick doesn't fix.  I got a treadmill today.  I have one doctor's appointment set for next week.  There's more I need to make, but I'm glad i set something. The last time there was a war I was in Israel and felt very connected.  It's harder being here. I did recently post a poem about it.  Oh man, may G-d help and bless us.  When something big like this is going on it can make our day to day lives seem small.  And yet we all need to take care of ourselves, our lives.

May we all be blessed with a Shabbat of Shalom.

The weekdays scatter
and make way for the big day
that deeply matters

After the still small voice
a noise
And after the noise,
a still small voice.
And after it, a noise.
And after it, a still small voice
And after the still small voice,
a noise.
Discard the rest.
~
Yehuda Amichai

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nachamu, nachamu ami.  Be consoled, be consoled My People. An insight I heard about this expalins why it says nachamu twice. Sometimes in life we are broken and we want someone to comfort us but when they do we push them away, because of how broken we are.  And they need to be loving enough and they need to be wise enough to not take our rejection of their reaching out at face value. They need to comfort us again.  This is true of the Jewish People on our national, broken level.  And it is true of individuals.  Like a crying child that you try to hug and they run away, we need to try to be there for on another.  And then to try again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Movies I've Seem With Family

 I was just sorting through old videos that I plan to bring to Goodwill.  I found Nothing in Common, which got me thinking.  Here's an incomplete and probably not fully accurate list of which family members I saw some movies with that I remember.

With Mom

Nothing In Common
For Pete's Sake
A Harry Potter
A Lord of the Rings
Mad Money
Godfather II

With Mom and Bro

Thoroughly Modern Millie
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Cold Turkey
The Horse in The Gray Flannel Suit
The Sorcerer and the Stone
Some Planet of the Apes
Peter Pan

With Mom and Dad

Frisco Kid
Rocky II
The Chosen
Field of Dreams
ET

With Brother

Rocky
Towering Inferno
Kentucky Fried Movie
Some Planet of the Apes
Murder By Death

With Mom, Dad, and Brother

Fiddler on the Roof
Poseiden Adventure
Annie
The Bible
The Sting
Annie Hall
Stardust Memories
Love and Death
Live and Let Die
Dr. No
Live and Let Die

With Dad

The Deep
Million Dollar Baby
No Way Out
Space Cowboys
Let's Do it Again
Sleeper
Charriots of Fire
Tunnel Vission

With Dad and Bro

The Boatnicks
Diamonds Are Forever

With Brother and Sister In Law

Ghostbusters II
Mr. Saturday Night
Insomnia

Masei

Here's a piece of mine on Masei.  I'll paste it in the comments too.

Hope The Contents of These Haiku Make You Content (They Switch Off!)

It's waiting inside
The details of everything
Including ourselves

Feeling good enough
- state of peaceful happiness -
satisfied and pleased

Sometimes I get caught
in between content and form,
praying for balance

Content is the word
for what I think simcha is,
rather than happy

I have my radar
for quality of content.
It's a strong system

Animals can sense
when you're feeling discontent;
some people can too

The rabbi's challenge
to not look at the cover
but at the content

Why not be content
with our third grade teacher's rule?
five, seven, and five

Tables of contents
don't show what's truly inside;
you have to read on

Content equals rich
And who is that? Nobody.
- Benjamin Franklin

I strive for content
in this smokey, mirrored world:
"Just give me some truth."

A secret to life
is truly seeing what is,
and being content

Prompted by Haiku Horizons

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thought of the Moment

I don't quite know what the point of writing that I don't know what to say or where to say it.  It's kind of  a matir for me.  I write that and then I say whatever I feel like saying.  It reminds me of the nicht Shabbos gereht joke.

I never know who reads what, and as a friend once said- once it's out there, it's out there.  But as Nicole Krause taught me, and yet, is a full sentence. And yet, Sigh (I just sighed.)

I am grateful to G-d for feeling good at this moment.  Yesterday I did some hishtadlus toward moving my self/my life forward. I went against my comfort zone/grain.  And it feels good after.  That's the thing with doing something that's true, it feels good afterwards.  I just heard a line that guilt is GPS of the soul.  so is feeling good. The former line reminds me of Rabbi Abraham Twerski's words about guilt.  It's meant to alert us to take care of an ill, and then move onward. Just as physical pain is meant to alert us to heal something in our body, guilt is spiritual pain telling us to fix something in our soul.

This past year has been rich and also painful and intense for me.  I did not comfortably morph into a much needed summer break (not that the year being pulled out and disappearing is ever easy for me).  Yesterday felt (to use a word that I think about in regard to people but hold back on using to not offend) healthy.  And so does today.  Thank G-d.

I have much to do. I need to grab hold of this summer.  Grab hold of the moments going by.  Grab hold of my life.

May we all be blessed to take care of ourselves and in that merit receive extra care from G-d.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gratefulness List Just For Today

I thank G-d for-

Dad being miraculously live and well.
Family.
Friends.
Help from a friend today.
Help from strangers today.
My hishtadlus today toward moving forward with life.
G-d's hashgacha in sending me good shluchim.
Shabbos with dad.
The nice fellow that I met who was there to be with his dad.
Mussar/Growth/Torah.
Humor.
Sleep.
Bounsdaries put in place.
Humanity.
Kindness.
Walking. Always and today.
Writing.
Thinking.
Self awareness.
The degree to which we can know anything for sure.
Having it pointed out to me that we can't know certain things for sure.
The ability to take care of oneself, specifically myself.

Why do I share on "social media?" It's kind of a mystery to me.  And yet, I get it.

“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.” ― Terry Pratchett

Friday, July 18, 2014

Matot

Here's the link to my DT in The Jewish Standard this week.  I'm also posting it in comments.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

tanka of the day

far away from home
it's too easy to detach
while our brothers bleed
remember- we're connected
many bodies, one big soul

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shiva Assar Betamuz Haiku

Seek G-d when He's found
I've heard again and again
on every fast day

I wonder about
the slowness of this fast day
as it ebbs away

Walls were broken down
and we mourn the loss of walls
boundaries, protection

What of the other
when he is other than we
will we look and see?

You shrug your shoulders
playing frustrated victim
next to me in Shul

Hear the still thin voice
That's one of my fast day goals;
to really hear G-d

The start of it all
-of rising above ourselves-
is the fear of G-d

Maybe the point is
To experience hunger
And then reframe it

Monday, July 14, 2014

Haiku With Drive

I don't drive a car
or a van or truck or bus
and yet- I'm human

I dream of driving
I mean that literally
quite regularly

There's an urgency
someone has to drive a car
I do. In my dreams.

Thank you, but sorry
Baby, I can't drive your car
I don't get your key

Natures are unmasked
by behavior in carpool
By driving kindness

What drives a person
is more important than what
kind of car they drive

Operate, control
propel or carry along:
As they say, "Just drive."

Prompted by Haiku Horizons

Brilliant (IMHO)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

On Billy Collins and His haiku

These are from Billy Collins' haiku book.

High cry of a hawk,
cracking ice across the lake—
enough of my talk.

Mid-winter evening,
alone at a sushi bar—
just me and this eel.

Travel tomorrow,
so much I must leave behind—
this lake, this morning.

Moon in the window—
the same as it was before
there was a window.

More can be found here.

I was prompted to google and find these after buying this book tonight.  I don't know if I'm capable of seeing a book with Billy Collins' name on the cover- whether it's edited by or compiled by or introduction by.

Earlier today I discovered that a cousin of mine is into race car driving.  So I mentioned this book.  Then I read that the author said that his inspiration for the book was The Revenant by Billy Collins, which you can see him read here.

I'd really like to meet Billy and chat with him. It's worth a shot.  He's not far away...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

On This Blog This Month

Nine years ago 
Eight years ago 
Seven years ago
Six Years Ago
Five Years Ago
Four Years Ago
Three Years Ago
Two years Ago
Last Year
This Year

Friday, July 11, 2014

"Show me a teacher who thinks she's got everything all under control and doesn't need to fix a thing for next year, and I will show you a lousy teacher. The best teachers I've ever known can give you a list of exactly what they don't do well enough yet." - Peter Greene

Wow.


A Tanka And A Picture

I ask how you are
I know you know I mean it
Because we are friends
And because you told me so
Even before you used words


Being kind and connected is big in life, it may even be life itself. Being with another. Listening. And and and and and.

May we be blessed to truly connect in life.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Party Haiku

I wonder if I'm
the party of the first part
or another one

Parties are something
that I just don't understand
not even partly

Let's not party like
it's any specific year
Let's not party at all

Introvert parties
are like ghosts and spirits
they exist- somehow

Both the party's star
and the hiding introvert:
should really go home

I don't unserstand
these political parties
Neither one is fun

Some just see parties
while others see tests and grades;
such is college life

My face turns beet red
I'm allergic to parties
and to their red wine

They say be myself
when I go to a party
Well I wouldn't go

Social gatherings
of invited guests, with food
for some this is fun

Political groups
on a national level
are un-fun parties

prompted by Haiku Horizons

John Green On "Remembering" What Happened (From a book that doesn't have a lot of profound quotes, but this one is a whopper.)

"You don't remember what happened.
What you remember becomes what happened."

- An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green
pgs. 207-208

Haiku of the Day

In the end we know
Little about each other
Almost like the start

Sunday, July 06, 2014

A Tanka For Tough Times

I'm searching for words
To express covered feelings
I'm searching for G-d...
...The words and feelings appear
Here all along, like my G-d

My Nap Time Lullaby


Take a nap
you won't be missed
you'll return to 
your to do list
  
Take a break
it's okay
you can go to sleep
in the middle of the day
  
When your stressed
sing this sunny lullaby
just close your eyes and 
float away in the sky

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Reassembing - A Poem

I was sick
Grandma was over
It was just us
and a puzzle
Little Red Riding Hood

We were in 
my parent's room
working on 
the wood pieces
slowly

She was probably
around the age 
I am right now
Like me, younger
than I imagined

The room
the house
she, me, life
was all smaller 
than I knew

Friday, July 04, 2014

Pre Shabbos Poem/Prayer

May G-d bless us all to be unbitter
May G-d bless us to see the good
May G-d bless us with true kindness
To understand and be understood

We see things as we are. - Me

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Haiku of the Night



Beauty can be found
In a rusty ocean chain-
In any domain

Comforting Comment

"They are all amazing, but this one REALLY struck me:

The comforts of home 
apply just to certain homes 
and certain comforts. 

Wow. So powerful. So amazingly powerful."

This comment from "Blog It Or Lose It" (love that name) means a lot to me.

Balak Poem

What am I to do
with the idea that
G-d appeared to a donkey
and not to me?

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

I Think In haiku II

I think in haiku
I've always been counting words
and now syllables

Yishtabach Haiku

Mine, my father's G-d
Your name is praised forever
Our eternal king

Monday, June 30, 2014

There Are no Words. And Yet.

"My dear friends,

I have just learned that the bodies of our three boys – Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach – have been found. My heavy heart is with the families.

All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten Thee, neither have we been false to Thy covenant.  Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from Thy path; Though Thou hast crushed us into a place of jackals, and covered us with the shadow of death. (Psalm 44:18-20)

These boys, our boys, have died al Kiddush Hashem, simply because they are Jews.

Nay, but for Thy sake are we killed all the day; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (Psalm 44:23)

We cannot just light a candle and say a prayer. It is up to us now to live our lives al Kiddush Hashem, to sanctify God through our deeds and our lives.

The word Chaim is in the plural because it contains both the good and the bad. It is up to us to go on.

Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercy's sake. (Psalm 44:27)

Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz"

Declined Haiku

Prompted By Haiku Horizons

Sometimes I will write
things that I decline to say
feels safer that way

The decline of love
of commitment and of will
peeks through the comfort

Becoming decreased,
downturned, depreciated
diminished in strength

Polite refusal?
Trying to reject gently:
"Aww!.. I must decline."

I think many things
and decline from commenting
For the sake of peace


Poetry's decline
means the world is declining,
resisting, failing

We're on the decline
Yet I hope we beat the odds
If just for G-d's sake

You think I declined
I think you never offered
And you think the same

Your decline has been
exagerated despite
your lucid wisdom

Rise up a level
or you will surely decline;
there's no standing still

A Poem I Hope To Put In Im A Book, And...

So much not to say, so much to say

So much I want gone, so much I hope will stay
So much for neat Sundaes with a cherry on top
So much for lessons learned about how life can stop
So much to be grateful for
So much I desire - more
So much for bad rhyming
So much is about timing
So much I appreciate


So much I want before it's too late.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Swan and Shadow By John Hollander


                           Dusk
                         Above the
                    water hang the
                              loud
                             flies
                             Here
                            O so
                           gray
                          then
                         What             A pale signal will appear
                        When         Soon before its shadow fades
                       Where       Here in this pool of opened eye
                       In us     No Upon us As at the very edges
                        of where we take shape in the dark air
                         this object bares its image awakening
                           ripples of recognition that will
                              brush darkness up into light
even after this bird this hour both drift by atop the perfect sad instant now
                              already passing out of sight
                           toward yet-untroubled reflection
                         this image bears its object darkening
                        into memorial shades Scattered bits of
                       light     No of water Or something across
                       water       Breaking up No Being regathered
                        soon         Yet by then a swan will have
                         gone             Yes out of mind into what
                          vast
                           pale
                            hush
                             of a
                             place
                              past
                    sudden dark as
                         if a swan
                            sang

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nachas

The feedback on this post brings me great "comfort and joy."

Morning Cinquain

Waking
like a lion
is the law on the books
yet waking up is hard to do
It's true

A yawn,
Chesterton said,
is a small, silent shout,
what Thoreau called desperation.
Maybe.

G-d please
help me write this.
I don't know what to say.
Hopefully I will get it right.
Today.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I am always thinking.  I wonder about writing and hiding.  I am free writing here, but it costs.  Writing takes time. It takes other things too- kishkas, for example. Maybe it's my calling.  Maybe it will be my legacy.

I am about to open the closest book on my desk, My Promised Land and to pick a random sentence.

"We are a ragtag cast in an epic motion picture whose plot we do not understand and cannot grasp." (MPL, page 419)

This man writes well.

I need sleep though I wish I could write all night.

Sleeping
seems like a waste
but it's an elixir
a secret reviving fountain
Why resist?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Haiku of the Day: 10 On Comfort


To give strength and hope,
to ease grief and trouble of,
to comfort a friend

Moments of comfort
can also be challenging,
like moments of pain


You have to find your
comfort zone before you can
move outside of it.

The comforts of home
apply just to certain homes
and certain comforts.

The reverse of pain
is not pleasure but comfort,
pleasure includes pain.

I wish that comfort
would come forth and comfort us
from our age old pain.

Sometimes you need to
comfort someone once and then
comfort them again.

What brings us comfort
in the short run is often
not good in the end.

Sometimes what we need
is the comfort of a friend,
sometimes they need us.

True comfort is found
deep inside our ageless hearts
where all wounds are healed

Head, Heart


By Lydia Davis

wwwHeart weeps.
wwwHead tries to help heart.
wwwHead tells heart how it is, again:
wwwYou will lose the ones you love. They will all go. But
even the earth will go, someday.
wwwHeart feels better, then.
wwwBut the words of head do not remain long in the ears of
heart.
wwwHeart is so new to this.
wwwI want them back, says heart.
wwwHead is all heart has.
wwwHelp, head. Help heart.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Still More Cinquain

Weddings
all look the same
they are like book covers
the story inside is different
each time

Holy
is what we are
and want to be more of
it's the real reason for marriage
We strive

People
are just people
who raise up to their highs
and fall down to their lowest lows
People

The bride
and her parents
holding hands and smiling
walk down the aisle with their G-d
just so

We yearn
for legacies
every single second
we seek to find what we can leave
behind

I cry
during weddings
small sweet and salty tears
I cry thinking of many years
and pray

Rabbis
have shaped my soul
and then gone and grown old
But they never age in my heart
Some stay

More Cinquain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinquain)

Feelings
come from inside
come from our souls, from G-d.
So no feeling can be all bad.
Use them.


Alone
is what we are
and is what we are not
the balance that makes us human
Just us

Smile
Something I want
to do much more often.
It bothers me when I look sad.
You too?

Fifteen
words for G-d songs
in the Yishtabach prayer
paralleling the temple steps.
Asend!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Some Cinquain (Pronounced Sincane)


Grading
Gets on my nerves
I need to own my role
Access and trust my own judgement 
It's hard

Aging
cliche's abound
like, "It's just a number."
but it's much more than a number
It's life

Music
moves me along
I am soothed my my songs
It truly "tames the savage beast"
Thank G-d

My dad
made me with mom
been with me all along
fell backwards down a flight of stairs
Survived

Thank G-d
for everything
for life's beautiful songs
for each one of my six senses
Yes, six

Alarms
I'm winding one
Old school, like in cartoons
I learned they're kosher for Shabbos
Really

Bed time
like many things
we give it to children
and take it away from adults
Good night

Poetry Prompt - Taboo© Style

The Prompt:

Write a poem about lemons without using the following words: lemon, yellow, round, fruit, citrus, tart, juicy, peel, and sour.

My Result:

Thin skinned and fragrant
oval and quite acidic
semitropical
You are the anti orange
the other half of my lime

Thanks to Rabbi Dan Rosen for introducing me to tanka.

Thought

In public conversations I think of the obvious joke and then I work really hard not to say it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

From one Breath to the Next

I take pride in knowing
a lyric for any moment
everything about comedians
arcane, obscure, Torah facts:

Strawberries are the only fruit
with their seeds on the outside
Four is the only number that is
spelled by it's own number of letters

Sometimes, like now, I answer yes
to Ian Anderson, who asked teen me
if I "ever get the feeling that the story's
too damn real and in the present tense."

And as I yearn for companionship
I recall what Dick Smothers said
about Steve Martin, that "he's so quiet
that being with him's like being alone"

Noach and Avraham DID overlap, but
sometimes you can be alive and not
and that which saves your life once
can stifle it in another time and space

I wonder if I should shake off
the soundtrack in my head
and all the stand up routines
my too smart for the room 'tude:

But then I start to think and know
that we need accessible seeds
and we need symmetry in life
that's what we'e striving for

And words that replay in me
repay me for my attention
and help me be present
in this dream like life

And studying comedians
helps me understand me
so alive on a stage while
feeling caged by chatter

And in truth, often I use Torah
not as a tool to impress you
but the intricate insights take me
from one breath to the next

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday's Guy

11:04 AM - I just got an email asking me to perform a wedding of a (former) student. Answer to FAQ - Yes. (Twice.) (Q- Have you ever performed a wedding?)  ("Since you have always been my favorite Rabbi at Frisch I decided to contact you to see if you perform wedding ceremonies or even  if you haven't, if you would be willing to perform mine.")

Last night another college recommendation request came in: "I appreciate you taking the time to write my recommendation, it means the world to me that you could represent me." 


Appreciation is helpful to me as a human being.


Spending time with dad.  Got here at about 11:30 (12?) last night post Shabbos in Brooklyn. 9 AM minyan.  Sitting and talking and watching the Sunday morning politico shows, as many times before.


They're talking about Eric Cantor's loss, and how he was out of touch and not trusted by people- so they say.


11:20 - Just got email from my computer guru. It seems my new home comp has a virus and I shouldn't use it till he can come by, which won't be for a while. Can I sigh about that, or in the scheme of life issues should I barely feel affected by it? The latter.


11:34 AM - Just ordered for dad a gift that he said he wanted. That makes me happy.


12:01 PM - My brother just came downstairs and gave us Tehillim as they are now saying Tehillim at the Kotel en masse for the kidnapped boys.


4:08 PM - Took the bus to a cab, got home at 2ish. Got some solid final grading done. 

Listening to The Moth.  Today is the first day I've ever listened to it, though it's been recommended before.  There's something holy about people's true stories in their own raw words. There's something about this that I love.  And there's something about this in all its realness and just being what it is that helps me get what rubs me wrong about Ted Talks, which is so polished and agenda driven.

I'm listening to one now about a stutterer. Heard one before about the meaning of baseball in a family, and another about a boy and the vet father who let him go.  These are amazing in their realness.

5:59 PM - I wrote dad Father's Day wishes earlier today.  What he wrote me back means a lot to me:

"You write the nicest messages, for which I thank you very, very much. I want you to always know that I love you very much,with no limitations -Dad"

7:01 PM - Just finished a 2 hour and 40 minute phone conversation.

10:22 PM - Spoke with a relative making a wedding soon, a person who is real, and kind, and present. 

Working.

11:17 PM - Left dad a phone message and sent him an email a few minutes ago.

Just discovered the song, "Was That The Human Thing to Do?" That's a good question to always ask ourselves.

11:59+ - May G-d bless us all to be present and aware, honest, real, and kind.

Good night and G-d bless
the selfish and the unkind
to tweak their beliefs