A well-developed sense of humor
is the pole that adds balance to your steps
as you walk the tightrope of life.
~William Arthur Ward
A well-developed sense of humor
Perhaps when we say "save us from the Satan behind us" we mean from second guessing our past.
"Not responsible for the lovely ladybug or purple iris or flirtatious glance that was yours to enjoy but which you did not notice."
"...There is no deeper desire than the desire of being revealed. We all want that little light in us to be taken from under the bushel. The first poet must have suffered much when the cave-dwellers laughed at his mad words. He would have given his bow and arrows and lion skin, everything he possessed, just to have his fellow-men know the delight and the passion which the sunset had created in his soul. And yet, is it not this mystic pain — the pain of not being known — that gives birth to art and artists?" - Kahlil Gibran
The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed. - Steven Pressfield
Lisa Gornick's book touched, engaged, and took me, more profoundly than most books I've ever read.
My dad passed on to the next stage of life, the one after this one here on earth, two weeks ago today.
The mission of literature is to bring news from places where the reader can’t go. - Jefffrey M. Green
Beginning with a chance encounter with the beautiful Eliza June Watermark and ending, four days and 900 pages later, with the Events of November 17, this is the story of Gurion Maccabee, age ten: a lover, a fighter, a scholar, and a truly spectacular talker. Ejected from three Jewish day schools for acts of violence and messianic tendencies, Gurion ends up in the Cage, a special lockdown program for the most hopeless cases of Aptakisic Junior High. Separated from his scholarly followers, Gurion becomes a leader of a very different sort, with righteous aims building to a revolution of troubling intensity.
Teaching. Hard work. But I repeat myself. It's the middle of the night. I went to sleep early and woke up after a few hours of rest. Thinking about tomorrow, and the week passed. Here's a review sheet for our latest test. The review sheet is expected. And yet. Things a teacher doesn't like hearing: Before the test - "So if I only know what's on the review sheet, I can get 100, right?" (No.) After the test: "But it wasn't in the answers on the review sheet that I got from the kid who took notes while I didn't." (It's not all about the review sheet.)
I think I invented using the word speakable to mean available to speak (as in, "Are you speakable now?" In my mind it makes so much sense that I don't know why it's not a word everyone uses.
My in the moment includes thoughts of past moments. I'm grabbing a mid-day work moment to write. I recall writing here like this years ago. Things have changed and stayed the same. I wish I had THE answer of what to write, to do, to feel rejuvenated and more focused right now. I wish there was such a thing as THE answer...
“Even if a sharp sword is placed against the neck of a person, he should not abandon hope for mercy.” - Brachot 10a
We should ask ourselves: Do the choices we make about how we spend our time keep us in touch with what we believe in, and what is real in our own lives?
Here's an angle. I will describe what's on my desk, at least in part. It's a way in, for me, to some of my stuff that's going on.....
Thanksgiving weekend means a bit more time than usual to breathe and to write.
One day in hunger
By Keb Mo
Rabbi Mordechai Machlis tells the story of how he came to be a Rebbe in BMT (and be my teacher):
I am grateful to G-d that today marks the 14th anniversary of this blog. I'm typing this starting at 5:42 PM. Just got home from work. Starting feeling cold symptoms on Shabbos afternoon. Been treating it with many remedies. I bought the stuff for chicken soup, now I've got to make it. Work looms. I am grateful for work. I am grateful my dad is alive. mom was when this startd but has been living in the next stage of life for almost 7 years now. I hope her soul is ever-rising and is contentedly close to G-d. I am grateful to Moshe Radinsky who first told me he thought a blog would be a good fit for me. I am grateful to Esther Kustanowitz whose mini bio under her Jewish Week column inspired me to actually start blogging. So much to say, but I need to get to the work of coming home after a long day of work and having a cold and needing to cook, eat, call dad, do work and and and and and.
I heard a wonderful drasha from Rabbi Steven Miodownik on Shabbos. He presented profound ideas masterfully and peppered the talk with one gematria after another, relating to his message, that equaled 108, which was relevant due to the Cubs' win. The Cubs had an approach that included little details, which added up to their ultimate baseball success. One example was that time was spent carefully deliberating whether a base runner should touch the base and turn with his right or left foot.
That’s the thing — my wife always says about compliments, she says, “Yeah, you accept them, but you don’t inhale.” - Michael Longley
"Everything good in my life has come from choosing to be alive rather than afraid." - Jordana Horn Gordon
Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult. ~Julia Cameron
Tempus fugit. Time flies. And although Daylight Saving Time - which ends tonight - is kind of a fiction, I've always found something magical and even romantic in the idea that once a year, time stretches to accommodate us, providing another hour to eat, drink, listen to the literal and figurative music of the world, stay awake a bit longer to drink in, breathe in, absorb and appreciate more of the life that surrounds us and the time that flies, in life, way too quickly. You can spend it sleeping, too, of course. And no judgment if you do. But for me, the night where we "fall back" always feels like potential, hope, laughter, magic.
Here's a post from 8 years a go that just came to mind.
It's 6:17 AM - I am (hopefully) getting over being really sick. I am grateful to G-d for waking up feeling better. It felt debilitating. really hard. I am grateful to those who showed concern, wrote, called, checked in and send care one way or another. First doctor didn't give antibiotic. Second one did give antibiotic, which eventually I took. The doctor was more clear and honest than most about the lack of clarity he had over whether what I had was bacterial or viral - that old question...
6:59 PM - I love writing.
וְאַתָּה קַח-לְךָ, מִכָּל-מַאֲכָל אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל
וְאָסַפְתָּ, אֵלֶיךָ; וְהָיָה לְךָ וְלָהֶם, לְאָכְלָה.
Take with you all the food that will be eaten
and keep it in storage. It shall be food
.for you and the animals