Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Day Post

This is Fort Tryon Park, the major park in my neighborhood. The people walking are Claudia Llanten and David Riascos. The photo was taken by Marcus Yam for The New York Times this morning (I guess - or yesterday evening).


It's amazing how quickly the world of blogging turned slow, how in a flash new became old. It wouldn't be true to say I like writing. I need writing. And on this blizzard day, between somedavening, and eating, and learning and movie watching (the original Rocky) I'm writing here, blogging - if you will. Who will?

I think Facebook is turning a bit uncool and old. Email is certainly old hat. CDs and DVDs are among the youngest dinosaurs in history. I was once in the late Tower Records and heard a girlfriend chide her young man - who was buying a CD - for being old school.

Yesterday I almost went to a museum with a notebook in hand - the Roerich museum a few miles from my home. I had everything on from boots to robber hat. I wanted to go there for a meditative experience. But I wanted to cab it. And no cab would come - at least not from Professional Car Service. I'd thought of going there with a net-book, and then decided I wanted to write not type. My teacher Jennifer Natalya Fink used to assign us to not lift the pen off the paper for say ten minutes. If words didn't come then she said to scribble, but to experience the movement of pen on paper non-stop. I do that sometimes before I fall asleep, and other times too. Before sleep is a powerful time to write, and a private time.

The reality of a snow day is cool. I've been sick for a month and have felt very alone. I did not want to miss work, though fever made it necessary for certain fever days. Today I feel connected to people. I feel like many people are home, not roughing it - there's permission to just be, something society seems to often deny. Avraham Moskowitz writes on one of his Tehillim cards:

No greater
feat can exist
than the unification
of all mankind into
one global family.
Yet in G-d's eyes
we are already one.

That really gets me. We're connected, we just fight it. Sad.

There's an old rabbinic saying that jealousy removes a person from the world. The world to come? This world? If you're never jealous are you human? I have a radar for when people are jealous of me. It's on a higher frequency than the radar that tells me when I'm jealous, but I have that too. Recently the alarm went off strong when someone started questioning me in a way that highlighted their own insecurity. Is there a thin line between drive and insecurity or in a healthy person are they in different quadrants? Kinat sofrim is said to increase chochmah - is it ever said to be good, though? If you hope you can achieve what you're jealous of, it can be your friend. If hope gets shaky or becomes totally obscured then jealousy becomes downright dangerous. Severe jealousy leads to destroying (rather than copying) what you wish you had that you like in others. It even leads to destroying the spark of that trait in yourself - may G-d spare us...

My phone just rang. I didn't answer and there was no message. It was someone - Caller ID told me - who calls often, and is friendly when he calls. Years ago I got random phone messages from from far away saying he was wondering how I was. I was surprised, even touched. But it never made much sense, came pretty much from no-where.We had never been super close. Eventually he got me. He is a fundraiser. I dare say I've given generously. Fundraising - in my mind - is an awkward job (a job I can't see myself doing) and that awkwardness runneth over. Sigh.

Sometimes I write a paragraph and then ask what I could gain or lose by leaving it in here. Maybe the above paragraph resonates for someone. I'm not sure. Sometimes I blog freely.

I watched an hour and twelve minutes of Rocky. It was low key and talky, which made it great. I began to lose interest as it built up to the denouement. We'll see about watching the end, it only streams on Netflix till Jan 1. There were some beautiful moments. Mickey comes to Rocky's sty begging to manage Rocky, after having taken Rocky's gym locker away and written him off as a bum. Touching.

On to preparing tests and lessons and and and.


Blogger Jack said...

A snow day is something that I have only read out. Having never lived in the snow it is mythical to me.

December 27, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Wow. I've known snow pretty consistently (minus five and a half years of living in Israel) since I was a kid.

Thanks for the comment Jack.


December 27, 2010 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger kishke said...

Beautiful picture.

What, Rocky streams free till 1/1?

I wish snow was mythical to me. Digging out of 2 feet of snow is a freakin' nightmare. I'm not 18 anymore, and every limb in my body knows it.

December 27, 2010 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Yeah, it struck me.

The original.

A lesson to be learned, the mythical worlds we wish for have harsh realities we don't imagine.

December 28, 2010 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

I just noticed that Rockies I-V all are streaming till January 1, 2011.

December 30, 2010 at 10:04 PM  

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