Sunday, September 25, 2011

High Holy Days Reflections

Last night was a beautiful Slichot service and educational program. I am thankful to our Cantorial soloists and musicians and to all the writers and visual artists who participated in the program before the services.
Over the next few days leading up to the High Holy days I will be posting a series of four poems I wrote based upon my reading of the first four chapters of the Book of Ecclesiastes. As I age I am beginning to see the wisdom of Ecclesiastes or Kohelet in a way that I could not grasp as a younger person. You will find that the theme of work and career are part of what Kohelet devotes his attention to in trying to teach us how we waste so much time when we go overboard and practically deify the word of our hands. There is a balance here and where that is largely depends on each of us. But this is a wakeup call kind of sacred text and I am inspired by it. So these poems I shall share will hopefully give us something to think about and imagine how we might change our pathways or decided what we learned from our strengths and our failings.
I wish you all a Shana Tova u Metukah. A sweet and happy New Year.

 Chapter One

The stone craves eternity
Lying peacefully near a cactus
Biding its time
Until a desert wind swirls through
Carrying it to another hopeful spot.

The stone sees that the sun still shines
The waters of a nearby stream smile
And mountains whose peaks point
Towards heaven become sentinels
Steadfast and sage- like
While looking down upon creation.    

The future will not forget this stone
Nor will I release it from my grasp
Or cast it into another garden of forgotten
Stones waiting for deliverance.

Creation is a circle without beginning
Or an end  
When memory understands
That the repetition of time is the breeze
Backtracking through a sacred canyon.

Listen, dear stones, certainty
Is an idol perched upon an altar
Made of you
And the wisdom you seek
Is an illusion carved into
Your crevice by
By my own breath.

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