Friday, June 29, 2018

Water



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I like looking through old facebook photos: The rhythm of my fingers clicking the right arrow and my eyes watching the screen, synchronise with the short seconds it takes to reminisce. The light is out - Tal is trying to sleep, cuddle-less, while I sit and spy through the legendary old me. It excites me to put myself in those shoes. I once was. I was so pretty. I love myself, as if I'm watching someone else, well, because main characters are always in the camera's scope; never is the character the camera itself or behind the camera. I want to take myself everywhere, but I want to watch me, not BE me. I love this life that is told through these photos of a hippie. Complex. And genuine. I've done so much. And yet here I am, in agony-of-sorts inside the realm of the mind. I've made it to 28 and a half, though. This means I have always had hope.

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This past Shabbat I helped lead the monthly service at Shir Hashalom - the Jewish Renewal "chavurah" here in Bellingham. In this week's Torah portion Miriam the Prophetess and Priestess (sister of Moses and Aaron) dies, and immediately thereafter there is no water for the Israelites who are traveling through the hot Middle-eastern desert (believed to be circa 1,400 BCE). It is told that a well called Miriam's Well had followed them on their journey and provided sustenance. Miriam's life was full of water-themed stories. (One of the central stories is that she led the Israelites in song and dance through the parted Sea of Reeds when they left slavery in Egypt.) The water that nourished the people was attributed to her. She dies, and there is no longer water. The people long for her guidance, her creative and joyful guidance. They despair in their thirst.
As feeling a strong connection to Water myself, and connecting to my namesake, I decided that we'd let ideas of the element of Water lead us in this past Saturday's service, through meditations, chants, songs, dances, rituals and prayers (Hebrew and otherwise). It was a meaningful experience that I won't attempt to describe here, but I just wanted to share with y'all this old Native American song. We sang it, we danced to it. I felt truly led by the beauty, force and sacredness of Water. I felt that the spiritual side of me is strong, is waiting for its time to come through. I get a glimpse of it at our prayer services, especially when I get to sound through my vocal chords niggunim and songs, but for some reason then go home and cannot implement the same kind of spirituality and love (strong waters) in my own personal life. I feel that this duality is hypocritical in a way.
(I know that I can't be a leader - not just yet, in any case - since I haven't got any findings to my own merit; if I have goodness in me, it was gifted to me at birth and is deterministic, and I have not worked toward it or practiced it, nor found any solutions to my many questions and agonies. And I feel that a leader can only lead if she has found something or reached something that is a possible finding or reaching for others, too, and is not only born talents. I need to solve the duality in me and find my own serenity and a life that suits me before I can truly lead - despite people saying I did a great job leading the service, and one friend even asking if I've ever considered being a rabbi.)
I want to let the Wild Woman, the Water Prophetess in me to fly freely to the realms of godliness and creativity, not just once a month, and not just with people outside of my home. In any case, I am so grateful for it, for that opportunity to connect with others and to be part of such nurturing and deep groups of people. Everyone needs to belong to something.
The river is flowing
Flowing and growing
The river is flowing
Back to the sea
Mother Earth carry me
Your child I will always be
Mother Earth carry me
Back to the sea

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