Thursday, February 15, 2007

454. A lot of Esther

I've just started to learn chapter 5 of Esther, to go along with the chapters I already know, 4 and 6. I didn't quite volunteer for this big a chunk, but the chapter 5 reader backed out at the last minute and I couldn't say no. Esther is a lot of verses and looks scary on the page, but is much, much simpler than chanting Torah; the words are straightforward, and rhythms and melodies intuitive and speech-like. I shouldn't complain; my old Torah-chanting teacher is reading almost everything else. They don't call it "the whole Megillah" for nothing. It's very, very long.

I'm also reading Torah a week from this Shabbat, and will be chanting both Esther and Torah at the Sunday morning Purim minyan. I know about 75% of everything, but that last bit, like memorizing chapter 5, reminds me of trying to cram for an exam in your favorite subject. It's great fun, but would be nice to have an extra month or so to prepare.

I'm also co-leading another meditation service. My happiness about doing that is tinged with those same old, boring doubts about why I haven't been asked to help lead the other service in so long. Then I remind myself that I haven't really been needed. Or so it seems. I really don't have a clue and don't want to ask, because I don't necessary want to know the answer. And I become aware that over the past few years I've bestowed upon this random, wonderful opportunity much more importance in my life than it warranted, because it was truly a gift. But also ephemeral. I've stopped waiting for it, and am focusing my energies to where they should be. I do miss it, though.

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