Whew. The haftarah last Tuesday did its job: I'm back to thinking about hope. Any lingering sadness will be vanquished over the next seven weeks by words of consolation. If only it were that simple... but those words will help, particularly the ones I'm chanting in two weeks, and will surely be more comforting than verses about mothers eating their own children.
I don't think I've posted that I'll be helping to lead High Holy Day services again this year. It's the first time since I began this odyssey in 2004 that I didn't spend a few months of angstful anticipation wondering if I'd be asked. I finally got it through my head that I can do this for many more years of High Holy Days to come (or until we're able to hold just one service at a time thanks to the discovery of a grand, mythical Sanctuary with half a million seats buried beneath Central Park). The promise of a long-term relationship makes me sigh with relief as well as tremble. Commitment is scary and, despite my best efforts, my life has not been filled with permanence. But I'm also also proof that history can't predict the future; ten years ago I thought about God only when dangling from a cliff or watching that George Carlin routine about words you can't say on TV.
This year I found out I'd be leading via email summoning me to a meeting with the other hazzanim and instrumentalists to discuss [list of boring holiday-related logistics]. It reminded me of my permanent seder invitation with old college friends: what, you want us to ask every year? Of course you're coming!