Elul. It's almost over, and I've barely said hello. I should be doing an accounting of my soul (heshbon hanefesh), figuring out where my arrow missed the mark (al chet), and other traditions with wonderfully metaphorical names. Instead I'm trying to navigate from one emotionally polar opposite lifecycle event to the next, and have had little time to think about me, me, me. Maybe that's the lesson of my accounting this year: pay more attention to everyone else, and I won't have to cram teshuva at the last minute.
At services last Friday, I was struck by the final paragraph of the Amidah, the "standing prayer," where we ask God to draw us closer:
Show me the path of life, the full joy of Your Presence, the bliss of being close to You forever.
(Siddur Sim Shalom, p.303)
What I think I and all of us really want and need, however, is for other people to draw us close, and vice versa. The two ideas aren't mutually exclusive--God is part of people. (And some people I'm lucky to know seem to be mostly God.) I believe our goal should be to connect fully not only with the holy and transcendent, but also with the vessels who carry these wonders. That's what I want God to help me do this Elul--see God in everyone else, and act accordingly.