Friday, August 31, 2007

518. Vessels

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.


Regina said...

I know my comments must get very boring for you, aa, because all I ever seem to say in them is how wonderful you are! But it's true. I never fail to be uplifted by your writing- and this post was no exception. I think for me... you are one of those "vessels who carry these wonders..." truly, I feel this. I think I have learned more about God and how present He is in everything from you and your writings than from anyone else... and that is saying something.
You are truly a blessing to me and I am sure, to everyone else around you. How do you do it? :) You must be one of those people who "seem to be mostly God"...
Thank you, dear friend... as always...

alto artist said...

No, no, I'm the lucky one here! To know that you're reading...that my words are actually being find generous, articulate people such as yourself in this great Internet frontier is a miracle all its own. Wishing you much peace at this difficult time of the year.