As I mentioned before, I've been taking an excellent writing class these last few months (which just ended this week, alas). We spent the first hour in Torah study--the theme this semester was "the face of God," a big topic if ever there was one. The second hour consisted of critiquing one another's essays, and some in-class writing. That last part, as I've posted before, freaked me out, but was really good (if painful) for my soul. Here's my response to last week's 10-minute prompt, "write about a song of praise." I recalled the very end of Yom Kippur:
The late summer has passed into October, but leaves are still thick and green. But I am out of sweat: only parched exhaustion reminds me that I am still awake, and have hours left before the sun sets. Morning services end and I race back home and lie in a dark room, willing the cool air to sink into my skin like caffeine. I re-button my shirt, limp with the day's motionless air, and run back to the synagogue, where I imagine clouds crying along with us and raining into my hands and mouth. And finally the havdalah candle is extinguished, and I race to the back of the sanctuary and hold a paper cup in my dry, trembling fingers, and drink You in along with all my prayers.