Sunday, May 02, 2010

919. Omer update

I haven't been very good at counting the Omer this year. One reason (not that this is an excuse) is that time is doing an usually strong job of marking itself. I haven't been inspired to help it along. The father of a friend died two weeks ago, suddenly—fifteen minutes after we spoke on the phone and his voice and spirits sounded stronger than ever—a kind, sweet man with a wonderful smile who gave myself and other friends the gift of feeling like family. The next day, one of my dearest teachers and role models gave birth to a son. Marking both kinds of passages so close to one another was a roller coaster of emotions, but also helped me see how these two people were perfect examples of that third week of Tiferet—a word that means "beauty" and describes a quality combining strength and compassion. If only I had a whole week to contemplate the fullness of those traits, as the Omer intended; one day between the coming and going of these particular souls was not enough. I'm still exhausted.

Thursday, the day I found out I might be a PBSC donor, was the 29th day of the Omer, Hesed of Hod, Lovingkindness in Humility:

... Hod or humility is modesty—it is acknowledgment (from the root of the Hebrew word 'hoda'ah'). It is saying "thank you" to G-d. It is clearly recognizing your qualities and strengths and acknowledging that they are not your own; they were given to you by G-d for a higher purpose than just satisfying your own needs. Humility is modesty; it is recognizing how small you are which allows you to realize how large you can become. And that makes humility so formidable....

... Does my humility cause me to be more loving and giving? More expansive? Or does it inhibit and constrain me?

— from

In other words (I think), if I do end up being a donor, I need to thank God for the ability to give but also remember to take credit for my own actions: joining the registry, saying yes, I'll do it. If I don't recognize myself, as well, I will be diminishing this gift.

(There are way too many lessons to learn! Sometimes it seems dangerous to even blink while in the vicinity of a holy book for fear of missing the one word that might change your life...)

Meanwhile, I'm discovering more collected wisdom from others who have donated marrow/PBSC and decided to share their experiences:

Kylie's Adventure with PBSC Donation

A Quick View of PBSC/Marrow Donation

PBSC Donation Writeup

How I Met My Match: A Donor Story


Laura said...

"Sometimes it seems dangerous to even blink while in the vicinity of a holy book for fear of missing the one word that might change your life..."

So's all in there isn't it? I'm sorry to read about your friend's Dad's passing. Life milestones never let us forget that we are always living in Torah time.

alto artist said...

Thanks you so much. Yes, it's all there, you are so right--I wish we all had better eyesight!