Friday, October 28, 2005

It's almost Shabbat -- what a week!

I moved. This afternoon I returned the keys to the old apt to its owner, and while I think I'm going to miss him, there are other things about the place that I will not miss.

I moved to a new home, near the water. This is the closest I've ever managed to the ocean, and honestly, as close as I want to get. (As someone once said, if you can see the ocean, it can see you, too.) I can smell it, even if I can't see it from my window. Lovely cool breezes.

In the coming week, I have to get back into the routine of school, and catch up on all the work that I neglected while I was moving. Lots to learn, lots to do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sukkot sameach! Happy Sukkot!

I began the holiday last night at the home of one of my teachers. It had been pouring rain all day, so the sukkah was a bit soggy; we ate dinner indoors. Still, it was a pleasant evening of new friends, sweet challah, and truly awful puns.

I've been thinking about shelter a lot lately, as I pack to move to my new apartment. I'm lucky to have a place to live; there are way too many people in this city who don't have a home.

The L.A. Times has done a series on skid row recently, and the articles are heartbreaking. I am not sure what I can do to help, besides contributing to organizations that serve people on the street, but that doesn't feel like enough.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

"I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." -- Abraham Maslow

"Only in the present can I act."

Only -- I can't act in the past or future. So there's no point in worrying about them, except to take action in the present to make amends for the past, or to take action in the present to prepare for the future (although that one is tricky, since the future is a variable.)

in the present -- I read once that in the months after the Kennedy assassination, Mrs. Kennedy was inundated with requests/offers for causes she could become involved in, work she could do. She felt confused and overwhelmed, and asked a priest she trusted which she should pursue. "Look in your lap," he said to her (supposedly -- I don't know if this story is apocryphal or true.) What was there? Her children. Since I heard that story, I have sometimes asked myself, "What's in my lap?" and have found it a very clarifying way to proceed. What needs taking care of now, this minute?

can I -- No point in worrying about things I can't do and options I don't have. And no point making up projects for other people, since they are not under my control. What can I? What can I? Where does my power lie? How can I use it?

act -- Thinking is good, but acting gets things done. I should not act without thinking, but if I think without acting, I'm wasting my time, the precious present.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

In less than 24 hours, it will be Rosh HaShanah, and I'll be leading services in Merced. This is my third time leading services for the Days of Awe, and the first time I haven't been in an absolute panic over it.

Right now I'm saying goodbye to the old year, which was full of awful and awe-filled things. If this little blog has gone over the line at some time in the past year, I am truly sorry. My aim is to share some thoughts, and to stimulate your thoughts, but not to cause pain.

As for the coming year, it is full of promise. May yours be a year of grace and goodness, learning and sweetness!