Friday, July 26, 2013

The Brevity of Bravery

I decided to be brave today despite my timidity. I had choices to make: to feel defeated and dejected, or to act boldly and with greater confidence.

I decided to fake the fear factor and dare right into my diffidence.

A new definition of bravery might be to figure out how to face our daily life with all our inadequacies. To be brave means to take great care to live our lives as honestly as we can and with as much joy as we can. The challenges will remain, and the facts on the ground are immutable.

Today I decided to be brave no matter the obstacles. It took a moment to decide.

Maybe that is what bravery demands . . . brevity!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Upside Down Magic

Sometimes it seems that nothing new is really happening in my life.

After much effort, I created a secure and stable existence for myself. Some say I have achieved maturity. However, after much solidifying, I begin to become too complacent. So I engage in a frivolous mental shake up. I craft an imaginary adventure. I imbue my daily activities with an element of surprise. I talk to strangers, and I visit old haunts in an effort to compose a life of whirlwind wireless winding wonders.

Sometimes when it seems that nothing new is really happening in my life, I reach for the upside down apple cake pan and make magic. Watch me!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sadness on Shabbat

I never expected him to die on Shabbat, the quiet day of the week when no grief or anxieties should be present. Shabbat is called a “delight” except when something terrible happens and then it is no longer delightful . . . like the death of my cousin Leon.

Leon’s death, although imminent, seemed so distant and removed from my peaceful Shabbat in New Hampshire. A call from my daughter awakened me to the reality that no matter how I calculated the drive to New Jersey, I was not going to make it to the funeral the very next day.

I missed the final goodbye and the ritual send-off to a person I cared about.

One spends a lifetime together (four plus decades!) laughing and talking and celebrating and weeping until there is no more time, just a final goodbye.

While the burial was happening, I stopped my activity to pay respect to my good-natured cousin and his light-hearted demeanor. I envisioned our large, extended family surrounding his grave at the familiar ancestral cemetery where I have been a frequent visitor since I was a child. My grandfather Abraham was the first to pass on.

I inclined my ear to hear the voice of the rabbi chanting the final Hebrew prayers while the lowering of the casket disturbed the hearts of the newly grief-stricken. The kaddish mantra from Leon’s three grown sons and the softer voice of his beloved wife shattered my still-life picture.

I missed his funeral and I missed grieving with everyone. I would miss my cousin who delighted in everything and everyone. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Daily Quest

Everyday is a vision quest for your soul. Every choice we make sets our footsteps in a dedicated direction. When you are questing and questioning, is stillness the only way to get to the purpose of your existence? Or can it come through a conversation, a prayer, a song, or an unexpected experience? All of the above can offer a glimpse into tomorrow’s mystery. Quest towards the answer.