Friday, March 28, 2014

Cup of Morning Kindness

"If your friends don’t come, I will sit with you," said the 20-something male millennial, as he served me my first cup of coffee of the day.

It was 8:39 a.m. and I had been waiting for 15 elongated minutes for my friend and his student.

I had come unusually early.

My friend had come unusually late.

A mere nine minutes and his delay concerned me precisely because he is unusually prompt. 

Waiting is so mind-consuming.

Yet, we wait all the time for so many things, for so many people to show up, for so many wishes to be fulfilled, for so many opportunities to birth.

When my friends arrived, I was relieved, but so was the young twenty-something millennial. He had been waiting with me. His morning cup of kindness fulfilled me all day.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Details and Essence

Yesterday I misplaced my phone charger. Today I forgot to take my apartment keys. Tomorrow I will undoubtedly confront a new debacle.

How can it be otherwise? So many daily details invade our existence. If a scrabble word piece alludes us, we pronounce defeat or incompetence.cWe stand on guard for our lives.

How can our fortitude in the face of these mini-monsters be less than a miracle?

For all the things I do remember. For all the things I choose to forget. For all the things that turn out right. For all the times I accomplish a difficult task. For all these ordinary and extraordinary occasions, I stand in conscious and consistent gratitude.

Yesterday, I navigated the DC courthouse and found my way to a new destination. Today, I engaged in a smart conversation. Tomorrow, I will research an awakening opportunity.

The minutiae of my life continues to baffle and befriend me, but so does its essence.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Sound of the Chant

Megillah is the Hebrew word for scroll. On Purim, the Festival of Lots, we chant the story of Queen Esther and King Ahashverus. (Purim began last night.)

Megillat Esther tells the story of the salvation of the Jews of the Persian Empire.

When chanted, the scroll of Esther has a particular lilting sound that is repetitive with strong cadences.

Last week, the chanting began with my grandson's practicing his four lines over and over again.

Then he recruited his siblings to chant with him (in Hebrew) the same four lines in the car on their way to school.

By the time he actually chanted his portion at his school's Megillat Esther reading, it was spinning in my head and attached to my heart.

The Megillah took on a new childlike sing-song rhythm. The story is just a story. When chanted, it is a Disney classic.

Chag sameach! Have a happy, happy Purim.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Holy Listeners

To be truly heard by an ardent listener is a potent obsession.

It is more than empathy. It is more than affirming. It is more than your physical presence.

To be truly heard we must focus on the other with the same intensity that we focus on ourselves.

Holy moments equal holy listeners.