This week's portion: the people, the calf, and Moshe
readwritepoem: Lunar Eclipse

Shabbat mincha poem

I said on the DLTI-4 email list this week that our last week of DLTI felt to me like an extended Shabbat mincha (afternoon service-time): those last golden hours as the sun begins to set. As DLTI drew to its inevitable close I felt the same kind of sadness that I feel when Shabbat is on its way out, or when time with a dear friend is winding down and I know they're going to have to pack their bags and leave again.

Shabbat mincha is considered moshiach-tzeit, the time when our transformative potential is most accessible and we can whisper most easily into God's loving and listening ear. It's always hard to let that go. But we can't have Shabbat without chol (ordinary time), and we can't have DLTI (or any retreat experience) without our ordinary lives surrounding it.

So DLTI ends. Shabbat ends. Time with our loved ones ends. That's the natural rhythm of things. But it's also the natural rhythm of things that Shabbat always returns, and that the blessings we find in togetherness can sustain us even when we're apart.



For my fellow travelers in DLTI

Look how the afternoon light
is changing. Last night
we waltzed in the doorway,
sang until our voices deepened.

But our time together
is always already ending.
Weekday melodies
peek around the edges.

I'm not ready.
I throw myself at your knees.
What if even our strongest spices
aren't enough to revive me?

I know once we're apart
I'll remember how good it feels
to miss you. How everything
is meant to come and go.

Still, right now
in the light that emanates
from your face, I can imagine
how it would feel

if we didn't need distance
in order to know union
if you didn't need to leave
in order to return.

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