A poem about mason jars, for Big Tent Poetry
The 70 faces book tour goes to Canada!

Delving into boundaries: week two of the Omer

Stone wall, Lanesboro MA.

Today we're beginning week two of the Omer. Last week was the week to focus on chesed, abundant lovingkindness. This week is dedicated to gevurah, boundary and strength.

This is the week to ask, how does my strength allow me to serve God, to serve my family and my community, to be the self I want to be? Where am I strong, and where can I work on becoming stronger?

Gevurah is also known as din, judgement. This is the week to ask, how is my discernment of right and wrong? Do my actions unfold in a way which serves justice? Am I too quick to judge others or to judge myself?

Gevurah is connected with the second day of creation, when God separated the heavens from the earth. This is the week to ask, what in my life requires separation? Where should I be drawing my lines between one thing and the next?

Good boundaries must shape and guide even the most abundant lovingkindness. This is the week to ask, how are my boundaries? Where might they be too strong, and where might they need strengthening?

Gevurah is associated with discipline. This is the week to ask, what are my disciplines, and am I living them out in the best way I can? Where do I need to be more disciplined in my practice? Where might my disciplines be stifling me?

As each day of this week unfolds we'll have the opportunity to consider how gevurah interacts with each of the other six divine-and-human qualities on our list. How does love shape my boundaries and my strength? how does harmony manifest in my boundaries and my strength? how do my boundaries and my strength endure? what is majestic about my boundaries and my strength? are my boundaries and strength foundational for me? and how do my boundaries and strength manifest and contribute to the immanent presence of God in the world, Shekhinah indwelling within us, the kingdom of God here on earth?

Source of All, you called us to count the Omer in order to clear us of all that is in the way of our growth and service. Through my counting, may there be cleared any debris that is in the way of the light shining through. (-- from the closing prayer after counting the Omer)