END (ELUL 24)
And every ending is a beginning.
Rolling back light before darkness
and darkness before light. Making
one year pass away and bringing on
the next. And when my life ends
you'll go on to a chapter without me
and I'll go on to -- I'll know
when I get there, but I'm not sure
you'll be able to read the postcards
I send from that other side.
The cardinal alighting at the top
of the pine, the rough weave
of a rainbow tallit beneath your thumb
-- will you remember the language
of flowers, the meanings hidden
in the shofar's calls? Or will you
imagine that the world truly ends
at the thundering waterfall?
One door closes and another opens.
Start the story over again
with the spirit of God hovering
over the deep waters of the womb.
"Rolling back light before darkness and darkness before light" is a reference to the ma'ariv aravim ("Who Evens the Evenings") prayer which we recite every night: "Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Source of all being, who rolls back light before darkness and darkness before light, who makes day pass away and brings on the night..."
I'm participating again this year in #blogElul, an internet-wide carnival of themed posts aimed at waking the heart and soul before the Days of Awe. (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read last year's and this year's #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; last year's posts are also available, lightly revised, in the print chapbook Elul Reflections.