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#blogElul 27: Bless

Your voice cascades
    chains of blessing

        washing over me
            like mikvah waters

                awakening each nerve
                    with sheer delight.

I press fingers
    to my wrist:

        there's your name
            pulsing in me

                with each beat
                    of my heart.

What it means
    to bless you.

        My dear one,
            open my lips:

                I want to
                    sing your praise.


 

Chains of blessing. See the trope marking shalshelet.BlogElul 2016

 

To my wristOne mode of wrapping tefillin maps each of the seven wraps on the forearm to one of the seven "lower" sefirot. The wrap that goes right over the pulse point is the one that maps to malchut or Shekhinah.

Open my lips. From the verse which precedes the Amidah, "Eternal God, open my lips that I may proclaim Your glory." (Also the title of my latest poetry collection from Ben Yehuda Press.)

 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 26: Create

BlogElul 2016In this new chapter
I seek out bright colors.

I make the bed every morning.
I don't scoff at slow cookers.

I like gentler, less tannic wines.
I wear contact lenses now.

From these thin threads
the fabric of a life will emerge.

Will the patterns be bold
and beautiful? Will the weave

hold up to hard use
or will it come apart in my hands?

I never learned how to manage
my own loom, not by myself.

Remind me even in my knots
and mistakes there is beauty.


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 25: Intend

To be aware in every moment
of your hand on my shoulderblade
and the earth beneath my feet.

To notice the gleam of grass
in late morning sun, highlighting
the single reddened maple leaf.

To be patient with myself
when grief wells up. To wrap myself
in kindness like a woolen tallit.

To close the book on the old year.
I never have to push my way through
those narrow straits again.


  BlogElul 2016

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 24: Hope

BlogElul 2016I take hope in your presence
like an arm around my shoulders,

in your music that carries me
as air currents carry seagulls.

Hope says sweetness is coming.
Trust that better days will arrive.

Every day begins in sundown
and opens into brightness,

going from darkness to dawn.
To hope I open my heart wide.

I immerse in hope like living waters.
All I want is to immerse in you.


 

Every day begins in sundown... A Jewish day begins at sundown, which means that the natural trajectory of Jewish time is from darkness toward light.

I immerse in hope like living waters...immerse in you. The prophet Jeremiah, who lived in the seventh century BCE, wrote, מקוה ישראל ה׳ -- "God is the mikvah of Israel." (Jeremiah 17:13)  Another way to translate that quote from Jeremiah is "God is the hope of Israel." מקוה relates to תקווה. When we immerse in God, we also immerse in hope.

 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 23: Begin

BlogElul 2016With every ending, something new begins.
The end of one chapter starts the next
until the tale itself comes to a close.
We write the book of life with our own hands.

The end of one chapter starts the next
unfolding. Every day that we're alive
we write the book of life with our own hands.
I want your name on every page of mine:

unfolding every day that I'm alive.
Your name reminds me who I want to be --
I want your name. On every page of mine
let me write kindness and compassion.

Your name reminds me who I want to be.
My name reminds me I am God's, I'm strong.
Let me write kindness and compassion
in the book that reads from itself.

My name reminds me I am God's, I'm strong.
The days grow shorter: that's okay.
In the book that reads from itself
I can write my way to happiness.

The days grow shorter: that's okay.
Until the tale itself comes to a close
I can write my way to happiness
with every ending. Something new begins.


We write the book of life with our own hands... in the book that reads from itself. See Everyday I write the book.  

My name reminds me I am God's, I am strong. My middle name in Hebrew is Gavriela, "God's Strength." 

I seem to be on something of a pantoum kick lately. The new year's poem I co-wrote for ALEPH with Rabbi David is a pantoum, and so is the poem I wrote for #blogElul day 8. There's something about how the form loops back in on itself that feels especially appropriate for this season of reflection and teshuvah.

 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 22: End

BlogElul 2016Ending a chapter is hard, especially
not knowing what the next will hold.
I write the book of my life with my deeds,
it reads from itself and my signature
is there plain as day, but I don't get
to read ahead. The Jewish year is ending.
There's plenty I don't mind relegating
to memory: every painful conversation,
what we came to call emotional root canal.
Hours sitting tense on the tiny couch
in the couples counselor's office -- not
his fault, but none of that is time
I'd choose to re-live. Let it be over.
A lot of the stories I used to tell
about who I was, who I thought I'd be --
those are over too, and their replacements
not yet known. Can I open my hands, let go
of every ending without losing my grasp
on the things that have no limit?
Love, given and received. Hope
for what might be coming. My gratitude
for you, vast as the Milky Way splashed
across heavens that seem to have no end.


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 21: Love

BlogElul 2016Everything I write is a love letter to you.
Some days I'm afraid you don't read them:
that insidious voice whispers in my ear
that even you couldn't possibly want

my graphomanic tendencies. That in writing
day after day I make unreasonable demands.
That my unruly heart takes up too much space.
I can't excise that voice, but I can turn

from the poison it spreads. I remind myself
that you love me not despite who I am
but because of who I am, and that means
all of me. You see my whole heart, even

the parts I try to hide. You don't want me
to pretend. You receive me as I am.


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 20: Fulfill

BlogElul 2016When it comes to you, dearest one,
I am profligate with promises:

I will remember you everywhere
I will open my eyes to you always

the channel between your heart and mine
will always be open, even when I ache

because you are too far away
or because my words fail me.

I wish I could adorn you with stars
but all I have are sparks

glinting between my cupped hands
cast by the tireless fire of my heart.


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 19: Judge


Your Honor, I don't need to tell you
where I've fallen short: you've seen

the times when I chose silence because
I couldn't bear to stand up for myself...

No one would blame you if you told me
I'm not worth rehabilitating, not after

all these years of ignoring my needs
and pretending I didn't hear your voice.

I lift my gaze to yours expecting lightning
but instead I get the hazel waters

of my childhood river, warm and gentle.
You don't fault me the time it took.

You tell me I wasn't put here only
to weep. You wipe my brimming eyes.


  BlogElul 2016

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


My latest for The Wisdom Daily: on readiness

Logo-twd-header

...No matter what I do, I can’t truly be ready to stand before God on Rosh Hashanah and face my own autobiography. I can’t truly be ready to stand before God on Yom Kippur and make complete teshuvah, re/turn myself in the right direction again and relinquish my attachments to my mistakes and my old stories. Here’s the kicker: since I can’t be ready, I have to do it anyway.

This is true with every big life transition: changing career, moving house, marriage, divorce. Even when we think we know what we’re getting into, the truth is that we can never fully know. Even when we think we know who we’re marrying, or why we’re ending a marriage. Even when we do everything we can to prepare for change, we can’t be wholly ready when the change comes....

That's from my latest at The Wisdom Daily: You'll never be ready to grow.


#blogElul 18: Ask


Did you know all along that this is where I would be:
sitting on a secondhand couch in a half-darkened room
with laptop and glass of a crisp Oregon Pinot Gris
writing poems after singing the kid's bedtime songs
and closing his door behind me? Did you know a year ago
as the new moon approached that I was steeling myself
to admit unhappiness I'd never been able to speak?
Did you know I wouldn't be renewing those vows again --
instead I'd be disentangling from the fine knotted threads
of the household, of the narrative, of the future I used
to think was a given? Did you know, and if I'd been able
somehow to hear the words would you have told me then
that I would be here now, buffeted sometimes by grief
but able to trust that the tempests will someday recede,
that I will find my way to calm waters, to a new shore?


  BlogElul 2016

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 17: Awaken

BlogElul 2016Every day you
open my eyes
to my choices
and my flaws.

You wake me
to my strength,
to the earth
beneath my feet.

You wake me
to the places
where I've failed
to remember you

not to shame
but to spark
my heart's yearning
to do better.

Wake me up
in every moment.
Don't let me
fall back asleep.


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 16: Pray

BlogElul 2016You are the first thought I want
to have. Are you there this morning?
Can I sense you? Have I thanked you
yet today for the melody that twined
through my dreaming, the one
that sounded the way tzitzit feel
when I remember how it feels to wind
the strands of white with blue?
As the pages of my morning turn
I look for you on every one, and for
myself in every line I write to you.
Am I someone you would be proud of
right now, given what I've just done?
And how about now, unloading dishes
while my son asks again if he can eat
in front of the television? And now,
reeling with unanticipated joy, or grief?
Thank you for seeing me even when
no one else does, and in seeing me
reminding me that I am cherished
even when I feel most alone.


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


A ritual for ending a marriage

When a Jewish marriage has ended, there is an act that brings closure to the marriage -- the granting of a גט / a "get," a legal document of release. (Here's some basic information about how that usually works.) What follows here is a ritual intended for that purpose. I wrote it for my own divorce. It was important to me that we release each other, emotionally and spiritually, before the Days of Awe usher in the Jewish new year. 

In the most traditional paradigm, the husband grants a get to the wife. In this ritual, the granting of the get is bilateral -- each of the divorcing parties writes out a document of release and gives it to the other. Also, in this ritual the get is written in the vernacular, rather than in Aramaic. In theory a get can be written in any language, but in practice most are in Aramaic. (You can read a translation of a standard get at this page about Jewish divorce.) My choice to use the vernacular follows on the custom of התרת נדרים / "hatarat nedarim," the pre-Rosh-Hashanah "untangling of vows," which is done in the vernacular to ensure that the person seeking release knows what they're saying.

I've been working on this ritual off and on for several months. We used it this morning: on Tu b'Elul, the midway point in the month of Elul, the last full moon of 5776. The Jack Gilbert poem at the beginning of the ritual is one of my favorites -- I met him many years ago, and he was tremendous -- though in part because it speaks in the voice of a partner grieving the departure of a wife, I would not have presumed to include it on my own. But Ethan brought it to me and asked whether I would be open to him reading it as part of the ritual, and I was glad to agree. (Edited to add: here's his essay about the ritual and about embracing change: Going Solo.)

I'm still processing the experience of doing the ritual, and will probably write more about that at a later date, but for now I wanted to share the ritual here in case it is helpful to anyone else. That said, if you are ending a Jewish marriage, please consult with a trustworthy rabbi to ensure that your get is valid.

 


1. Opening

Witness: 

A marriage that has ended is like the first set of tablets and the covenant they represented. They were given in love, but then they shattered. Still, Torah teaches that we carried them thereafter in the ark along with the second set of tablets which remained whole. As the two of you move into a new chapter of your lives, you carry with you hopes for new wholeness -- and you also carry the broken pieces of your marriage, which are also holy.

At your wedding you vowed to betroth yourselves to each other in righteousness, in lovingkindness, and in compassion. May those same qualities be present as you disentangle your lives and separate from one another. 

As we open this ritual, a poem from Jack Gilbert of blessed memory:

 

Failing and Flying

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

Jack Gilbert, 1925 - 2012

 

2. The separate cup

 Witness:

Beneath the chuppah you drank from a single cup, representing the shared cup of your life together. I pour wine now from that single cup into two glasses. Please join with me in blessing this wine, which you will sip each from your own cup, as you drink from your own cup of life henceforth.

ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם ברי פרי הגפן.

Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu melech ha'olam, borei pri hagafen.

A Fountain of Blessing are You, Adonai our God, sovereign of all space and time, creator of the fruit of the vine.

 

3. Prayer of forgiveness

The divorcing couple speaks these words, either in turn or simultaneously:

Eternal Friend, witness that I forgive [Name]
for any injuries sustained over the course of our relationship
whether by accident or willfully, carelessly or purposely
with words, deeds, thought, or attitudes
now or in previous incarnations.
May s/he not experience harm because of me.
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart
be acceptable to You, Who protects and frees me.

 

4. New beginning

Witness:

Every ending is a new beginning. Although these two are no longer married in the eyes of God or the Jewish community, they will always be co-parents to their child. I invite them now to share promises they make to each other as co-parents.

The former partners read, taking turns:

I promise to keep our child's needs at the forefront.
I promise never to speak ill of you to our child.
I promise to maintain good boundaries as we co-parent from separate households.
For the sake of our child, I promise to be as generous and flexible as life will permit.
I promise to join you in revisiting our custody arrangements every few years, so that we can adapt our practices to meet the changing needs of our growing child.
I promise to do everything in my power to maintain a friendly relationship with you so that we can share in our child's joys and sorrows.

 

 5. Writing the release

Each partner copies the following text in silence:

On the X day of the week, the Y day of the month of [Month] in the year 5776 from the creation of the world (equivalent to the secular date of [secular day, month, year]), here in [Place], near to the [name of the nearest river], I, [English name], also known as [Hebrew or any other name], do willingly consent to release you, my wife / husband [English name], also known as [Hebrew or any other name].

We are no longer bound together. If you so choose, you may remarry freely. Your doorway is no longer my doorway. Wherever life takes you, may you go in peace. 

This is a bill of divorce, written in alignment with customs of Moses, Miriam, and the Jewish people.

Each document is signed by the person who wrote it and by the court of three witnesses. 

 

6. The cut

Witness:

(making a cut in each document)

As my scissors cut into the heart of this document, divorce cuts deeply into the heart of those who are divorcing. Your hearts have already been torn. May receipt of this document help you heal.

Each partner places the paper they wrote, now signed and cut, into the cupped hands of the other. The partners turn away from each other and take three steps away from each other, signifying the beginning of the new life journey each will take alone. 

 

7. Closing

Witness:

At the end of your wedding you shattered a glass, a reminder that in every joyous occasion there is some sorrow. Now that your marriage has broken like that glass, may you find that even in this sorrowful occasion there is access to joy.

Now go forth in peace, to life.

 

 


Notes:

The idea that a marriage that has ended is like the broken tablets comes from Rabbi Leana Moritt, from Ritual Possibilities Within Traditional Gittin In a Pluralistic / Post Denominational Setting, 2008.

The prayer of forgiveness is adapted from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi z"l's translation of the bedtime prayer of forgiveness, part of the Bedtime Shema. 

The phrase "Your doorway is no longer my doorway" comes from Rabbi Goldie Milgram.

Regarding the cut in the document: "Be sure to explain that the cut does not sever the document in two. Rather, it cuts into the heart of the document just as divorce cuts deeply into the heart of those who are divorcing." (Per Rabbi Pam Frydman.)

 

Related: Immersion, April 2016. 


Words we can't un-say: a d'var Torah for parashat Ki Tetzei

Words2In this week's Torah portion there is an intriguing passage (Deuteronomy 24: 1-4) about divorce. Torah says: when a man takes a wife and possesses her, and then finds something about her displeasing, he is to write her a bill of divorce and she is to leave his house. If she should marry a second time, and then divorce a second time -- or the second husband should die -- her first husband is forbidden from marrying her again.

The Sforno says that this is because to allow remarriage in this way would be a recipe for wife-swapping. Rabbenu Bahya says that this is because the woman in the story has been "known" by another man, so of course it would be inappropriate for her to be intimate with her first husband again. Unsurprisingly, these classical commentators and others take for granted the text's apparent assumptions about gender, marriage, and power. 

There's plenty that is problematic about this passage from a modern perspective. For starters, the idea that a woman "belongs" to anyone other than herself. The presumption that divorce is necessarily initiated by the husband because his wife is no longer pleasing in his eyes. The lack of agency granted to the woman. The notion that a woman who has been with another man becomes תמא / tamei, emotionally and spiritually charged in a way that would be damaging to her first partner if they got back together again.

Not to mention the fact that the text doesn't speak at all about how the woman in this situation feels: did she want to divorce in the first place? How about the second place? What kind of grief is she enduring, especially when the second marriage ends? Torah doesn't say, but we can begin to imagine.

That said, I think we can glean some wisdom from this passage despite its troubling dynamics.

First, let's remove the genderedness from it. Torah is teaching us that a marriage has to be consensual, and requires the active participation of both partners. When a marriage becomes irreparably broken for one partner, it's no longer a consensual whole, and the partnership is broken. A bill of divorce must be written so that the partners can release each other.

Anyone who is considering taking these steps needs to know that words ending a marriage, once said, can't be un-said. Once the marriage has been broken, even if one or both partners should later regret the breaking, it can't be glued back together into the configuration it had before. No one should go into divorce thinking "well, if this doesn't work out, we can go back to the way things were." There is no "going back." Only going forward. In our modern paradigm sometimes former partners do re-marry, but there is no re-creating the wholeness of the first marriage when it was new.

That significant words, once said, can't be un-said is a running theme in this week's Torah portion. The verses about divorce come shortly after verses instructing us to take care in vowing vows to God, because when we promise things to God, we have to live up to them or incur sin. It is better not to make vows, says Torah, than to make them and fail to live up to them.

Promises that we make to God and fail to sustain... we'll come back to those on Kol Nidre night. Once we've said them, we can't un-say them, but we can ask God to forgive us for our failure to live up to who we intended to be.

Promises that we make to each other and fail to sustain... once we've said them, we can't un-say them either. Neither can we un-say words that end a relationship. We should take care with our words, and not commit ourselves to promises we can't keep or to endings we aren't really ready to face. But maybe especially during this month of Elul, we can ask each others' forgiveness -- in all of our relationships -- for failure to live up to what we thought would be. 

 

 

[Image source.] This is the d'var Torah I offered at my synagogue yesterday morning. (Cross-posted to my From the Rabbi blog.)


#blogElul 15: Change


When the ground beneath my feet shifts like sand
when I wake to unfamiliar views out foreign windows

when the stories I once told about how my life would be
unravel like a sweater whose loose thread is pulled

when my thumb reaches again and again for my index finger
making sure the rings are still there and then I remember

when I tell yet another acquaintance how much has changed
and then comfort them because it's more than they can bear

the constant I know I can count on is you, tucked
inside the innermost chamber of my storm-tossed heart

and because love is a mobius strip with no beginning or end
you carry me safe and cherished even as I carry you


  BlogElul 2016

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 14: Learn

BlogElul 2016How to feel you with me
hand on my shoulderblade
song in my ear

how to share with you
the surprise of wild mint,
the blue of September sky

how to let summer slip
through my fingers
without grieving its passing

how to trust
you'll be here with me
even when the days grow dark


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 13: Remember


I know there was a moment when everything changed.
When I opened a door and became aware of you.

Since then you hover at the edge of my awareness
like sunlight warming my face, like cinnamon

or etrog peel spicing my senses. What I can't recall
is how it felt to be blind to you, and to hide

even from myself the fact that I was ignoring
love's rhythmic knock on the door of my heart.

How did I not notice I was going through the day
with one eye closed, with half of my self

tied behind my back? Now that I'm awake, I promise
I won't ever choose to go back to sleep.

 


  BlogElul 2016

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 12: Forgive

BlogElul 2016The most difficult, of course, is myself.
No one else sees my failings half so clearly.
Every word I should have said and didn't, or
should have known better than to speak.
And my heart that flows in ways not wanted.
And the harsh decrees I ached so to sweeten
and wasn't strong enough, or wise enough...
Sometimes I skirt the edges of despair, but
you remind me that through the eyes of love
every flaw is softened, every misstep becomes
part of the path. Where I see weakness
you see strength. I see every missed mark:
you see the trajectory of my striving, and
call it good. Tell me again that when it comes
to my yearning, when it comes to every way
I've fallen short, I don't need your forgiveness
-- you've already granted it. All I have to do
is see myself through your irreplaceable eyes.


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.


#blogElul 11: Trust

BlogElul 2016With my life.
I place myself in your hands
without fear. I know that to you
I am precious cargo.

With my fragility.
You see my vulnerable places,
my most wrenching tears.
You would never shame me.

With my strength.
I don't have to hide my skill
or my fury: you want all of me,
without pretense.

With my heart.
I can love you
with infinite fierceness
and you won't turn away.


 

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.) Read #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; you might also enjoy my collection of Elul poems which arose out of #blogElul a few years ago, now available in print and e-book form as See Me: Elul poems.