Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Torture of the Night

I never held much stock in dreams. My thoughts are not usually significant by day, so I always figured they were even more inconsequential by night. But what do you do when a dream doesn't leave you? When it haunts your every movement? When the sun cannot shine strong enough to dispel its lingering shadow...

When a dream has made me fragile
The remembrance piercing an ancient pain

And sadness without reason approaches
Shaking my soul in its dusty grasp

And night again encroaches
Bearing the banner of the unknown

And all this because of a dream
No shade, no nightmare, no terror

Just a displaced memory in the dark
A face without an answer
A mask without a master

Are these questing phantoms of the past?
Are these mere imaginings in the night?
Are these the worst forms of torture?

Are these nothings?

Are these somethings?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Oh Dear! ...Where Have I Landed?

I wonder how many more times I will wake up, walk out of an tipsy-turvy house, and marvel at the colorful world around me. How many times will I be amazed by a Technicolor dreamworld where, before, was only the blacks and whites of generations past. When will I stop being so shocked by the change in tempo, in realities, in feelings?

So often I stop and gaze at my current world, and I realize, I am no longer in Kansas. Or should I say Israel? Or should I say the ideal religious place for me? But which is real -the farm or the magical world of Oz? And I'm not talking about the movie. IN my opinion, there's no "real world" -no cynical grimace to be made, no bitter laugh to be bitten off before any such comment like "welcome to the real world, honey". No, there exists no such place. What is real? What is real is you. Where you exist, where you live, what you believe, your hopes, your failures, your dreams, your every day. Life is real. It is all we have, after all.

We can debate for hours about whether it is better for us to be created or not, but when it comes down to it, we have been created. We are continually willed into existence. That is real. That is what G-d has given us.

So whether we are sheltered in a cocoon of Torah knowledge, breathing in the holy air atop the Yerushalyim hills, or thrust into a world we have never before known, a cruel world, where no one understands our beliefs...a world that our thirteen principles of faith are greeted with chuckles.

But we do the best we can. Or we don't. We choose, we give up, we cry. We pray. And we are answered, and then we fail again. But will that prevent us from believing, from hoping? Never. Because no matter what else is being destroyed all around us, within us, we have right now. We have this moment. We have our lives.

How did I get here? Maybe I fell down the rabbit hole and ended up in this sewer. Maybe I was thrown here, sent to clean it up again. Maybe that's just my own rationalization. Maybe, maybe, maybe -but no matter how many maybes clamor in my head, there are some things that a maybe just never can touch. Definites bestowed at birth, nurtured by life, taught in school, given in seminary, unknown by almost all. So no matter how I got here, here I am. In Oz. In Kansas. In the twirling, falling, dangerously flying place I call home, somewhere in between.

Now if only someone can tell me where Toto went off to...