My friends list is full of posts by people who don't feel ready for Yom Kippur. I can very much add my voice to that chorus. If I were feeling homiletic, I could ask whether one can ever be ready. But the truth is all I can do is come back to the Yehuda Amichai poem I taught last week:
The smoke rising from the convent of the silent nuns
Is all I have to say.
This year winter will come late
When we're ready for its coming
And we won't be.
I'm tired. And curse the three Great Religions
Which won't let me sleep at night
What with bells and howls of muezzins and loud shofars and noisy atonements.
Oh God, close your houses, let the world rest.
Why hast thou not forsaken me?...
I don't feel in the least spiritual, but that's by far the most common state of affairs for me. I suppose I am only noticing it now because it contrasts with how deeply I'm involved in community stuff and ritual, which makes me feel somewhat hypocritical. I've been telling everybody else about the importance of repentance and not doing a lot about it myself.
Anyway. There are only a couple of people east of me, so I hope I'm in time to wish everybody an easy fast and a good conclusion.
|Date:||September 21st, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)|
3 hours after journal entry
I doubt you're the only one who is feeling less spiritual than they might hope. I know I often have a similar problem, especially around Holy Week and Easter, and the tons of preparations that can distract one. I usually seem to take something away from it all, though; the Triduum is rarely the great spiritual experience I wish it were, but I do come out from it feeling, I don't know, cleansed, somehow. And even at my worst and most mechanical, simply practicing my faith can at the very least remind me of the better times. If that's the best I can manage this season, then that's what I'll do, you know? Helping other people worship is an act of worship itself, I think.
And I apologise if this sounds totally patronising and all that; I'm fairly sure you know I wouldn't ever mean it that way, or I wouldn't say it at all. Thank you for the poem, which is both lovely and provocative, and I hope you have a good Yom Kippur (...have had a good Yom Kippur, I suppose, by the time you are able to see this!).
|Date:||September 23rd, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC)|
1 days after journal entry, 02:22 pm (livredor's time)
Thank you. You really get it. It doesn't sound patronizing at all, I'm always interested to hear about other people's interaction with religious ritual. But in this case you've really managed to state the sort of thing I was floundering towards. Yes, it's better to go through something mechanically and at least be part of a community that others can participate in, than to sulk because you're not feeling particularly spiritual and refuse to do stuff at all if it isn't going to make you feel warm and fuzzy.