The yearly gathering of Jewish Renewal rabbis, cantors, spiritual directors, rabbinic pastors is over.
Folks have all flown home.
These remarkable gatherings always induce an Altered State of Consciousness, which does not end when the conference ends. I have been trying to catch up: doing laundry, checking email, checking snail mail, answering phone messages, delivering a gift to a friend, scooping litter, assuring the cats that I care.
It feels as if I am returning from visiting a foreign country.
What a remarkable and beautiful bunch. Our bunch of folks far more closely resembles early Chassidim than it does any American Reform or Conservative or even Orthodox association of rabbis---primarily because it is most often a very loving group of people. Even when there are passionate disagreements, there is, in general, so much appreciation for one another.
No, it is not ideal...but it is sure damn good.
Then this evening, Netanel took me to dinner and to the remarkable movie "Silence": another world, another time, and the questions that persist to our day in different form.
I will be among those holding tomorrow's Inauguration Day as a fast day until sundown.
I will not be watching it on TV, nor listening on the radio.
I will be spending some time all throughout the day in prayer---for our country, for our people and people of color and people of different national origin, and for women; for the poor, for the sick and the old; for the environment and the rivers and agriculture and bees; for the triumph of kindness over greed. I will be praying to hear clearly the pains of those I missed before---the ones who elected this poseur out of their pain and sense of disenfranchisement. I might go on line and check out Van Jones's "love army".
I can do some of that while cleaning up the mess of paper that has accumulated on the kitchen island while I was at the conference. Then I can make it lovely for shabbos. And groom the cats, and wash my hair...
I still set the table beautifully for shabbat, as if my beloved would be coming to join me.
I still welcome the Queen as if it were real because it is real.
I give thanks every day for the richness of my life.
And I still miss him with every fibre of my being.
I wish us all a good shabbos.