...of the days.
Because I had the delight of a long visit with a unique and interesting woman whom I have known only distantly, although we seem to have travelled many of the same paths in different places, I was left with the feeling that today was Sunday: it felt like a blessed vacation.
It is a gift to begin a friendship with someone older than me, who has walked many of the same paths earlier than me, and made the way a bit wider for those of us who came after. She too has begun new things late in life, which I find a real encouragement, in the original sense of the word: it gives me courage.
Still, I spent many hours reading/writing/signing/donating...Oy.
I wonder, some days, whether I might not have a better effect in the end by spending half that time in prayer for our country's return to honesty, nobility and generosity.
Earlier today, I was pulled into doing something that is necessary and timely, but that I would not have chosen to begin now: I was looking for a special garment and not finding it in its usual place in the closet. So I began taking things out; and while I was at it, tried them on to see if they were still current. Many were not, and there is still more to go through. But it started me thinking about the other garments we wear whether or not they still fit---profession, political affiliation...the fact that I still wear my wedding ring...
We are such creatures of habit. That is how we learn competence in this world: we do things again and again until they are easy, almost automatic. I rediscover in my closet the habit I learned early, from my mother who worked so hard to support us both, from my grandmother who immigrated at the age of four and grew up poor: grab it while it's on sale! But there was no caution against too-muchness. Now, I am putting aside whatever I don't absolutely love for a girl in the neighborhood who is collecting clothing for older girls. Maybe we should begin regular neighborhood swaps of clothing, household goods, books, art supplies; and regular collections of the excess of some of us for the others who need.
Zalman was always so happy to give me something, small or large, that delighted me. I know that I have kept many of these items of clothing because they carry his love and generosity. Those qualities do not diminish, but multiply when given. Still...each garment carries the memory of when and where it was acquired; and if it is gone, will I still remember? (Of course, as I get older, the question veers towards Will I still remember anything?)
(Oh, I miss him.)
Parting with anything he gave me feels like saying goodbye to him all over again. Then I think of the delight with which he gave. I ask to borrow that delight so that I can pass on the items which still hold, I hope, the love with which they were once given and received.
Blessings of this last day of the first week of counting the Omer: Malchut she-b'Chesed