Oh, almost shabbos, and I need it so badly this week. On shabbos I get to NOT listen to news; I get to leave it all, the whole mess, in G-d's lap for a day. I cannot, and do not, pick it up again until after sunset Saturday.
I go through cycles-of-missing Zalman: sometimes I miss my beloved's warmth, sometimes his humor, somtimes his playfulness, sometimes his generosity...
This week, I am missing his wisdom: from far-seeing about cycles of time and national events, to very immediate and personal, his capacity to see-inside a person or circumstance, to see in perspective.
I thought of him consantly as I took a turn sitting "sh'mira" this morning---that is, I sat in the room in the local mortuary where the body of some member of the Jewish community whom I do not know is awaiting burial. The custom is that the recently departed not be abandoned and left alone, but rather that there be a rotation of people present, either praying or reading from Psalms or other holy books; that is, keeping an elevated consciousness of the living present. I read psalms aloud, in Hebrew, during my two hours there; I thanked G-d for the gift of life.
I remembered sitting on the floor in this very room with the covered body of my beloved two years and ten months ago.
[And after writing that, I plunged into an instantaneous ten-minute sleep; very bizarre.]
Other things are tumbling into different and bizarre configurations on our national scene, and also in this microcosm, this house.
Mazal the Cat, having acheived Middle-age Spread, is beginning to have trouble jumping onto the bed, and now meows loudly and piteously enough to waken me in the middle of the night when she wants to be lifted onto the bed to snuggle.
Bracha the Cat is disappearing little by little: she is skinnier by the day, and asking to eat several times a day, and having diarrhea or throwing up multiple times a day as well. Her coat is thin and muted. She likes to walk over this keyboard to hear the nice chirping sounds it makes while she types messages from outer space, or from the Kingdom of Cats.
I wonder which one of them I will resemble as I continue to age.
Meanwhile, I am trying to urge myself to graduate from strolls in the nearby park around Viele Lake (really a pond, populated by geese, dog-walkers, one occasional lone heron and a rare osprey,) to longer, wilder and hillier hikes in the Open Space, also nearby. The Open Space is where I have met squirrels, deer, birds, rabbits, coyotes, one distant mountain lion and other people's dogs. And of course the hikers and the uphill-over-stones-runners with earphones attached to their iPhones or cd players---a bizarre melange of the wild and the civilized.
I just fell asleep at the keyboard, and only woke when Mazal gave a loud meow.
I think that's a clear sign that I should go to bed.
Wishing us all a good shabbos, and ready to put our world into G-d's hands for these twenty-six hours without my interference.