I am so very grateful for the rhythm of the week and for shabbos.
I do not open the laptop to write on shabbos, so tonight I want to give a day-late description.
It has been such a gift to have these (more than) 26 hours free of radio, TV, email, snail mail, telephone, any obligations to others---
I have shared lunch (spanakopita prepared yesterday) and conversation with a friend, read the Torah portion (not an easy one), read Carol Burnett's book describing the years of her TV show, walked at Viele Lake, shared time with each of the cats...(Bracha is very ill; but she had a not-bad day.)
I feel almost ready to tune back in and take on my part of solving the problems of the world...but I think I will actually wait until tomorrow morning.
Shabbos is still a lifesaver for me...being required to unhook from the worries of the week, re-enter the realm of the senses and see larger..
I miss shabbos as my beloved and I would spend it together.
Friday night, he would be nearby in his chair singing the hymns that lead us into shabbos while I put finishing touches on dinner, made sure a tiny flame was on and covered with an iron plate, the large thermos was filled with hot water, the shabbos candles and wine and challah were ready. I still spend time, as I light the candles, to send blessing to each member of the family, to dear friends, to those whom I know need healing. I still chant the kiddush aloud. I still remove my rings, place them on the little pewter fish from New Zealand, go to the sink to pour water over my hands from the copper vessel before blessing the bread. I still spend time appreciating taste, and nourishment. I still give thanks after the meal. The meal is nice, but not as rich or varied. I think he might have preferred that the meal be simpler and I work less at it and instead spend more time davvenen with him.
I still put a flower upstairs, in our room that is clean and serene.
And eventually I get into bed alone.
And just as I sigh, missing my beloved's living breathing presence...plop.
Here comes Mazal the Cat, who takes very seriously her responsibility to put me to sleep.
She can no longer leap onto the bed, but climbs foam cat-stairs, a gift from a generous person who had two. She combs my hair and washes my face, then curls up to sleep next to my head.
My shabbos bedtime prayers are accompanied by a warm furry purring presence.
During the day I read this week's Torah portion---not an easy one. I read other material as well, put pieces of spanakopita in a skillet on the small shabbos flame that has been on since last night, set the table for company, share lunch and talk with a friend.
But our crazy Scrabble games, using the telephone book and playing cards for keeping score, and changing and adding to our own outrageous rules...that has not happened since he is gone.
Sitting at dusk with no lights on and singing niggunim until the sun has well and truly set, three stars have appeared and it is really time for havdalah...also not. Talking about what comes bubbling up in the heart on a day that is quiet enough to hear it...no.
Some things will not return.
Good night; good week.