It has been a most unusual Tisha B'Av.
I did not go to shul today; last night was enough.
Instead, I was gifted with a long visit with an Israeli friend who used to live in Boulder, but now is here only very rarely.
I spent a good amount of time in my study, reading entries in this blog from the second year after my beloved's death.
What touches my heart deeply are the comments and responses from you who read these pages: kind, thoughtful, warm, heartfelt, generous. Truly present.
It is you, this community, and a few people here in Boulder, who have really kept me together and held me up during all this time.
You have also given me important information and advice!
By "chance", today I read a section in which I was dismayed at Mazal the Cat's radical departure from litterbox etiquette; and read all your many excellent suggestions of possible protections/solutions/improvements.
I may have to try them all over again.
Although Mazal and Bracha have not been especially friendly, I suspect Mazal is upset at Bracha's illness and her sudden departure from her usually exemplary litter behavior. Here we are again: besides Bracha's blobs of diarrhea in unexpected spots, Mazal has resumed spraying on the washing machine next to her litter box, so it puddles on the wood beneath, cannot be reached, and soaks in.
Good thing today's reading pointed me once more to all your good ideas. I need them now.
Meanwhile, I have told Bracha what a good cat she has been, and that she must not stay here longer than she wants for my sake, weak and unable to digest. I farginn her to find Zalman and really learn Torah with him, carried to him by virtue of all those Friday nights she begged a little piece of challah of her own, and all those Sunday mornings she faced him on the dining room table, trying to read the Hebrew upside down. I hope she finds her sister, the pastel calico from whom I separated her; and I hope she forgives me for that.
I stopped at Zalman's grave at sunset. The rabbits were there, the deer, the birds.
There have been some additions to the offerings at the foot of the stone: a tiny model sports car, a new crystal, a folded-up note.
It is very clear that he is not there.
So why do I go?
Perhaps this place feels like a telegraph office, from which I can send messages.
I wish all of us deep sleep and true dreams. Good night.