Oh, a very quiet and slow and inward day. The weather is still good enought to eat all the meals in the sukkah if I wear a hat, and to have spent a good deal of time there today. The birds are coming back: the rufous-sided towhees have reappeared, and of course the Stellar's jays, the ring-neck doves, the house finches.
I am desperately trying to re-learn the trope for Ecclesiastes. Most of it has stayed with me; a few pieces have dropped off. After sunset, I searched for an old cassette tape of this trope. Found it!
Then I took out and plugged in my old excellent professional tape recorder, and began to run the tape.
No sound: smoke and the smell of burning.
I will either be able to find help, or I will have to fake it as best as I can for the few pieces I am wobbly about.
I am also confounded about calendar. I had invited a small group of friends to the sukkah tomorrow, then mis-read the calendar and thought I would need to be in shul tomorrow; so I sent out a panicked cancellation. Now it seems that I was twice mistaken, and we could have met. (What will I do with all that soup?)
I am disoriented both by the rapid succession of the season's holidays, the worrisome changes in my eyes, and the new presence of a cat I am slowly learning about. She comes into the study at night and curls on the desk at my right hand, partly draped over the keyboard of the laptop. She is doing a nightly bath at this moment; generously incudes my right hand. Kindly does not drool on the keyboard. On occasion, she stops and peers intensely across the room at something only she can see.
After shabbos, and a trip downstairs to the copy machine---my mother's wedding gift to us---I entered Zalman's davvenen room. I sat and spoke into the silence, and listened to the silence, and cried.
Such large parts of me disappeared with his death. I miss him terribly; and I miss those parts of myself. Perhaps they were only temporary visitors, functioning when we were together; then they left with him, and are gone for good.
Wishing us all a good week and a fine ending to this cycle, as we pray for the environment and for the right rains and for all the nations of the world.