About 18 months ago I wrote a post called What Is My Purpose? This ties into that post because I am still searching. It is a search that began decades ago. I don’t say that for dramatic effect but because it is the truth. It is one of the things that I love about blogging. I don’t have just one chevrusa but many. In truth the list is abridged. I hesitate to share that because it is incomplete and I search for a complete picture.
My children ask for answers and I feel obligated to provide them. Often I turn the question back on my son. What do you think? I do it because when you deal with abstract concepts it is hard to provide concrete answers. Sometimes the child’s perspective is more honest. They haven’t had years of life experience to prove that something has to be a certain way. It is much easier for them to just accept.
I don’t do that easily. I don’t just accept. I fight. I fight. I fight. I battle and I fight. Wrestling is a way of life. There are days in which it wears me out. There are moments when I wish that I could just buy in and accept everything but I don’t know how.
Faith is like that. Sometimes there are things that you accept because you can and sometimes you simply cannot.
We are in the midst of The Nine Days. If you are unfamiliar with what I am referring to email me and I’ll try to bring you up to speed, but for now I am going to move on. Tisha B’Av weighs upon the community. Frankly I don’t observe most of the laws and minhagim surrounding this time. I won’t stop listening to music. Someone once asked me to justify why and I had to laugh. I don’t keep Kosher, I am not Shomer Shabbos so why would they be upset by my listening to music.
Still they insisted that I answer the question. Here it is. Music is a tool that I use to help me engage in deeper introspection. Kavanah my friend, it is about kavanah.
Tisha B’Av weighs upon me for many reasons but not the least of which is from my experience in ’85. We read Eicha while overlooking the Old City and it penetrated my heart. I felt it. I felt such sadness. In my mind I could hear the cries of the fallen and I just felt intense sorrow at what was lost. In my head I could hear the war and visualize the destruction. I have never forgotten that moment.
It was one of many moments in Israel. I never stop that search. I never lost the feeling. It is part of what ties me to Israel. There is a deep connection there that words never truly express. It is a love for the land. I love America and being American. I love watching the US take on all countries at the Olympics, but my love for Israel is a different sort of love.
It is similar to the feeling you have for you first love. It is deep. One day I will go back. If you’ll forgive my inner geek it will be similar to when the elves visit Cirdan to leave Middle-Earth. For now and forever America is home but Israel will always occupy my thoughts.
So here I sit at the computer with so many thoughts still unresolved. There is a lump in my throat. I am torn. This is part of why I wish for a life that was a 1000 years. There is so much to do and so many things that I want to explore and so little time.
The blogosphere is such a good outlet because it provides at least one venue in which I can try to explore these dark and uncharted corners of my heart.
One day my children and I are going to have a long discussion about the choices we make and how they impact our lives. Sometimes it is hard not to wonder if this is the life that I am supposed to lead. Have I been true to my heart? Have I done right by myself or have I buried who I am so far beneath the weight of responsibility that it is lost.
I have a heart and soul that sometimes are at war with logic and reason. Equilibrium exists. More often than not it exists but the moments in which it does not are hard. I suppose that I’ll finish this rambling by quoting myself:
When I ask what my purpose is I am not really asking. I have an understanding of that and it works for me. I suppose that what I am saying is that sometimes I want to skip the journey and see the finish. Tell me the who, what, where, why and how and I’ll be forever grateful or maybe I won’t. Maybe the most important part is the journey and that which is yet to come.