An Uncertain Certainty


You were there. You stood next to me, our fingers intertwined staring at the masses. It was Friday night and the plaza was packed. My eyes were closed and I was slowly rocking back and forth, unconsciously giving thanks for having been given the song of my heart.

We were 15, we were twenty, we were 50 and then we were 80. I saw it all. I saw us alone.I saw us together. I saw our children and I saw our grandchildren. We stood together and shared those moments in time. Single, married, children, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, grandchildren and then we were gone.

It was just myself and the wall. Just myself at the Kotel, head resting against the stone, alone in the night and lost in the thoughts that we think.


I have been dreaming of the children of Jerusalem and broken promises.  I have been lost in moments that once were or could have been, wondering what it means, if it means anything at all.

Because you were there. You, the song of heart who no longer sings her song to me were there. You who once promised to walk with me wherever it was we chose to walk are there no longer.

You have gone away and left me alone…and apart.

You who helped me to remember that love burns and that two are more than one….is gone.


But though you have left me you are not really gone. You have never quite left. I still see you. I still feel you….and I know.

I know that the ache is not mine alone. I know that the absence of your presence is a pain that we share for you know the loss of mine as well. Your stubborn nature won’t permit you to admit it or to ask for shelter in my arms. You won’t let yourself admit that you feel what you feel.

But I know things. I know things about you. I know things about me. I know things about us.


It is an uncertain certainty…this feeling of mine. I don’t have to see you, the song of my heart, to hear you singing our song again. I don’t know if you are conscious of it or aware that it is happening…but it is.

I know these things because I feel them in the places that have been both full and empty. I know these things because I feel my heart harmonizing with yours and I tremble. Fear and anger rise up more frequently than faith.

It is a battle between heart and head. This uncertain certainty that you wish to renew and rebuild.

So now I wait and wonder if this feeling is fake and if my heart has been found false. It is uncomfortable, awkward and uncertain. A contradiction it is, this uncertain certainty.


We were 15, we were twenty, we were 50 and then we were 80. I saw it all. I saw us alone.I saw us together.

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  1. My Inner Chick February 28, 2014 at 9:27 am

    ***We were 15, we were twenty, we were 50 and then we were 80. I saw it all**

    Brilliant. Stunning.

    I love love love this.

  2. Jen February 26, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I just read this first thing in the morning and it rocked my soul awake. Give me more like this!

  3. Natalie the Singingfool March 17, 2013 at 10:06 am

    This is terribly beautiful and full of emotional depth. It makes me stop a second, and think…

  4. Esther March 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I loved reading this… it is so different.

  5. Gina February 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Lovely post and quite the following. You are a talented writer.


  6. Elena Patrice December 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    OK … you had me at “unconsciously giving thanks for having been given the song of my heart” and now I’m in a puddle of tears.

    Jack, this has to rate as one of my favorite posts written this year (if not THE one). So, so beautiful, so moving, so well-written. You speak a language here that is so near and dear to my heart (I know I say this a lot about your writing, but “it is what it is”).

    Thank you for such a beautiful gift here sir … thank you.

    Abundant gratitude,


  7. Jotter Girl December 26, 2011 at 5:59 am

    This was really beautifully written. I’ve had many friends make the trip to Israel and it always seems to be such a wonderfully moving experience. Glad it was for you too.

  8. Bill Dorman December 26, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Interesting indeed my friend; very well written.

    Look forward to hangin’ with you some more in 2012.

  9. Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson December 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm


    This is magnificent. I don’t know if it is real and broken hearted. About a real person or about G-d. But I rather love that about this post.

    It is gorgeous. And sad. And beautiful. And hard. And filled with longing. And peace.

    How’d you do that? Seriously, I wish I had written this. But I think first I have to get to Israel.

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