Rumi-nating on the New Year and sharp knives

First I have to notice.

The month before Rosh Hashonah is devoted to reviewing one’s accounts, seeing what is in need of repair – how my ways of doing and being have uplifted or downtrodden, made whole or split, brought solace or suffering. So first comes noticing.

Some years that is all I can do, and then my resolve to repair, restore, make whole does not have much flesh and bone behind it.

This year I have been blessedly hit with insights into very fundamental dynamics about how I live my life and move through the world, so much so that I can quite literally feel my body moving through space made solid. I can feel with my senses the effects as I move through the world unaware, in self-protective mode, how one “no” after another leaves the world around me roughed up and distressed. And how different the effects when I am awake to my full and imperfect humanity. Then even the “no” changes meaning and claims its actual power.

As I enter this New Year, I am deeply resolved to notice, and to choose the sharp blade as a kindness to myself and the world.

May you be blessed to be a blessing to your dear ones and to the world in the year 5778.

 

Rumi-nating

by Sara Eisenberg

 

I would say yes quickly if

I could, Master Rumi, if

I would.

 

Drowsing or distracted I am clumsy and

ragged, no

less nor more than any

one, propelled through

space thick with love

that I take for wood or

ice that needs a

roughly-handled

saw, a NO that is my first

response.

 

There is nothing for it.

Once born, I am skin and mind-

bound.

 

Then I remember God said and it was

very good.

 

How I would be

fresh from the water stone,

a keen blade slicing through

life, leaving no jagged open

seeping wound.

 

You would only feel the lightest

caress on your bare

skin, met, set

apart from all creation by your precious

unequalled existence.

 


The following came to me some time after I wrote this poem: while I do not keep kosher, I know that to minimize suffering to a permitted animal, a knife used for slaughtering must be extremely sharp,  is inspected both before and after the  slaughter, and must be applied in a single uninterrupted movement that does not tear tissues.

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