Friday, September 30, 2011


In my own way, I am so Jewish. No I don't attend a temple (though I would go to Temple Micah except it's too far away, completely inaccessible for Capitol Hill residents without cars). I don't know Hebrew at all. Well, ok, maybe a little bit, just a letter or two. My cosmology includes many theories and interpretations that are decidedly NOT Jewish. Still, when the Days of Awe roll around, I always know it, even if I haven't checked a calendar, and I do take part, in my own way.

Yesterday was Rosh Hashana. I ate apple slices dipped in honey, baked a plum cake, listened to Charlie Parker (in lieu of a shofar) and thought about the past year. All day I prayed about what I'm supposed to get straight this year before Yom Kippur. Who have I hurt? What mistakes have I made? To whom do I owe an apology or two? Is there an experience I need to let go of? What can I learn?

Most years, the work of the High Holy Days has a theme. Some years I owe a lot of apologies! Oy vey. Sometimes it's more about letting go of grudges, aka forgiveness. Last year I had to stretch my heart, open up wider than I ever have (internally, I mean) in order to find a place of peace and connection with the divine that I had not previously experienced. It was rigorous and well worth the floppage that preceded the insight.

This year I'm still not clear what I'm supposed to accomplish, though I keep hearing the words "Let there be light!" in the back of my mind. This could be nothing more than a comment on the change in the weather - during September we only saw two or three sunny days. The rest of the month was humid, rainy, and gloomy with a pervasive overcast that finally broke up yesterday.

So, who knows? There are many days of prayer and discovery ahead before the somewhat excruciating rite of passage we call Yom Kippur. "Let there be light" is a rather lovely theme. What that means, if anything, is yet to be revealed.

Have a wonderful Friday. Shabbat Shalom and L'Shana Tovah. Onwards and upwards, oh yeah.


Jinksy said...

I will echo that wholeheartedly - "Let there be light!"

Elizabeth said...

Splendidly weird second photo.
I like it that you are so serious about moral improvement.
I wish you the sweetest and most enlightening new year
and many blessings.

ellen abbott said...

I know what you mean. I am totally non-observant, against religion on general principles but this is something I actually admire and do observe in my own way. Once a year we should make our apologies, forgive transgressions, pay our debts, mend our fences and in general clean the slate to begin a new year.

CS said...

Your photos, as always are incredible. I miss being able to see the daily beauty in DC, like the tips of monuments poking out behind neighborhood trees, or a rusty wrought iron fence.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Jinksy! It can't hurt.

Elizabeth - ha!! I am truly serious about moral improvement. I really am. Well said.

Ellen yes I agree completely.

CS - DC misses you. Truly. And thanks.

Carolina Linthead said...

Charlie Parker in lieu of a shofar is brilliant! Reminds me of Allen Ginsberg, actually. My very best wishes for you in this new year, my friend.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Michael!

steven said...

there's lotsa light all about you and inside you reya mellicker!!! i say let that light continue to grow brighter in this new year! steven

Pam said...

I like "there are many days of prayer and discovery ahead". It puts prayer in the exciting and adventurous place it should be, though many times I know it comes from a place of anguish.
Something about that line you've written bursts with hope and positivity.
I see the form of prayer as colours offered. Soft and gentle, or bright with a direct optimism, the greys and blacks swirling from the depth of troubled souls.
May your discoveries be illuminating Reya - and fun!
Happy weekend to you - happy colours!x.

Steve Reed said...

It's good enough, I suppose, to know that there's something to accomplish, even if you're not sure what it is. "Let there be light" sounds like a good guide! Love that second pic.

Pauline said...

Don't you just love hearing those words in the back of your head?