Sunday, October 5, 2008

Aspen Gold & Shofars Blow: Week of Mixed Blessings

Autumn comes to the High Country.
Rosh HaShannah.
Bad Filters.
The Cubs.

This past week has been one of great changes in moods and meanings. And only today, as the new week begins, did I notice . . .

The Aspens have turned gold and the oaks are brown and orange in the high Sandia Mountain Front. (One golden patch of Aspen is just below the leftmost patch of cloud on the mountain peak).

The Holy Days began Monday evening--
Erev Rosh HaShanah.
Wednesday morning, (second day)
the Holy Congregation
assembled the lovely tents of Israel
at Oak Flat, in the South Sandias.

"Ma tovu ohalecha, Yisrael . . ."

"Oh, how lovely are your tents O Israel,

Your dwelling places, O Jacob!"

Shofar, Torah, and Challah, which is round for the Holy days, in a mishkan--a portable sanctuary--the east meadow at Oak Flat.

Rosh Hashanah is called Yom HaZikaron--a day for remembering. Remembering the power inherent in creation, the birth of the world, the binding of Isaac, the sweetness and goodness of life.

But it was hard to forget what was going on outside the sanctuary in town or the mishkan in the mountains: Financial Meltdown, the high treif (unfit food e.g. pork) bail-out, the meanness and division of this political season.

Blowing the Shofar:
the powerful tekiah--calling the assembly;
the broken shevarim--for mourning and remembrance;
the staccato truah--for warning and battle;
the long tekiah gedolah--that ends abuptly.
"Areshet s'fateinu . . .
Accept the offering of our lips, the sound of the Shofar."

By the end of the service I felt sunburned and grumpy,
beautiful though it all was.
I stayed too long.
I must remember: come in peace (I did--I opened the gate for everyone) and go in peace (I didn't).
And in the evening, I had to return to work.

Full force, it all returned: the campaign sniping, the smears on the candidates, and the disenfranchisment of the tax-payers by vote-selling in Congress, the Cubs lost the first play-off game, Joe Biden's teeth, once the service was over. Filtering. I need to learn it.

The end of the week was a blur of catching up at work, getting angry at Congress, and dealing with a broken water-heater and a flooded laundry room. Friday afternoon, the Boychick and I arrived home to find the water-heater leaking and flooding the garage alcove where it stands, as well as the laundry room on the other side of the wall. It was the strangest Shabbat we've had in six-and-a-half years of marriage. Bad news: the breech and the flood. Then good news: it was a nipple on a T-joint of the valve--no need to buy a new water heater. Then the bad news--the was impossible to remove the nipple--it was that corroded. Then the good news--a trip to town to get the right tool and a replacement valve would solve it. The bad news--no water to the house until the new valve was replaced. Good news--we could make Home Depot before closing time, if we hurried. A mixed blessing: Shabbat dinner at a Sonic Drive-In on Central Avenue after getting the tool. (Bad--very un-shabbosdik, good--hunger is the best sauce). Good news--I managed to be flexible enough to roll with it all by this time. More bad news--the Cubs lost. Good news--the Engineering Geek--every my anchor during household disasters--got the water back on by midnight. As Ma Ingalls would say: All's well that ends well.

Saturday night went well.
The Boychick had his first high school dance.
It was also the first homecoming for East Mountain High School. And the first dance in their new gym.

In honor of all the firsts, the Boychick wore his Fedora and ironed his jeans.
He's too young for dating, so he met friends there. And he danced with the charming L., his first dance with a girl other than his sister.

So the week ended well after all.

Except the Cubs lost. Three games against the Dodgers.

It's going to be a rough year.

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