Kol Nidre was splendid. I'm high on music. Saying the Al Chet in community was everything I could have hoped for, and I was also unexpectedly moved and thrilled to sing the Shehecheyanu with others. (I get earwormed with it sometimes, which always entertains me.) The rabbi and student rabbi did a joint sermon that was a little long but full of very good discussions of allyship and mutual support and what teshuva means in the context of large-scale divisions and reconciliations between communities, specifically with regard to racial justice. I'm really glad that Veronica and Miriam W. came along; it was good to have hands to squeeze at a couple of points.
I wore a kippah (after much researching into the history and practice of head-covering). I wasn't sure I was going to, and then I wasn't sure it would feel right, but it did.
I had been planning to go to the 3:30 service tomorrow, which is all about digging into the Book of Jonah. Thanks to Small Peculiar's illustrated version
, I feel like I'll have a leg up. (Buy the comic here!
) I'm so floaty on the musical mystical evening service, though, that it's hard to think why I should go to a grounded exegetical one tomorrow. But I'll see how I feel when I wake up.
I am thinking very seriously about joining this congregation. I have to figure out how that would fit into my life, pragmatically; I don't really look at my calendar and think "Gosh, there's all this free space in here", Friday evenings are challenging when I'm the one who picks Kit up from daycare and no one else gets home from work until later, and Saturday mornings are challenging because mornings. Membership dues are also rather a lot, and I know I'll want to volunteer (I always do) at the same time that my volunteering for Readercon is ramping up again. But... I'm really liking this. Even if I do have to constantly retranslate and reinterpret the prayers in my head as we go.
( Selichot )( Rosh Hashanah )
It's genuinely disorienting to encounter all these spaces where I don't have to educate anyone or fight to be seen for who I am. Other people have already done that work, and leaders have clearly been receptive to it. (Rabbi Lippman is queer, but I don't assume that cis queer people will be welcoming to or understanding of trans people, especially nonbinary trans people.) I get to just show up and be a human being in human community. What an immense privilege. What a gift. Honestly, that might be the thing that gets me to stick with this—just the pure pleasure of being in a place where I didn't personally have to claw out a space for myself.
Josh met me and Kit in the park and we walked for a while (GMaps Pedometer says I walked 3.2 miles today, most of it pushing a heavy stroller with a heavy toddler; my feet and arms are very tired). I teased him that he should be glad I didn't make him meet the rabbi. But this is my thing, really. Maybe it's my latest three-month hobby. Maybe it'll be more than that. We'll see.
No 18-month Kit update yet because they've got a fierce UTI and the antibiotics have only just started kicking in, and I've been sick all week with a weird stomach bug or something, and assorted other things have been going on. But there will be one as soon as they're better. They're holding up like a champ, but they are also still a wee baby and being sick is rough. I'll be so glad when their fever is gone and their tolerance for things going even slightly not their way comes back.
Recently I've found myself thinking in religious terms a lot more than I used to. Not sure what to do with that. It's odd to feel my own sincerity when I describe Kit as "a blessing" or think "God willing, I'll be well enough to do laundry tomorrow". It feels very natural and reasonable, and I wouldn't look askance if I hadn't been agnostic/panentheist my whole life. Also, given my OCD and anxiety, I am generally suspicious of things appearing in my head that feel reasonable but have no rational basis.
I wonder, too, how much of this is about my Jewish identity mattering a lot more, politically, than it used to. If I'm going to be endangered by the fact of being Jewish, then I'm going to double the fuck down on my Jewishness.
But I don't feel a stronger inclination toward ritual or ceremony (or not much of one... though I have gotten more interested in celebrating holidays and learning about Jewish traditions, hm). I'm just more conscious of a... sense of a benevolent deistic presence in the fabric of the world. I mean, I've always had that sense, that's what panentheism is, but I feel it more strongly now, and I'm more inclined to invoke it.
Well, if it's a fun new kind of mental illness, it doesn't seem to be a harmful one at present. Mostly it's about joy and gratitude. I think sometimes I just feel so humbled and glad for all the things in my life that are due to chance as much or more as my efforts, and there's no real personification of chance to direct my gratitude to.
So all right, little beneficial brain worm, I'll keep you around for now. Just don't get too big, okay? I've only got so much brain.
This evening I managed to eat some soup AND some bread, AND I drank ginger ale. This is an improvement! It has been a pretty w/retched week. Now I'm kind of energized and of course it's nearly 1 a.m. Maybe I'll burn it off by sorting some laundry. Amazing how fast it piles up when I'm sick.
The other night I dreamed I wrote a book and forgot entirely that I had done so. Blocked it out of my head. So when mrissa
said "I read an ARC of your book and it's pretty good" I was utterly confused. And then she said "But there were some problems with the way you portrayed the Middle Eastern market" and I was even more confused. I felt bad that I had committed racefail and I couldn't really fix it because I didn't remember writing it.
Then there was a lengthy dream scene about rolling up RPG characters. The DM wanted us all to have 200 [something] but the base character I picked from the book only had 60 [something] so we agreed that on any day when I was in a bad mood I'd get an extra hit die because I hit harder when I'm grumpy.
We started playing the game, and I guess we were LARPing because I started doing a folk dance with five of the other players. We danced in pairs and I mostly remembered the steps from my country dance days but it was hard to keep track of the steps and play my character at the same time. My dance partner was much better at it than I was and kept gently reminding me not to keep my legs so straight because this was a different era than the one I was used to dancing in.
In character I was snooty with racist undertones to the other characters who were dancing and as myself I felt bad about it. "Feel bad about racism but have plausible deniability" was apparently the dream theme. Ew. >.<
The dream ended with a giant Jewish holiday dinner with lots of friends and friends of friends. rose_lemberg
called to tell us all that they were getting married, except their child actually made the call because he wanted to and they thought it would be fun to let him. It was very sweet. And the more observant Jews at the table taught me some interesting things about holidays and fine points of observance and schisms and so on.
And then I woke up, wondering how I managed to write an entire book and forget