I am picturing us gathering together to meet a New Year – flowing with sweetness, twinged with sadness and mysterious in its possibilities. I am picturing us standing side by side as we each sort through the past year’s dead weight, tender wounds and shining treasures. I am imagining us dying to the old and to everything that doesn’t serve this world or us, and I picture something new being born in us. I am picturing us in the clean night air, under the leaves of the sukkah, falling in love with this precious life and discovering joy in every pocket and up every sleeve. I am imagining us dancing with the Torah, circles inside circles, ending and beginning, in all the languages of music that the universe speaks.
Here is a poem by Gerald Stern from his book Lucky Life, for the rolling waves of this season.
Dear waves, what will you do for me this year?
Will you drown out my scream?
Will you let me rise through the fog?
Will you fill me with that old salt feeling?
Will you let me take my long steps in the cold sand?
Will you let me lie on the white bedspread and study
the black clouds with the blue holes in them?
Will you let me see the rusty trees and the old monoplanes one more year?
Will you still let me draw my sacred figures
and move the kites and the birds around with my dark mind?
Lucky life is like this. Lucky there is an ocean to come to.
Lucky you can judge yourself in this water.
Lucky you can be purified over and over again.
Lucky there is the same cleanliness for everyone.
Lucky life is like that. Lucky life. Oh lucky life.
Oh lucky lucky life. Lucky life.
Lucky, lovely community – Shana tova! May we be renewed with lucky lucky life.