The room is dark and I have intentionally positioned myself where I can’t be seen.
I know more people here than I expected but still not nearly as many as if I was…elsewhere.
Gordon Lightfoot is singing about a ghost you can’t see but I am the only one who can hear his voice because the song isn’t playing anywhere but inside my head.
Judean Desert- Jerusalem Burns
I may be in a dark room in Texas and there may be people around, but every Tisha B’Av my mind automatically moves to the summer of ’85.
We’re in the Judean desert in the hills overlooking Jerusalem and listening to Eicha. The Lamentations echo and inside my mind I hear and see things.
Jerusalem burns, soldiers run through the streets killing and burning but there is no warmth in this fire.
It happened long before I was born. It was ancient when my great-great-great grandfather was a baby but something about this telling captures me like no time before.
She weeps, yea, she weeps in the night, and her tears are on her cheek; she has no comforter among all her lovers; all her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.
Back in present times I seek out community to share in the telling but find I don’t have it in me to talk, at least not at this moment.
This morning I heard my cousin died and the echoes of the time we spent together moves through my mind.
He would have been 59 upon his next birthday but in my mind he is almost always younger.
That is because he and his little brother spent lots of time with my family. In some ways they were the closest thing I had to older brothers.
When they talk about me as a baby or said they remembered when I was born I knew it wasn’t an exaggeration because they were always around and I spent a lot of time wishing I was old enough to hang out with them.
They were much older but they liked playing video games and wouldn’t blow me off when I would try to tell them my stories.
It is funny thinking about how I thought of them as being much older and now, well I think about how damn young 59 is.
That is the funny thing about age, eventually you begin to catch up at least in the sense that if you stick around long enough you do all that adult stuff and you get a chance to relate to the old folks in a way you couldn’t before.
Facebook & Family
My head is swimming in memories still and some very powerful feelings are so close to the surface I am extra cautious about interacting with some people.
Part of me is tempted to say exactly what I think and to spell some stuff out but another part is holding back and that is the voice I am listening to…for now.
Better to stay in the back where I can see and not be seen. Better to give myself time to just think about it all.
Time to think about Facebook and Family.
Facebook enabled my cousin and I to get to know each other in a way that we might not have otherwise done.
Some of it is because it provided a venue in which to see what sort of hobbies and thoughts we might share with the world.
It also provided us with an opportunity to play Words With Friends and though it might sound silly, I loved playing against him.
He was an exceptional challenge and would come up with words that I had never heard or and or was barely familiar with.
You have to understand that I buy books about unusual words and read them. I sometimes grab a dictionary and just flip through it for fun so it is unusual for me not to recognize a word or be able to define it.
But he was exceptionally smart and I knew the words he played were also words he could use in a sentence and that is not something that can be said about all players.
We have one game going on now that is never going to be finished and that makes me sad.
Granted there are more important things to miss and his loss will be felt in much bigger and more significant ways than that.
I’ll miss him for more things as well, but those games and the messages/interaction on Facebook were fun and more important to me than I realized.
His death is another reminder of the importance of living today and doing our best to recognize the moments.
I think I have gotten better about recognizing some of them. Something happened this weekend that I classify as a signpost that pointed to a moment.
Can’t tell you if it was something that pointed backwards and what I heard/felt was an echo of the past anymore than I can say it pointed forward to the future.
What I know is I pay attention to the magic in the moonlight and that I do my best not to let it pass me by because I was blind.
My heart aches without knowing I am or was the architect of such stupidity.
I can’t listen or think about the present and how it applies to Tisha B’Av. Won’t use a flashlight to light my way because I prefer to trust my feet and my gut.
Jerusalem burns and I hear/see the echoes but I feel a change coming and experience that makes me more brave and daring.
Can’t say what will come or how it will all roll out but time will move and things will change with it.
My heart hurts but most of it is bittersweet because I know the root and it is dipped in joy and honey.