Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Cannot Rise

Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) (Leviticus 23:23-25). The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are called Asseret Yemey Tstwva, literally “the ten days of return.” It is a time of penance, of recognizing one’s failings and of asking both man and God for forgiveness. If a Jew has sinned, injuring or hurting another person he or she is to go to that person during the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, ask for forgiveness, and if possible, make restitution. As the year begins anew, so should one’s spiritual life. A lovely tradition accompanies Rosh Hashanah: on the afternoon of the New Year, Jews practice Tashlich (literally, “you will cast”), a ceremony of going to a river, praying, and emptying one’s pockets of lint and crumbs. As the water carries away the lint and crumbs that accumulate over the year, so does it represent one’s accumulated sins being carried away. It is important to understand that a Jew must ask forgiveness of his neighbor before asking forgiveness of God on Yom Kippur.

If this is that big a deal for one of the so-called Great Religions, it must be that I am not the only one dealing with forgiveness and making amends on this planet. Hmmm.

It would be my pattern over the course of several years with my last lover that we would go along fine for a long time then something would come up. I would lose my temper and she would take it for a awhile, then she would lose it too. Or else she would be successful this time and would not lose her temper, which was worse. I would invariably go home at some point, while we spent most nights together at her house with me getting up early in the morning to come home and get ready for work. This really did go on for several years.

I would be grateful for the relief of being at home alone and then I would realize that once more most of my distress was not her but me. This is not to say that the grievances were not real. She really did stuff that hurt me and vice versa. There were irresolvable issues and times when I knew she was just wrong for me, not totally but in this particular way. I never did find it necessary to break with her, but there were times when I could not support her in her positions either. There was one time in particular that occurred near the end of our time together. Ultimately she ended our partnership over knowing I was wrong for her in ways basic to her values. During those nights at home I invariably discovered the wrongheaded way I was going about things. Then I would have to return and apologize, hoping I would do better.

I don't mean to say that this was what our relationship was about. Far from it. These things did not happen often. I don't even think once a month - maybe once every couple months, maybe less.

I Cannot Rise

I am at home, not with you,
trying to understand, calm
even though I want to
growl like something wild,
turn and snarl, snapping
at the way it goes.

I am in pain, fear
I am self caused and abused,
and keep solitude
trying to rise up
as if I am not myself
and this ache is just
but does not belong
to me.

November 16, 2009 3:19 PM


  1. oh my, my friend you nailed it this time. I have so many times been there. This ache does not belong to me but yet I must own it to be free. Thank you

  2. I am assuming you to be the one time back door girl who flew the coop and lit around the corner. Welcom. I am surprised to find you here. Does this mean you are home from work, I ponder? If so I holler no fair.

    That bit about what belongs to who is so friggin complex that it could drive a person crazy. It often does of course. Time in solitude is exactly and precisely prescribed in my life to keep the bats zooming in my head and not dive bombing the innocent.

  3. Hmm imagine that, I just helped make a horn/trumpet from a shell a few days ago. sounds great, now I have to get one for me, the first was a gift to someone.
    Your poem certainly expresses the pain in the changeful shape-shifting process.
    Which always.....entails forgiveness in some form or another.
    The biggest reality for me is that "Things are not always as they seem and even people are not always what they all may be more, or less as the case may be."
    I...only....give.....up,.....or ....surrender.....when all loopholes have been wound and unwound woven and unknotted found and deciphered. whew. you know. We can all win.
    It doesn't have to be only for some.
    Let's play "Let's make a Deal"

  4. Yes, I be the former gnome from the back yard. I usually read your stuff. Hmm, must not comment often. Gigi, the wonderful shape shifting of life whooped my ass many times cause I don't follow and seem to get left behind because I am seemingly blind to the shifting until it's too late. And sometimes the pain is just too great to see through. Love you guys


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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