Day #2: Act


This blog post marks the second in a series of writings and posts for the Hebrew month of Elul. Each day, I will reflect on a variety of themes. Thanks,Rabbi Phyllis Sommer for the inspiration!

Today’s theme, I realize, can be interpreted multiple ways. I could be reflecting on action, on being a person who DOES rather than INTENDS. Boy, I could write a lot on that one.

But the interpretation that nags at me more today is this idea of how often I feel the piece of ourselves we present to the world is so often an act. It’s a poem I actually began and didn’t finish a long while ago. Below is what I wrote.

Just like the kosher lady
Who sneaks pancakes with bacon
I awake into action
Cheerfully rouse the troops
Serve a nutritionally-balanced breakfast
Drop the kids off with a smile
Hi! How are you doing today?
Great! And you?
Just fine.
I greet my colleagues in the same fashion as we
In important meetings
And sit rapt.
I stop at the store, exchanging
Currency and small talk
Great! And you?
Just fine.

Just fine.
Well, not fine.
But fine.

How I wonder
The feeling of
Shrugging off appearance
Sloughing away
Thick skin
Broad shoulders
Heavy heart
The thousand daily transgressions

A shedding of pretense
Releasing me
At the intersection
Of identity and intent
At the corner
Of my true self.


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