Tonight ushers in the Jewish new year, one of my favorite holy days because it is a celebration of spiritual renewal. Part of the service recognizes the work our hands have offered over the last year, and part looks forward to envisioning and embodying the self we have yet to uncover. This prayer felt like the truth in my own journey moving forward. I copied it down because I want to remember the real work that renewal demands.
It is up to us to hallow creation, to respond to life with the fullness of our lives.
It is up to us to meet the world, to embrace the whole, even as we wrestle with the parts.
It is up to us to repair the world and to bind our lives to Truth.
Therefore we bend the knee and shake off the stiffness that keeps us from the subtle
graces of life and the supple gestures of love.
With reverence and thanksgiving
we accept our destiny and set for ourselves
the task of redemption.
This poem by Franz Kafka that was in the margins of the prayer book conveys another truth that coexists with the first. Renewal of our lives is something we do and also something that is offered to us, just because we are. Being and doing are equally beautiful and necessary and within the balance of living intentionally and letting things be as they are, is the lovely and loving truth that we are all loved.
You do not have to leave the room.
Remain standing in your place and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait.
Do not even wait.
Be quiet, still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you.
To be unmasked.
It has no choice.
It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
I long for more truth, more quiet to listen, more peace to be and a heart that courageously will reinvent itself until it stops beating…