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Wednesday, September 3, 2014
I use the word balance a lot. I like that its meaning can take on almost any shape depending on the conversation.
Each year, around this time, Elul and winding down of summer, I have two speeds - slow, reflective and breakneck fast. On one hand, I'm reminded of Elul and the introspection that this time of year requires. On the other, the High Holy Day preparation, task lists and to-dos seem to grow exponentially.
So I'm supposed to be reflective and frantic at the same time?
Even if I wasn't a cantor, there's school starting, sports teams, music lessons, homework, friendships, the list goes on - fill in yours here.
More than any other time of year, I feel the distance is greater between being in-balance and out-of-balance. I don't know whether to relax or rebound.
As I put these feelings into words, I am reminded of my need to search for one thing. It doesn't matter what the one thing is, but I find it hard to look for more than one thing - physical or metaphysical - at a time. This time of year, I feel caught between focusing inwardly for Elul and the myriad of needs of my work and my family.
So this year I'm trying something new. Instead of feeling caught between two places, I'm attempting to swing with the pendulum - to feel reflective and relaxed during some parts of the day while allowing myself to feel frantic and busy at other parts. It's an utterly new place for me. It's taken a lot of getting used to, and I'm by no means an expert at it - but I'm feeling myself able to appreciate and understand the imbalance more by reveling in its outer boundaries rather than trying to negotiate the midpoint.
Cantor Seth Warner
8 Elul 5774