Where have I been?
Years ago, a teacher said to me, “A lot of people have talent, but not many have persistence. Adam, you keep coming back and that’s what’s going to serve you well.” So here I am, back at the white page, head full of ideas and darkness outside, a cup of coffee, dog asleep next to me, but I’m hopeless, it all seems like shit before I start. In the midrash—the Jewish commentary on the Bible, and commentary on that commentary—there’s a story of the Hebrews, a million plus, standing on the shore of the Sea of Reeds, the Egyptians in war chariots and rage closing in on their flank, the water spread out before them—drown, slaughter, or both? One Jew, nobody special, thought to herself, “G_D wouldn’t have brought us this far, put us through all this, just to kill us off now, like this,” and she put her foot in the water.
This morning is me putting my foot in the water. I’m too far along—a year of working in the hospital, starting graduate academic work in Jewish Studies (with an MFA in Creative Writing I’m still paying off), getting ready to quite literally go out into the desert—into the wilderness—to study a process no certifying or employing body is asking me study, asking my family to give me time and support me, yes, financially in large part to follow this calling—I’m too far along to, I’ve had too much faith in the past that this is the road to give up my faith in that faith.
Yes, sitting with people who are dying, sitting with their families who are living with that truth. Yes, studying religion and how this invisible spirit moves among the generations like wind in the tree branches. Yes, going out into the wilderness with others and by myself, being family to what’s real and seeing what we say to each other. And yes, showing up again and again for the yearning and the gifts that are in me because when we don’t use those gifts that are particular to us we let others down.
Yes I said yes I will Yes.