Smells Like Elul Spirit

Smells Like Elul Spirit

Writing about it won’t help.

I’m so angry.

I’m so angry for being born and for being in this place. Not really. not authentically. Not in a way that I’d want to reverse the process of being born or being in this world. See, even that’s not real. And that’s part of why I’m angry.

I’m not really angry either, if anger is some sort of wild-fire. This is not wild. It is low, a low simmer, a single coal glowing at the heart of a cold galaxy, but it last and lasts and lasts, and so do I, and that is not happy and it’s not sad and it’s not completely dead. It’s a long, slow, imperceptible wrath. It is a punch to the face that was thrown when I was born and is still in a state of constant arrival, and that arrival is somehow wrapped up with this thing I can’t control, which is being. Here.

I’m angry that I have a body, that it’s limited and that it pegs me in one place and one time and people can look at it and see me. I sometimes forget I have it, and every time I look in a mirror and remember first there is shock and then the dull thud of that one warm coal.

I’m angry that all I am is angry. I’m not “motivated” or “passionate” or even “furious.” These almost imply that something other than me exists. Nothing other than me exists. There is me, and there is my anger at being here.

I remember a time when there was more. My childhood seems like some atavistic echo of Eden. I loved and hoped and had faith, though I wouldn’t have called it that. The older I got and the more I learned and the better (for a time) things got on paper the more I spun away from myself. It’s not because of anything I did. I know it. I’m still angry.

I’m angry that I had to become this broad to survive, that nuance and contradiction are the walls I must dash behind to avoid the glaring light. I wanted to be made whole and not half to lie here bleeding, pieces held together by force of will: You will be one. You will be one. You will be one.

I’m angry that G-d is small and I am big and that I don’t know how to fight that anymore but I am still not going anywhere, not going to admit I’m going anywhere, not going to countenance the slightest suggestion that I’m going anywhere, because I am as stubborn as this stupid world, a rock cast into a stream, sinking and unchanged and uncaring whether the flow’s subtle alteration at my presence ultimately does or effects or is anything with a name. I’m angry that I’m here for vengeance: Midah k’neged midah, measure for measure, I keep showing up at this table, and so will you, and it’s always your move.

I’m angry that I cannot remember where I hid the key to my ball and chain but that I can remember in aching clarity every time I have tried to claw my way out and fallen, every failed attempt, every cycle the same story, and though things change it is never the way I want or the way I intend and never because I sat down and decided they would.

I’m angry that I still know I’m here for a reason and that one more soul in one more body for one more moment is your infinite pleasure and that sometimes I even glimpse it…

I’m angry that I remember the way I used to dance on Simchas Torah, ripping my throat raw and trying to stomp holes in the floor, crying, slamming, because it is the nature of my romantic side to try to say how I really feel once a year and if Simchas Torah isn’t real and the Jews’ backs lacerated with holy and unrepentant whip scars are not your flag and they don’t dance anyway then it’s all nothing and the world can sink into a flood for all I care. But all of that was a long time ago and now I just can’t anymore because there’s been too many and your face is still hidden and there is not a single day that this stupid world doesn’t spit in my face and you don’t care.

I’m angry that you put me in this place where I can forget you care, where I am broken and we sing to you on Yom Kippur to a tune rending and sublime that we are like clay in the hands of the sculptor, an anchor in the hands of the seaman, and maybe you will reel us in. Maybe you will reel us in. Maybe you will keep our form. But perhaps not. Perhaps this is all some joke, and that we went from love to hatred to cold, uncaring apathy is just some preparation for the next test or demonstration.

I’m angry because you probably think it’s funny that I try to defend you sometimes. It’s funny because I wouldn’t know you to defend you, and all words in your defense are hypocrisy anyway, and besides, when was the last time you came around? But it still makes me angry. It makes me angry like a child who has lost his head, and that’s all I am, pathetic and myself.

I’m angry that your excuse for creating people who will always look but never find is that you, too, are committed to always looking and never finding. Perhaps you won’t reel me in, but: It’s a stupid pastime and I’m sick of it. I’ve had it up to here. Not because of some righteous and noble cause of your people in history or defending the weak or hating evil. Because I am so tired. I am so angry. I am tired and angry and here, still here, always here, one day and then the next, and I cannot step into the boats you may have sent with the rising tide, and that is your fault too.

I take credit for none of it. I am not responsible. I am responsible, maybe, for still being here. Always. A coal.

But coals do not fold themselves into words for others; embers are not seen.

And writing will not help.

 

 

Originally posted on Hevria.