Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back to Normal?!

You know what they say about good intentions. I started blogging. I even got some incentives in the form of an gift certificate. But life happens, and I have not posted in some time. Part of my challenge was posting pictures and formatting my posts, so a friend (Thank you, Heidi) suggested I try this platform.

So what has happened? The summer went by much too quickly. I resolved my issues with one set of my mother's lawyers. I did some reading, though nothing too memorable. I am looking at the huge pile of books submitted to the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, and I can hardly believe that I kept up with the reading and reviewing for four years. I read all of the illustrated books, and if I can manage, I will be posting my thoughts.

Taslich at Turtle Rock was not one of my favorites. I am not a fan of inventing your own rituals, and this challenged me on two levels. One, the family was doing things on Rosh Hashana that usually aren't done (hiking, writing, erasing). Second, the Tashlich ritual and liturgy and so beautiful and meaningful, that by delving into the actual ceremony, the family could have found something worthwhile without making up their own stuff.

I have to admit that while I did create my own ritual, I have found a way to make it more meaningful for myself. The point is to "cast your sins about the water," and hopefully do better in the coming year. I avoided the social scene of the local crowd in town, and took a day during the week to go to a beautiful, quiet spot, where the water flows down waterfalls. I had the time to say the prayers with real intention, and these lines stood out:

"Grant us the privilage of being divorced from arrogance, anger, irritability and every kind of conceit." "May we eat only to satisfy our souls." "Grant us the privilege of being joyful with regard to Your Torah and Your commandments. May our trust be placed in You always and may we have a heart gladdened by Your serivce. " "Grant us success and achievement in all our studies and in our every handiwork and undertaking. May our homes be full of God's blessing, may our bread satisy us and may we be good."

Now that the Jewish holidays are over and the kids have a somewhat normal school schedule, I am trying to organize the house. Sometimes it can be daunting, but I am slowly making progress. Today's tasks: sew pillowcases, post old electric trains on Ebay, and catch up on some reading.

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