I went to Selichos last night, tissues in hand, ready for a direct hit on my shaky ‘it’ll be OK” bravado.
The Kaddish tune nearly pulled me straight to the ladies gallery full of perfume and fur-wrapped ladies who looked as if they could eat us children in one gollop. The Shofar was exciting. Perhaps a bit awesome should I have known the word for the emotion it conjured up.
I grounded myself and began the tearing pace gabble desperately trying to keep up with my fellow supplicants.
Hardly time for breath, barely time to recognize the letters and translate them into speech. Can this mean anything to me. Can I break through a whole year of denial at such an inhuman pace?
Give up, go back home and catch your beauty sleep. Selichos is for the men.”
“I’m not listening. Get out of my thoughts!”
You’ve already had a good try.”
My hand goes to my heart, head lowered “Oshumnu”
You know how to look the part but you’re just gabbling girl, put a bit of meaning into it.”
“I mean that I’m sorry and I will try to change.”
Not if I have anything to do with it!
“Why don’t you leave me alone?”
We’re soul mates, you and I.
“Not if I have anything to do with it.”
Look, everybody has already gone home. Shut your book will you?”
“Listen to the silence, can you feel a special atmosphere in a Shul just emptied and left alone with its latest dose of praying?”
I think you deliberately go slowly just to catch a few minutes of aloneness.”
“And what if I do?”

One of Those Days


Some days just don’t. You know what I mean. You had finally psyched yourself up to start your morning walk campaign setting your alarm for 6am to give you the extra time. The alarm seeps into your dreams and you finally open your eyes to a downpour that can only have been rivaled by bucketing during Noah’s flood. You drop your eyelids in disappointment just for a second and wake up in time to have a ‘race the clock’ breakfastless morning routine. So the day continues. Someone even comments “Got out of the wrong side of the bed did you?” You wish that you could just get back into bed and try starting the day again. Soaked and disgruntled you are arrive back home after the days doings ready to throw in the towel, curl up somewhere and escape into impenetrable sleep.

“Excuse me” a kind of internal voice/thought pipes up “There are hours of this day left, are you going to let that fiendish disgruntled steal hours from your life?”
“Just sleep,” sooths another thought voice “Just think of how rested you will be in the morning.”
“Don’t listen, pick yourself up, dry yourself off, and start all over again”
“A warm drink, a hot shower, clean dry even warmed pajamas and then…snooze and doze and luxuriate in the knowledge that you don’t have to get up until the morning!”
“Oh yes,” I say “That sounds wonderful”
“Don’t do it! Shake yourself off, eat something, write a list and get started”
“OK, out comes the ironing board, in the ears goes my MP3 with a whole menu of delicious shiurim. I’m going to live my day.