When I commemorate the Jewish New Year I'm usually in a place of looking inward, seeing how I have conducted my life in this world, working on aspects of my person and how I affect others. Celebrating the secular New Year brings me to a place of looking outward, seeing how what happens in this world affects my life--in my past, present, and wondering about the future.
So many aspects of the world around me are in a holding pattern right now. There is so much unrest on the planet--Iraq, Somalia, much of the Middle East--with seemingly no end to the violence. In the US we are waiting to see what the shift in political power will bring while preparing for the big change in the presidency coming in two years. With the housing market what it is, I don't know what San Francisco will look like a couple of years from now. And as I mentioned when I restarted this blog in August, Beth Sholom--a community that is a center of my spiritual practice--is rebuilding its facility, so we are a community without a home for this coming year.
I am also in a holding pattern in my life. I have career decisions to make this year--not necessarily final decisions, but choices of paths to follow. This coming year also represents a certain aspect of survival for me. It is 5 years since my experience with cancer treatment--a good milestone to reach. But I can no longer wear the cloak of immortality that is part of youth. At 52 I am beginning to feel the effects of the aging process, and need to come to peace with that. Rabbi Irwin Wiener, a friend of my parents, sent me a piece he wrote on aging. In it he said, "The maturing years seem to contain the entire past but with a new understanding of our fallibility." In the years ahead, I hope to find a good relationship with that understanding.
To all who come by to read this, I wish you a Happy New Year filled with whatever understanding you need to continue on your path in life. And a hearty Yasher Koach* for making it this far!
*a Hebrew congratulatory phrase meaning, almost literally, May the force be with you.