Sunday, April 08, 2012

Another Year, Another Count

היום יום אחד לעומר
Today is the first day of the omer
חסד שבחסד
A day of loving kindness in a week of loving kindness

And once again, the count begins.

A bit of an inauspicious start--I came home from seder last night filled in many ways, but forgot to post the count on Facebook. Perhaps that can be considered a good omen--maybe a slow start will lead to a fuller finish. As always, we'll see. Each year unfolds in it's own way. That's part of the point of this practice. It brings a way to be mindful of each day, be aware of what is happening around me and within me.
For those new readers, I offer a selection of links to help you understand this ancient practice. For those who would like the traditional "nuts & bolts" of the the ritual, go to this article by Rabbi Jill Jacobs from the website My Jewish, a wonderful site to get a good range of information about all things Jewish. For an explanation of the Kabbilistic Sephirot that I reference each day, this article by David Cooper is one I like--it's straightforward, explaining the practice without the dogma. The Huffington Post is getting in on the act this year, posting their own daily omer reflections, which you can find here. And for fans of The Simpsons, there's always The Homer Calendar :)

As always, each day will reveal itself in it's own way, so I hesitate to predict or set a theme for the count. Periodically, I will be sharing bits of my omer journal from 10 years ago (pre-blog), as I navigated through the experience of chemotherapy. Two weeks ago, I posted the entry written after my first infusion. Here is a bit from that year's first day of the omer...

A week of loving-kindness, a day of loving-kindness.
It will be an interesting week, getting used to my bald head. I'm surprised at how, well, not-so-upset I am when I look in the mirror... 
There is a whole expectation that this will change my life. Maybe in the short term, but I'm not so sure about it in the long run. Yes, I've had to face my mortality, but I've also had to let those thoughts go-they're just not revelant now. I still need to just keep going day by day, taking each as it comes--once again, the mindfulness of being present. 
Being present with misery sucks, kind of paralizing. But it does attune you to listening to your body--small degrees of feeling better are fully felt. I've still got months of this cycle to go---is that a long time, or short, and does it matter. 
It just will be...and then, it will be over.

No comments: