SHIVA MOMENTSFood platters and family matters Laughter and tears Angers, fears Stories of life lived Regrets of time lost Eternal moments of memory Woven together into a balm To assuage the hurting heart Release the untethered soul And heal the empty hole Unseen in the covered mirrors Which hide the torn heart’s anguish As I languish Grief-stricken Yearning Burning like a candle In the dark night of the soul. Praying with my weary body I bind my memory of you into my arms Between my eyes As my heart, once again cries Tears of love, loss and awakening. Psalms of praise Punctuate a mourner’s daze Shema Yisrael Why the hell am I here? Awake so early Not in my bed As you lie dead Why? I cry with a sigh Standing To enter the silence of prayer. I greet the ancestors And they comfort me Unconditionally Telling me they have welcomed you in death For a moment I catch my breath But then in the painful nuances Of death and life renewed I know its not true Embodied I will never see you again Once more a wave of pain Recalling you’ve breathed your last This time of incarnation has past Dead, buried, no longer even dying Am I laughing or crying Feeling the blessings of living Reaching out Forgiving Deeply knowing the fullness of time Seeing invisible patterns of the divine Reflected in the candle light That burns day and night. In this prayer haze As words jump off the page I feel the echoes of older, younger generations Meaningful interpretations Punctuated and punctured once again With lingering laments of sorrow and regret The recognition of potentialities never to be met Gifts bequeathed Sacred moments now unclaimed Was this death in vain? Blessings harvested Friends found and lost Just how much did that box cost? All these and more pass in my mind In praying to the divine Unfolding moment by moment In this ever-present seven day vigil in your honor. Until finally I pray for peace Silently bend my knees And sit down close to the ground A prayed-out mourner am I Not another tear to cry. As the din definitely diminishes And a majestic prayer finally finishes Trembling, weary in my heart Without hesitation, I slowly start Momentarily mesmerized as I stand Uttering cryptic words Of a sacred chant Yitkadal v’yitkadash Lifetimes these words endure and last Stuttering Sputtering In dumb struck belief There seems to be no relief Until in the pause moments I drop my fear and begin to hear Praying through me Ancient Aramaic incantations Echoing patterns of the centuries An indistinct primordial sound Resounds deep inside Claiming my birthright from days of old An orphan in history Awe-struck by this mystery Of unseen connection Of generations and generations Children of fathers and mothers Siblings of sisters and brothers Woven into the warp and woof of life Etched into eternity Words older than time Hallowing the divine Magnifying Sanctifying this moment This life you have lived This death I am discovering This blessed Name I am uncovering In this world and the world beyond In the name of the one who makes peace In the highest realms In the human realms In my aching heart And in your awakening soul And once more Before another round of bagels and lox Makes all my clothes tight Down to my socks Let us say – Amen! Let us pray – Amen!