Renewal of the Soul

During taschlich, the ducks are floating,

and quietly quacking in nasal dissonance.

Yet, the scene is tranquil overall.

—– —– —–

At some point,

most of the ducks have gone elsewhere…

the only sign of their presence, a ripple of water,

concentric circles moving out from the center,

where bubbles are rising to the surface

from below the otherwise still pond.

—– —– —–

Natural submersibles,

these humble creatures of G-d are content,

diving for their sustenance in the niche,

wherein they have been placed.

—– —– —–

Unlike many of us humans,

constantly searching for

something beyond our boundaries,

whether self-imposed,

like a box of our own construction,

or the existential limitations

that we are all faced with,

throughout our journey.

—– —– —–

Symbolically, our sins are cast

into the pond today, a reminder

of the promise of forgiveness,

that we may be renewed in the moment,

even as we make that first effort

to seek renewal of the soul,

at the beginning of the year.

Sweetness of the Soul

Prepare mind and heart,

bring awareness to center;

stillness in the soul.

As Rosh HaShannah approaches, preparations abound, beginning with the inner focus – searching the soul. This search began thirty days prior, with the sounding of the shofar every morning, awakening the soul to the awesome approach of the King.

The task at hand is to condition the mind to root out evil and sin. For those like myself, ba’al teshuvah, who were not raised observant, nor had the values of Torah inculcated in them, since an early age, the continual “pulling out of weeds,” if left to grow, would only cause the soul to become entangled in gashmiyos again. G-d forbid.

The Soul’s Beloved

L-rd, you safeguarded my soul,

even in the midst of the darkness

that seemed to consume my life,

at the time when all was lost.

Draw your servant out of the darkness,

and into the light of your sacred intentions,

that I may know what Your design is

for my soul to flourish in this world,

and the World-to-Come.

Rescue me from the fire and ice,

so that I may be free to breathe fresh air,

unhindered by the mire,

where I had previously sunk.

That every day may be

an opportunity for renewal,

as I climb higher on the divine ladder,

between Earth and Heaven.

Pinnacle

Ancient dreams careen

when we view things unseen

to the unaided eye,

living before the beginning of time

as we now reckon the days.

Always

searching for something new,

constantly gravitating towards

what is novel, yet transient

as all earthly pleasures are.

Yet, beyond this road paved with glitter,

and littered with the empty wrappers

of fleeting moments, is a Way –

stamped with the approval of Heaven,

lit by the light shining down from Above.

If we are not yearning

for something that is of lasting value,

then everything we experience

will drift away into the ether,

and fall back to earth as rain,

the ever present pouring down

of heavenly tears.

Gliding and Abiding

The haimishe coziness

of the evening settles,

upon the greenery of the park,

as the empyrean sky lifts up the stars –

reminders of G-d’s luminous heavens.

In Shomayim, the angels prepare

for their nightly round of singsong,

in honor of the Creator, Who glances

everywhere in one moment.

All is well until the dawn,

when the day begins again,

as promised; yet, without human foreknowledge

of what there is to encounter out there.

My kavannah is nurtured,

by the waxing and waning of the moon,

the ebb and flow of the Universe,

the wabi sabi of G-d’s creation,

as I greet every morning,

with my own song to the L-rd.

My derech, my raison d’etre, my ikigai

is written in the palms of my hand,

and the words of my prayers.

My focus and intent,

is to start the day

balanced, centered,

and in alignment

with my purpose.

© 2022 all rights reserved

dVerse prompt

Existential Limits

Like a sentinel,

the white rook sits in the corner,

defending the border territory.

Shall I give up that vantage point,

for the sake of a tighter defense?

Limited possibilities

teach me the virtue of humility,

while, reflecting in a parallel manner

upon my own existence,

I recognize my own limitations,

as a member of humankind.

And, this is what makes us human,

to know that we have free will,

within the framework of a finite being,

subject to nature and nurture,

circumstances and challenges,

all of which can be transcended

by effort, character, and merit.

© 2022 all rights reserved

dVerse prompt

Sleeper – Awake

Troubles take flight,

return my inner sight,

before the nighttime

sleepily falls upon me.

As I watch, during this vigil,

and wait upon His Presence,

my heart grows faint

with past worries and concerns

still plaguing me, like ghosts,

haunting the inner recesses of my mind,

where no darkness should enter;

hence, there must be a door ajar,

somewhere in my spiritual defenses.

And, it seems as if every time

I make an effort to study Torah,

at the appointed time,

a drowsiness pervades my soul,

and my body loses the strength,

to even keep my head up,

with the chumash open upon the desk;

so, I lay my head down to rest,

and waste valuable time by default.

L-rd, Redeem my neshama

from this nisyanos.

Searching Beyond Here

Searching,

humanity is, gazing,

out into the stars, across the years.

Yearning, for more than can meet the eye,

beyond the tears of yesteryears,

and higher than the skies.

Looking, for the hidden treasure

at the end of the rainbow,

we miss the mark everyday.

As the turning point approaches,

within our own hearts, we must decide,

whether to embrace the truth within,

where the Kingdom of G-d resides,

or enslave ourselves to the perpetual pursuit

of a human made modern-day utopia,

a never-ending process of changing the world,

while ignoring the original blueprint of the design.

If we embrace our conscience,

we will be lead back to the Garden of Eden;

yet, if we integrate the ideological constructs

of this pseudo-morality into our lives,

then, we will be led astray by the serpent,

and assimilated into the collective.

We would be wise to renew our own souls,

instead of pointing the blame at society;

to lift up our gaze to the heavens,

rather than squinting our eyes at others.

Regaining our humanity begins

with an individual commitment

to live in harmony with ourselves,

and the intentions of the Designer,

by acceding to His will,

instead of our own.

Heavenly Sight

Flowers for the eye of the beholder to treasure,

while temporarily visiting the unseen world,

as described in a near-death experience,

of someone who was given a second chance.

Imagine seeing heavenly light gleaming

upon a panorama of uniquely designed flora,

not otherwise seen anywhere on this planet.

Wouldn’t this pique your interest,

and, fill you with a sense of wonder?

The Afterlife may beckon inquiry;

yet, to those who have been granted

a glimpse of this world,

on the other side of existence,

a favorable impression of waits ahead,

will motivate the soul,

when returned to the body,

to live a better life,

and share one’s best intentions

with the rest of Creation.

poetry prompt from Eugi’s Causerie