Last night I barely slept and I (unfairly) blame Jonathon Crombie. He is best known as Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series that I have watched over and over and over since the mid 1980s. I watched it again yesterday after I learned he died of a brain hemorrhage. He was only 48. He lived in New York City. Maybe that’s what bothering me; my own mortality.
So much has happened in the 25 years since Anne of Green Gables aired on my television screen in Redding, California. Mr. Crombie’s death has reminded me that nothing stays forever…even Gilbert Blythe.
I’ve been spending a significant portion of my week inside my apartment nursing my heart wounds (now that I have run out of cherry flavored NyQuil I have had to resort to feeling my feelings vs. just sleeping them away) and attending to the welfare of my fearsome felines (or so I tell myself). However I am ever the better for forcing myself to spend Shabbat at my synagogue in Park Slope where special guest Noah Aronson was performing/leading the music elements of the service.
I particularly enjoyed about his take on the modern day (..actually not sure if it falls under the rabbinical category of modern day…I will investigate) poetry that is interwoven throughout the Reform Siddur and set it to a melody that we sang together as a congregation. I usually overlook the poetry. It is enough of a hustle to just get through the traditional liturgy (especially with my newfound Hebrew skills) and although I love poetry I am more interested in deepening my understanding of the text. It was however profound .There was one line that stood out.
“Let there be love and understanding among us. Let peace and friendship be our shelter from life’s storms.”
Yes it reads a little trite and barfy but as humans we crave LOVE and UNDERSTANDING. You can sweep aside the additional emotional accessories like sex, fun, money and stability because it springs from the root of wanting love and understanding of/from ourselves or from/to others. I want it from my partners and friends (and I suppose from every person I meet) and when I don’t get it a little part of me shatters and sometimes like recently the fragments are somewhat bulky. Taking a time out for myself (literal peace) and relying on my friends to help mosaically piece the soul fragments together has been the best remedy (that and cherry flavored NyQuil…kidding!).
After services the shul hosted a “Boozy Boardgames Night” where I caught up with friends that had also converted and beat my table at our game of Scrabble. #goodTimes