The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Thursday


The Blessing of Brothers
A Poem-Dvar for Parashat Vayishlah
Genesis 32:4 - 36:43
By Rabbi Steven Nathan


Finally
Without warning
The day arrives
For which he has
Longed
     Dreaded
Waiting
     Feared

He
is coming
The other one
The other half

Will a divine union finally occur
Uniting what is separate
Making Whole
What is Divided
Or
Will they tear
Each other
     Themselves
  A     part
Creating further division
That no one
Can repair

Fear grips
One
Both
The Same

That evening
One wrestles
With
The other
The self
The divine
Through the night
Never winning
Never losing
Simply
Struggling
As in life

Same evening
The other
Also struggles
With demons
Within and without
The hatred
Of other and self
Mother and father
The desire
For power and reconciliation
The memory
of what was
The dream
of what could be
Struggling
Preventing him
From moving ahead
To meet the one
Who is both
The other and the same

Sunrise
One feels
Excruciating pain
Wrenched from the past
Brought into the present
A new man
Yet the same
Still the heal grabber
Now the one who struggles

Hasn't that always been the case

Sunrise
One feels
Overwhelming sadness
Rescued from dreams of a future
Never to be
Rescued from the demons of a past
He must relinquish

Both enter
The present
The moment
The potential
For wholeness
Holiness
Reconciliation
With self and other

The sun is high
Reaching its zenith
no more shadow
only purest light

At that moment
This moment
brothers meet

They look
Into each other's eyes
Mirrors

They see
Each other
Themselves
They see
Father
Mother
They see
Fear
Hope

They see
The moment
They seize
Each other
Embracing all that is
Within them
All
That ever was
All
That ever will be
here
In this moment
Within them

All is right
For
All is
As it is

Blessing
Birthright
No longer matter

What matters
Is now
Is them

Embracing
Tears flowing
They cannot let go
Yet
They must
Release
Each other
Each self

For the time has come
For the next step
Together
Alone
Into the unknown

the next moment
Each going
his own way
Each knowing
Now that they
they always be
together
One
Even though apart

Each leaves
Realizing
In that moment
They have finally
Received
The true
Blessing
Birthright

Oneness

Now guiding
Each one
On
Each step
Of
Each journey
Of
Each life

They journey
Has not
Been easy
Till now
Nor will it be
Till then

Yet
It has brought
These two
To the place
They longed for
Yet
Never knew
To
Themselves
Each other
To the oneness
of
Brotherhood

--------

Wednesday I got the dubious pleasure of listening to my son practice with his first string quartet...pleasure because it is a total delight to see one's son surrounded by other musicians all concentrating on the music, dubious because every one of them was playing at a different speed. *g* The music teacher's daughter plays the cello, and she was supposed to set the pace for the others, but it didn't quite work out that way. They are having another recital on the 16th but likely will only have one more opportunity to practice together between now and then!

Otherwise my day was three Star Trek articles, all of which aroused controversy with someone (Variety claiming J.J. Abrams would direct Star Trek XI though that isn't confirmed, which I reported as not confirmed and got blasted both by the OMG THIS IS CONFIRMED NOW! crowd and the OMG THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG! crowd, my devoting fewer paragraphs to Scott Bakula's new TV movie than Kate Mulgrew's new play, etc.), being happy with Conservative Judaism for making forward progress -- if rather small progress -- on gay ordination and partnership (miriya_b passed on links from The Jewish Week, Forward, The Jerusalem Post, Ha'aretz, MSNBC and The New York Times among others -- have not had time to read them all), swapping e-mails with my mother on whether Jimmy Carter is a bigot (her position, and Alan Dershowitz's) or a voice of reason (my position, and Michael Lerner's) on Israel and Palestine -- yes, I am having a very theological week, think it's turning 40? -- looking up and printing out herbal tea recipes, getting holiday presents organized and growling at both children that they have ONE DAY to finish their magnet middle school and high school applications and they are NOT playing ANY video games until they are done.


A model of one of Norman Rockwell's famous images from the Rockwell's America exhibit at the Maryland Science Center.


Rockwell was quite fond of inserting himself into his paintings...he often appears in crowds at baseball games, and here, in a blowup of a cover of people gossipping.


He also had no difficulty expressing his motivation when daydreaming on the job, though he painted many illustrations of the unfairness of small town life, particularly where racism and bigotry were concerned.


Here are reproductions of what are probably Rockwell's four most famous paintings: The Four Freedoms.


These, along with Do Unto Others and The Problem We All Live With, are probably my favorites of his as well, though I am quite fond of his rebellious little girls.


In Baltimore, however, certain priorities must be respected...the only original oil painting in the exhibit was loaned by Brooks Robinson, local hero (this is one of the paintings in which Rockwell inserted himself into the crowd).
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Everyone probably already knows about this, but since I forgot on World AIDS Day I figured I would mention now that if you light a virtual candle at Bristol-Myers Squibb, they will donate a dollar to AIDS research. Am cracking up at The Village Voice's review of Apocalypto ("...has a faux Greek title and an opening quote from historian Will Durant that ruminates on the decline of imperial Rome. It may seem an odd way to comment on the supposed end of an imaginary, unspeakably barbaric Mayan civilization—but WWJD?") because the subtitle is, "Mel Gibson Is Responsible for All the Wars in the World" (reviewer J. Hoberman concedes "OK, slight exaggeration, but he's at least to blame for this one he made up"). I won't know first-hand whether it's a good movie or not because Gibson is not getting any of my money. And that's enough run-on sentences for now.
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