"Kaddish is a prayer found in the Jewish prayer service. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God's name.The term "Kaddish" is often used to refer specifically to "The Mourners' Kaddish", said as part of the mourning rituals in Judaism in all prayer services as well as at funerals and memorials. When mention is made of "saying Kaddish", this unambiguously denotes the rituals of mourning."
Tattered Kaddish Adrienne Rich
Taurean reaper of the wild apple field messenger from earthmire gleaning transcripts of fog in the nineteenth year and the eleventh month speak your tattered Kaddish for all suicides:
Praise to life though it crumbled in like a tunnel on ones we knew and loved
Praise to life though its windows blew shut on the breathing-room of ones we knew and loved
Praise to life though ones we knew and loved loved it badly, too well, and not enough
Praise to life though it tightened like a knot on the hearts of ones we thought we knew loved us
Praise to life giving room and reason to ones we knew and loved who felt unpraisable
Praise to them, how they loved it, when they could.
"That we go numb along the way is to be expected. Even the bravest among us, who give their lives to care for others, go numb with fatigue, when the heart can take in no more, when we need time to digest all we meet. Overloaded and overwhelmed, we start to pull back from the world, so we can internalize what the world keeps giving us.
Perhaps the noblest private act is the unheralded effort to return: to open our hearts once they’ve closed, to open our souls once they’ve shied away, to soften our minds once they’ve been hardened by the storms of our day."
We suffer, often unknowingly, from wanting to be in two places at once, from wanting to experience more than one person can. This is a form of greed, of wanting everything. Feeling like we're missing something or that we're being left out, we want it all. But being human, we can't have it all. The tension of all this can lead to an insatiable search, where our passion for life is stirred, but never satisfied.
When caught in this mindset, no amount of travel is enough, no amount of love is enough, no amount of success is enough...
The truth is that one experience taken to heart will satisfy our hunger. "
100 Butterflies (excerpt)
Where you are going and the place you stay come to the same thing.
What you long for and what you've left behind are as useless as your name.
Just one time, walk out into the field and look at that towering oak -- an acorn still beating at its heart.
"On yet another level, silence means listening. We follow the Rule of St. Benedict and the first word of that Rule is "Listen." That's the great ethical element of silence: to check my words and listen to another point of view. I'll never have any real peace should my sense of well-being depend on soundless peace.
When I can learn the patience of receiving, in an un-threatened way, what I'd rather not hear, then I can have a real measure of peace in any situation."
After 3 occurrences of cancer within the family (2 dead, one will go any day now) I finally bought this book I have been meaning to read since years. Brilliantly written, very easy reading for the layman. And a great reminder that any day you wake up and are still alive and well, and no one in your family is dying, you must remember to be happy and cheerful. ................................................................................................................................
"...This image - of cancer as our desperate, malevolent, contemporary doppelgänger - is so haunting because it is at least partly true. A cancer cell is an astonishing perversion of the normal cell. Cancer is a phenomenally successful invader and colonizer in part because it exploits the very features that make us successful as a species and as an organism. [AM: cell division, cloning, survival of the fittest, growth via evolution]
...When a chemotherapeutic drug or the immune system attacks cancer, mutant clones that can resist the attack grow out. The fittest cancer cell survives. This mirthless, relentless cycle of mutation, selection, and overgrowth generates cells that are more and more adapted to survival and growth. In some cases, the mutations speed up the acquisition of other mutations. The genetic instability, like a perfect madness, only provides more impetus to generate mutant clones.
Cancer thus exploits the fundamental logic of evolution unlike any other illness. If we, as a species, are the ultimate product of Darwinian selection, then so too is this incredible disease that lurks inside us."
"Ukemi is a Japanese word used in Judo for the method of falling without getting injured.
...He [my Judo teacher] made me practice nothing but falling for six months, correcting every infinitesimal detail. He would sense my frustration when he caught me wistfully looking at the other judoka. They would be performing their techniques and sparring while I rolled for hours on the mat, with my teacher sometimes deftly throwing me to demonstrate a nuance I had missed.
He would then remind me that the art of falling was the foundation of good Judo.
...One day the head teacher, a seventy-year-old eighth Dan judoka, legendary for his insightful teaching called me aside after a randori. “How can you do beautiful Judo if you don’t risk falling?” he asked. I was taken aback. I thought the whole idea of a randori was to avoid getting thrown.
He continued, “A lot of judokas don’t like to fall, so they try to avoid it at all cost. By doing this, they get tense, their techniques become wooden and their Judo lacks zest.”
Seeing he had piqued my interest, he went on, “Real Judo is like life. The little losses and gains don’t count for much. What matters is whether you lived beautifully, with courage and joy.
For this, you must learn not to fear falling or failure and welcome it like a friend. Because only when you learn to love it, then can you really live to your full potential.”
The mother elk and 2 babies are sniffing the metal handle of the bear-proof trash bin.
I remember the instructions for city people: 3 football fields of space between you & the elk if their babies are with them.
I’m backing up slowly, watching the calves run into each other as they bend to eat grass/look up at the mother at the same time.
The caramel color of their coat, the sloping line of their small snouts & I want to hold that beauty, steal it for me, but I’m only on football field # 2 & walking into the woods past the lodge pole pines.
Their fragility, their awkward bumping opens me to a long ago time— a hand on the door, I was walking in to the psych hospital in Pittsburgh, feeling broken and stripped down— a hand on the door from around my body
& I looked up to see the body of a man, who said: Let me get that for you— a hand on the door & the bottom of me dropped
I couldn’t breathe for the kindness. I couldn’t say how deep that went for me.
I had been backing up, awkward I had been blind to my own beauty.
"But though we believe ourselves to be seeking happiness in marriage, it isn’t that simple. What we really seek is familiarity — which may well complicate any plans we might have had for happiness. We are looking to recreate, within our adult relationships, the feelings we knew so well in childhood.
The love most of us will have tasted early on was often confused with other, more destructive dynamics: feelings of wanting to help an adult who was out of control, of being deprived of a parent’s warmth or scared of his anger, of not feeling secure enough to communicate our wishes.
How logical, then, that we should as grown-ups find ourselves rejecting certain candidates for marriage not because they are wrong but because they are too right — too balanced, mature, understanding and reliable — given that in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign.
We marry the wrong people because we don’t associate being loved with feeling happy."
occur. Some days I find myself putting my foot in the same stream twice; leading a horse to water and making him drink. I have a clue. I can see the forest for the trees.
All around me people are making silk purses out of sows’ ears, getting blood from turnips, building Rome in a day. There’s a business like show business. There’s something new under the sun.
Some days misery no longer loves company; it puts itself out of its. There’s rest for the weary. There’s turning back. There are guarantees. I can be serious. I can mean that. You can quite put your finger on it.
Some days I know I am long for this world. I can go home again. And when I go I can take it with me.
What does that do to the old blood moving through its channels? Naomi Shihab Nye, 'Fresh'
So much we do not need— the old t-shirts at the back of the closet, the secret ingredient in Aunt Jean’s tuna casserole, the pity of strangers, the growing stack of journals we promise ourselves we will someday read, the memorized jingles from TV commercials we sang when we were young.
And then there’s the list of what we cannot do without— the willingness to blossom out of our own detritus, the capacity to laugh a real unguarded laugh, a joy in unlearning whatever we think we know, and the grace to let our story re-write itself even as we fear turning the page.