Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Year of Mourning - Minyan Antics & Day 27

With the holiday weekend (how odd that Christmas has this effect), I've been at Pride every minyan. It's different than joining another community. I know the shul intimately. It's mine in a way the other aren't. I wander into the kitchen. I know where the good food is hidden. There are chocolate bars and lollipops in the office. I know just what's there because I buy them. I bring a tallit and tefillin to Beth Emeth each day, but I have a set that lives at Pride. I understand the inside jokes.

It's hard to believe that the shloshim ends Thursday night/Friday morning. Has it really been that long?

It's been long enough for minyan to become routine for the entire family.
It's long enough that people know I don't speak in the morning (not while I pray, not all).
It's been log enough that when I said Shabbat shalom to the morning minyan at Beth Emeth they responded, "Aren't we going to see you tomorrow?"
It's long enough that sometimes I am tired of going to minyan.

Yet, it hasn't been long enough.

The crying has stopped (at least for now). Memories are still shared frequently. I wonder if we did that before, but didn't realize because all was so normal.


Then there's stuff like this...

Monday- The Lerner hall, right outside the chapel at Pride has a long table. It was filled with stuff that needed sorting and organizing. Our ritual director was doing it, but got sick. So there it sits. But not anymore. Besides the clutter, the havdalah stuff is there and the hanukiyah. There is also some oil splatter from the hanukiyah. It's messy. I don't like clutter. I find it distracting. I also don't like the image it sends to minyan attendees. By the seventh minyan in a row I can't take it anymore. I can't help it. At lulls in the t'fillot I begin to organize - after I've finished my Amidah, but before the repetition. Between Kedushah and the Torah service- after I've finished my davening, but the minyan is only on Ashrei.

15 siddurim, 2 machzorim, and 1 chumash returned to the shelves in the chapel. 
Genizah materials in the genizah box. 
Pictures set out on the piano instead of in a pile on the table. 
Books to be sorted in a box with others, placed in the corner instead of out in the room. 
Can someone explain why the is a bag filled with night light lightbulbs? 
Also there's a large plastic bag and a cabinet with discarded tallitot and tefillin. And an old, dusty tv monitor, likely from the old security system. 
The hanukiyah and havdalah set are moved to the side table along with a box of new siddurim. 
The old havdalah candles that should have been discarded now are, along with old batteries that were sitting there. (Again, why?) (There were two for the garbage.) The kiddush cup is in the kitchen for washing. (I draw the line at doing the dishes, but I did fill it with water.) 
The table is wiped down.

I no longer worry about where I can put my bag while I put my tallit on. No one will comment. I'm not even sure if the change will be consciously realized. But I breathe a little easier.

Tuesday- It's Sean's day off, and a day off from school, so kids are all asleep. Sean is getting up as I ready to leave. I make myself a cup of tea in a travel mug, and grab the compost to take out. I place my tea on the car bumper to put the compost in the bin. The cover is frozen shut. It takes real effort to pen it; something I am not good at in the morning. Finally open, I take the compost and the garbage to the curb for collection. I get in the car, and drive to shul. I retrieve my tallit and tefillin. Begin to put them on. Realize I forgot my kippah. Go get it. Put on my tefillin, and begin to pray. Minyan hasn't started yet, but I like to do Pesukei D'zimra on my own. At the end of Birchot Hashacher I look for my tea. It's not there. I am confused. Suddenly I realize where it was. It was on the car bumper. Damn.

When I came home I looked for the mug. It's not in the garage. It's not on the driveway. It's not in the street. I wonder how far I was able to drive with it still on the bumper, and how it could have stayed. Maybe someone picked it up. I hope they enjoy the mug. It was filled with good Tazo chai tea.

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