It’s been over a month since I wrote anything here. I’ve been writing things elsewhere. And often something will occur to me, and I will think, “I should write an entry on this”…and then I don’t….and by the time I am sitting in front of my computer again, I’ve forgotten about it.
The High Holy Days are over, and we are 10 days into the Jewish New Year. 5763. I just finished breaking the fast with several older members of my family. Many of the topics of conversation were morbid. Arguments over whether certain people were alive. Burial plots. Cremation. The last was a rather surprising one. One family member wishes to be cremated. However, Jewish tradition maintains those who are cremated may not be resurrected at the end of days.
On Rosh HaShanah during her sermon, our Rabbi encouraged the congregation to “enjoy life” for “this is it.” My father says he heard her use those three words, which shocked him. I didn’t hear them. Though there are a couple interpretations. Judaism definitely doesn’t believe in reincarnation. “This is it” in that respect. Reform Judaism has moved from a belief in a specific Messiah to a Messianic Age, but we still hold on to that. I suspect she wasn’t professing a lack of belief in an afterlife, but instead was referring to this being our only life on Earth.
In general 5762 was not a good year for me. I lost my job of the past 10 years 6 months ago, and I have yet to find a new one. For the past month or so I thought I was going to start one as a consultant programmer, but the project was pulled out from under me at the last minute. Hopefully 5763 holds happier news.
I am a few months away from a numerical milestone in my life. In January I turn 34. Normally 34 is not a major milestone. However, in January 1986, at age 17, I was flattened with Guillain Barre Syndrome. A disease that devastated my nervous system and paralyzed me. Even though I ultimately recovered almost 100% of my abilities, it still had a profound effect on me. In January I will have lived the same amount of time after as I did before. I don’t feel I’ve accomplished what I would have wanted to in the past 17 years, but I know I can’t look back. I can only look forward.