Thursday, October 30, 2003

I just crossed paths with Adam, who I had not spoken with since freshman year.
Adam: "You never carry a backpack. You must be a genius."
Ari: "How are you? It's so good to see you."
Adam: "Are you changing the world?"

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

i have never cried like this.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

judaism permeates everything in the high holiday season--more and more every year. this has been true throughout JDS--the holidays took over everything from class schedules to tests to curriculum activities. but this feeling is suprisingly far more striking at Brown, which does not stop to tip its hat to the high holidays. to actively chose to participate requires a new level of intent, a kind of concentration that was unnecessary in JDSBubble. it requires sacrifices, and solicits reflection--puts the "nishma" back into the "naaseh venishma." the beauty of these days have struck me particularly this year. what have i devoted myself too? personal reflection and self-improvement, resolving personal and relationship conflicts, celebrating the mobility of home-ness, and, this weekend, celebrating living text.

in our conversations, morgan often proposes that there are no nobler callings in life than to heal--to her, saving a life and restoring physical health is the penultimate good deed, one that supercedes all others. This idea resonates pretty widely, far beyond the immediacy of our materially obsessed culture. Both the Quran(spelling?) and the Talmud affirm, in strikingly identical terms: to save a single life is to save the entire world.
whenever morgan raises these points, i contest: there are so many ways help people, to do good in this world--acts of loving kindness come in so many forms. If the world were filled only with doctors, what would anyone do with their health? What do people have to live for--aren't there ultimately other, perhaps even more powerful forces that drive people to want to live, to want to be healthy? Doctors must have complements in forces that make health worthwhile. What are these?

Monday, October 06, 2003

i inscribe myself in the book of life that grows on heat vents at the bottom of the Pacific, and down even further, in rock hundreds of meters below the ocean's floor.
i inscribe myself in the book of life rising up between my toes and under my fingernails
i inscribe myself in the book of life that hides between my eyes and ears
i seal myself in the book of life that sweats warmly between two clasped hands

Sunday, October 05, 2003

I think people love looking at babies because babies will look back. Unashamed, intent and curious, without reservation. With wonder. And anyone can receive that brilliant look, and return it. Such awe hides itself too soon in darting glances.
Ask an untrained person to clap at a constant rhythm, chances are they will slow down or speed up. But if 500 people in a room all start clapping, the rhythm will come. And stay, the sole property of no one.

I am off to renounce my vows, seal myself in the book of life, and begin again. I have much to return to and resolve. Gmar Chatima Tova

Friday, October 03, 2003

wrestling with God. What will seal me in the book of life?