Wednesday, December 29, 2004

"To forget all the tormented present"

Last night I was talking with a friend - who will remain anonymous at least for now, since I didn't ask for her permission to mention this conversation- about our mutual depression over death and mortality. I don't want to write about this at length because she'd do a better job than I would. But I'll summarize, because I've been thinking about it a lot and because it leads me to a link I want to share. For both of us it isn't just about the tsunami victims, it's about the incredibly high number of people our own age, our own friends, acquaintances, peers, who have died over the last few years. I wondered: is it a natural phenomenon that as we age, of course more of those in our circles will get diseases and die? Is it because we know a lot of people, and so we're statistically more likely to know those who suffer at tragically early ages?

And I answered myself: It's all one piece with the tsunami and the intifada and 9/11. It's even one piece with the singles crisis. I suspect now that God is turning His face from us, that there is no such thing anymore as "bashert," that we are on our own. There is something wrong with the world. It's as if . . . .

She: . . . something is broken.

Yes, that is the word I was looking for. The world is broken. And we are helpless to do anything about it other than our best to rebuild, to fix.

Tikkun Olam.

Today I checked the blog of my friend Sara, who reflects on the death of her daughter Timmi "Five Years Later," and she has posted about Timmi's yahrzeit and about her poems, the writings that have been lost and those that have been set to song. And Timmi's song expresses exactly what I'm feeling.

To live this moment
To breathe this time
Not to think what the future will bring, if anything
Not to remember what hurt, what was missed, what was lost
To enjoy the here and now.


To move away from what is
To glide out of time
Toward a dream that was, that will be, that can be
And to forget all the tormented present
Because the truth is unthinkable.

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