I think I’ve mentioned once or a bajillion times on here that I’m Jewish. While religiously I consider myself Jew-lite, there are aspects to the culture that I cling to as a foundation in my life (there’s a lot of wisdom in those old books). That doesn’t mean that I’m particularly good at living my life, but I really would like to be one day.
This year at Yom Kippur (the Jewish day of atonement, best known for fasting and crankiness) services the sermon was about the words of wisdom passed on to King Solomon by one particularly philosophical servant who had been tasked with finding the words to make a happy man sad, and a sad man happy. The servant came back with a very simple concept, “Gam zeh ya’avor.” Otherwise known to we English speakers as “This too shall pass.” Dude liked it so much he had it engraved in a ring.
The idea that everything in life is impermanent, that our moments and feelings are fleeting, is something that I have yet to really internalize…obviously, because I let anger get away with me this week, and ended up hurting a lot of people I care about.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about those words lately. There are moments I wish could last forever and never pass, and moments I can’t wait to get over with, and most certainly moments I wish I could take back, but all these moments pass and in their passing they create what I am pretty sure is referred to these days as “life.”
Life is really friggin hard. It’s tricky, and painful, and full of complications. Many years ago I tried to end mine (remember how I mentioned I was writing a memoir? Consider this your first teaser). As far as moments go, I was in a bad one and pretty sure I didn’t want anymore. But a funny thing happened (shortly after I finished vomiting up the contents of a pill bottle), the moment passed, things changed.
I’m clinging to that memory now. There’s a lot of changes happening in my life in this particular moment; some are heartbreaking, some are scary, and some exciting, but what they all have in common is that they will all pass one way or another. I can only hope that in their passing there are new and better moments.