When I was six, I wanted to be a stripper. At 8, I wanted to author Nancy Drew books. At 14, I wanted to be the first woman in the NBA. At 18, I wanted to be a professional slam poet. At 19, I wanted to open a bookstore-cafe. At 21, I wanted to teach in academia. At 22, I wanted to be a priestess & ritualist honoring body, earth, blood & Goddess. At 25, I wanted to help people heal up their ancestral lines & to integrate the role of the erotic healer into the rabbinate. At 27, I wanted to record music.
Some of these vocation dreams have come wildly true and some have fallen clearly by the wayside. As I tend this week's Kohenet retreat, which began with Tisha B'av, today's holiday of fierce collective mourning, I reflect on the Sufi teaching that Ibrahim Baba ~ whose secret is sanctified ~ forever has on repeat: Die before you die.
What do I release fully, no regrets, no resentments, no lingering energy cords, no what if's? What do I embrace so entirely that I move it through each of my pores, becoming transformed by and transforming it in such a way that I no longer cling to that either, because it simply is or was or will be, without question or concern?
How do I track what has broken me, and what I have broken, and how do I let it lie or metabolize its medicine? How do I let my deep dreams move through me, without attachment and with full commitment to showing up?
These questions awake in me after last night's annual ceremony of lament that always has me wanting to break things, even though I co-shape it. This holyday always leaves me yearning to be a sabbatean feasting heretic. Perhaps like the kabbalists who crawl into their open grave at midnight, unsure if morning will bring new life, what I notice is the smell of soil rich with possibility, where earthworms and gemstones live side-by-side, unaware of each other, always needing each other. What I notice is the silence that the birds drop their calls into, like stones rippling a still pond, disturbance the utmost beauty.