We are coming up to the holiday of Passover. And it occurs to me that my life over the last few years has a lot of parallels to that first Passover.
The children of Israel were in Egypt in a situation which was getting increasingly worse, not only for them, but at the end also for those around them.
And then it happened. In haste, they left Egypt. They didn’t have time for the correct preparations. They didn’t have time for a normal meal. They sat with their children and their neighbors and waited for the moment when they would leave Egypt. They didn’t have time to dream.
And then, when the time came, they couldn’t even leave under their own power. With an outstretched hand, God took them out of Egypt. God pushed them from one reality to another. They missed the watermelon and the eggplant. They doubted leaving the known of Egypt for an unknown future. What would they eat? What would they drink? Where was the illustrious “Land of Milk and Honey”? Questions they had. Answers fewer. After the events of the first few months, the drowning of the Egyptians and the receiving of the Torah, the sin of the Golden Calf, after the fanfare and the fireworks, it started.
What it? The silence – the 38 years of wandering and wondering. And what remains for us is this, silence. No stories, no laws, nothing. Day after day of existence – simple existence.
And then, as suddenly as it started, they were on the opposite bank of the Jordan, across the area of Qesr al-Yehud of today. Their new reality was in front of them; a new mission, a new land, new dreams. They had new inspiration and new connections. They knew who was in their tribe and where they were meant to be. Moshe, in a series of short snippets, gave them the entire book of Deuteronomy in a single month to prepare them for the next phase.
And then, they worked to fulfill those dreams. Building one day onto the next and working toward something – not simply existing but moving forward. They were not always successful – they lost at Ai, suffered with civil war, ignored prophets and followed evil kings – but they worked toward a goal. We read about all those events in the books of the prophets. Scroll after scroll of stories written about a people who found a goal after a silence.
Silence is where I am these days. I justify it away. I tell myself it takes time. And it is true that I feel that my everyday life is existence, just existence. I look for inspiration on Facebook. I don’t write enough. I don’t have a plan. And perhaps more troubling for me, I don’t have dreams. This lack of dreams is intertwined with a lack of stories. Nothing new. Nothing worth weaving a story around. Silent and storyless.
And then, I realize that I need to get my life back on track. I am o.k. My kids are fabulous. My friends are my family. I have some work I love. Thank God. Thank God. And now I need to find the inspiration, to dream.
It’s a rough spot. Usually, I am providing inspiration for others – putting pieces together to make a coherent whole which will touch you spiritually, cognitively, or otherwise. That is the way I guide.
Part of the puzzle came together through a comment by a stranger. Someone who commented about the quality of my posts. And I realize that I have neglected my writing. Writing is part of me and something I love. That part of the dream has been silent – but it doesn’t need to be. Going back to writing is awakening part of myself. I need to find the other parts, do those things which make me supremely happy. They are part of the dream as well.
With Passover just ahead, I need to refocus on being a guide for myself. I need to find the pieces which make me who I am and put them together into a coherent whole – to find a dream.
It’s there, I know it is. Just beyond Qesr al-Yehud….
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