“Today is Yom Kippur, a very, very important holiday…the High Holy Day. My High Holiday introspection has lead me to believe that although we have little control over the passage of time, we do have a choice about the way we face. Sometimes I feel that just getting out of bed every morning is a huge event! I think about the very dark periods of my life, and wonder how I managed to survive them all. And I consistently question why did all those terrible things happen to me…I had just turned 50…much too young, in my estimate, to have been struck with such a debilitating, and life threatening illness. And today, on the Holiest of Holies in my faith, the only conclusion I have arrived at is HOPE: a wiliness, and a bit of a challenge, to face the future day by day, as best as I possibly can. For me, the opposite of hope is fear…fear of failure, and fear of the unknown. Fear can immobilize us, blind us, and dissuade us from achieving our dreams. HOPE: perhaps that should be our simple goal for the coming year, despite the challenges we will all face…to strive to look to the future with a sense of hope, peace, love, with a little bit of optimism thrown in for good measure.
Albert Einstein once said that “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”. We do not know what lies ahead of us on our individual roads, but whatever they may be, let us chose hope for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, our loved ones, and our dear friends. Gemar Hatimah tovah; may we all be sealed in the Book of Life this coming year with many blessing.
Love and Peace to you.” – By a magnificent friend on Yom Kippur
The above words were written by a friend whom I admire more that my jaded heart would like to admit. When I first spoke with him by phone almost a year ago, my soul was glad to make an amazing connection. He is brilliant, talented beyond belief and a gift to this world the likes of which will never be seen in a thousand, perhaps million years! I do not say this lightly because he’s clearly on a level that many of us will never contemplate yet alone achieve.
We didn’t have much contact, other than an occasional greeting in a hallway, for months with much confusion on my part because we had great communication; loved everything he had mentioned as we exchanged information that people who are getting to know each other would exchange. Still, as my life moved in a million different directions, we lost contact as busy people are prone to do in my world of academics, teaching, studies and surgical practice and his world of academics, teaching and performance.
Later another acquaintance filled me in on some key information that gave me some clues to the matters that he had dealt with over the years; life-threatening, life-changing and mind altering even for the strongest human being on earth. I found myself in a place of questioning as to whether I should bother him or even reach out.
A few weeks back, I took a chance to stop by his studio and found him even more magnificent than that first phone call relayed. In previous posts on this blog, I have shared my awe of his creative talents but the post above gives much insight as to why I will always find him as a person who stops my heart and takes my breath away.
My meditation last evening as I returned from serving at Choral Evensong in the cool fall evening of this October, was to weigh these words and to celebrate his strong yet gentle spirit. I know surely that he is just as I found him last November, talented beyond all reason, empathic and one of the most beautiful souls ever to walk this earth. He has inspired me in many ways which I will share with him. He has touched my heart, mind and spirit. I am grateful and ever so thankful to God, that I didn’t give up on him.
The scary thing for me is that as I run and as I fly to the far east, I will run out of time to get to know this amazing man or that he will give up on me because I am easily devalued. Still my prayers last evening is that I get time.