Jewish Journal

The Cave

by Emily Stern

January 10, 2014 | 1:19 am

Emily Stern, Central Park 2012

I have a wall too, you know, that doesn't want to be permeated, through to whom life seems too much,

I have to go home and mend like a cat licking its wound, patchwork on a plasma screen  when we come close to each other, too.
Plato's cave is bare and wide- but it only goes as far as your consciousness does- as huge as that is. unexplored as it is.

I have a wall too, you know, that comes down when life is as alive as it is,
and now, and now,
i am lucky enough to love life, to want to be touched, step into it and wonk back. 

and I have a wall that is very nonexistent. as existent as skin is,

At the end of shabbat when we enter the week, the blessing is to the One who separates, who designates.
Havdallah, which means separation, is the name of this ceremony for the Separator between the week from shabbat, holiness and unholiness, light and dark, etc.

I say thank You, for these distinctions are Your domain this week, and I am not holding them.  It is not my job to judge, to organize, to plan. It is not my job to designate what You hold in your hands as we leave Shabbat. 

you may be taken by the ruins and i have let them in, destroyed as the month of Av*. destroyed as what you thought was your sacred temple. a place for your dwelling and swelling and
i offer this as a dream for you:
i longed for perfection too.
and rain falls and melts it.
and snow is cold
and not as cold as it is outside
and my body and throat are hot. my heart is open.
i am raw. and have always been ready. in love.


* The Month of Av is a month where lots of unwanted things happened including and not limited to the destructions of the first and second temples.

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Emily Stern is a devotional poet and songwriter. Her album “Birth Day” can be downloaded on iTunes or from CD baby.  As an actor and playwright, her plays have been performed...

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