Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Shake that Lulav!

Today I decided to get up early and attend a prayer service at Drisha for the holiday even though we're technically on holiday break. I had remembered shaking the lulav and etrog at my college's Hillel, but that was way back when. Sometimes I contemplate how much religion matters in daily life, what it offers to us. Sometimes I wonder if my yoga has seeped into that realm. Maybe I'm a simple person. The body is the realm I can relate to---to feel and see movement, to be more involved in a process. I think that's why I like cooking as well---the idea that something is being made. It's much less tangible in prayer. So I offer up this:

Prayer, Hoshanah Morning

What prayers are ours,
we women carrying
lulav and etrog
this Hoshanah morning
Devorah wraps her tallis
tighter and we pray for
Judy, recovering from cancer.

I watch the way her arm bends
as she moves, almost pointing,
telling us: Here, there,
in front, behind, right, left.
The world is around us
and I think then to those
small acts of ours:

smacking willow leaves
against the floor for rain,
the man standing in protest
outside the embassy, or
the way you press your lips
to my forehead when the D train
goes over the bridge, rocking us
toward the city,

what possesses us to do these things,
what difference does it make,
my hand perfumed with etrog’s shadow
the sweetness worn off by the time
I get home, the one I hoped would
kiss my fingers, still, as I turned the key.

No comments: