Jumping In Jumping Out
Gracie Stories, part 7
Not a good night for sleeps. My reading schedule has fallen off though the Kindle helps and when that’s too remote, I have an app on my phone and the story of Hannah Arendt and Heidegger can be read on a phone too.
Heidegger was handsome, everyone agrees, dark eyes, etc. His wife more vocally anti-Semitic than he was (after all he was making it with Hannah when she was a student in his class and for many years after) it’s a curious story. How in the hell could such a mind join the Party.
I sent a great piece off to a couple of magazines. I even got a response from an editor at the New York Times Magazine to whom I sent it by mistake. But hell – a response from the New York Times — nice.
Gracie spent a quiet night in her lair but I guess I am listening for her so it interrupts my sleep-ful-ness. I’ve always been this way.
This morning I left the house with the feeling I have had several times in my Life: the desire to walk into an unfamiliar place and ask for help from people I have never met. Magical thinking. Can you help me? I may be the only one who can. Thus begins the story.
I shook it off and continued up Delmar Blvd, thinking what if I lost my right hand and couldn’t play the guitar? Could I figure out my pieces with just my left hand? This in what I call my mind.
A guy encountered me at the coffee shop where I was grabbing 20 minutes writing this and I could see him reading my piece on the screen as we were talking and I was embarrassed for a second, then what the f**k.
I’ve been meditating with a group of people and I’ve had two experiences in a row of deep deep meditation. In both I was visited by my father.
My father passed during Passover more than 20 years ago and I guess I am more aware of him during these days, but more than that he visits me when I am learning something new. I once asked him if he thinks of his mother, long after she died. Every day, he said.
Wednesday night I am playing the Sarajevo Haggadah story with my new friends. I’ve practiced the unfamiliar material, playing in new ways, and it seems when I am sitting and practicing is when he most shows up. He has showed up twice in these deep meditations, a kind of leil shimurim as it is referred to in the Torah, night of conscious watching – me for Harry, Harry for me. I felt him so strongly and it was more than a feeling it was his sensibility, his listening presence to what I was giving.
He had passed before he heard my music or read much of my writing but he reappears. Now in these meditations.
The midrash quoted in Me’am Loez; G*d hovers over every living thing and demands: grow. Gracie weakening, my heart tearing new pieces, the response to grow – a single simple directive feeling my G*d hovering over me and my father hovering within me – one making a simple demand the other luxuriating in the sound of new material the deeper reach of the season too that is called Raza/the secret of the Passing Through or Passing Over or as I prefer the Jumping In Jumping Out.
It’s all the same to me, our teacher says, near and far, in and out, close and distant. He whispered this in Egypt, by the way, before the whole journey started.
I offered up my distance and isolation from everything I love the most, raised a sweet savor and G*d, as it were, descended into the pit. Somewhere in between we meet.