Lughnasa Waning Summer Moon
Oi. Over to Beth Evergreen yesterday morning at 8:30. Alan and I sat down, knocking together our rough draft of the calendar for our sixth and seventh grade class. There will be dream interpretation, several sessions on what it means to become a teenager, understanding Torah, understanding the morning prayer service, making your own Israeli flag, making your own Jewish mandala, a shiviti, a session on Funny, You Don’t Look Jewish, and much more. This took until 11:30 or so.
We met there because Alan said he had some work to do at the synagogue. When we finished, I asked him if I could help. Turns out, yes, I could. I spent another two hours with a power drill in hand, helping him put up the final trim on the yahrzeit wall. First impressions can be weird. The doorbell rang and I let a guy in, first time I’d met him. I had the drill in my hand, so the first time he met me, he saw me as a person who could use a power drill. Oh, my.
A yahrzeit wall consists of plaques with deceased member’s name, date of death, and a small light to the left of the plaque. Technology allows Leah, who manages the wall, to program the lights so that they come on during the month of the person’s death, following the Jewish calendar. Yahrzeit, literally year time, is the yearly anniversary of a relative’s death, during which mourners say the kaddish, or the mourner’s prayer, during services. I like this idea a lot. It keeps a relative’s memory alive and it honors the living by giving them certain knowledge that they will not be forgotten. Someday it may be Kate’s name will be up there, maybe mine, too.
The surprising part of all this, unpleasantly surprising, was that when I got home around 2 pm, I felt exhausted. Not just tired, but done in for the day. The degree of exhaustion seemed exaggerated. Yes, I’d been gone a long while (for these days), had no lunch and was on task the whole time. Even so. Kate reminded me that working with my hands wears me out. She’s right. The combination of careful, thoughtful work for two and a half hours followed by a roughly similar amount of time with a power tool resulted in sagging. Even a nap didn’t cover it.
It gave me a sense of what Kate deals with nearly every day. Unpleasant. In my next workouts I’m going to focus on stamina.