Yule and the Moon of the New Year
Well. Now you know where the Webb is! Orbiting L2. Getting ready to get its many mirrors in focus. Next steps: cool down, alignment, and calibration. NASA
Wednesday gratefuls: Kep and the Pine Needle. Rigel, more adept with her back legs. Torah and the Stars. Sefer Yetzirah, class 2. Urology associates canceling my appointment today. Josh Ruthenberg, Snow removal guy. Ruby and her Winter shoes, just fine in the Snow. Palmini.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Kep snorting a Pine Needle
Tarot: four of vessels, boredom.
Remember not getting ahead of myself with disease? Dr. Palmini called, chuckling a bit. Well, it wasn’t a tooth or some other disease process. (whew. like cancer, I thought) It was a Pine Needle. Kep snorted a Pine Needle and it got lodged below the nasal passage and above the gum line. Result: infection. Palmini had never seen it. I’ve certainly never seen it. That Kep.
Rigel seems to have adapted to the muscle relaxant and the 5 mg dose of oxycodone. She’s a bit steadier on her back legs. Enough to justify the extra meds? Not sure at this point.
Looks like they’ll both be here a while longer. Happy. Relieved. Abraham Lincoln’s problems made me vulnerable, realizing it could be Kep or Rigel.
No more snorting Pine Needles, Kep!
The astrology class has begun to make more sense. Part way into the third class, not bad. I learned the symbols for the Planets and the Sun signs. Learning what the houses suggest in a reading will take me a bit longer. The aspects? That’s a bit further away for me. But I’m making progress.
The Sefer Yetzirah class has introduced me to David Sanders, the founder of Kabbalah Experience. My friend Bonnie Houghton was his sidekick when they started it. She’s now living on Andrews AFB outside D.C. She’s in the class as is Rebecca Martin from CBE.
This is heady stuff. Right up my alley. The focus right now is on the nature of language and letters and words. A lot of this class proceeds by story, a common way of learning in the Jewish world. Here’s one story from today’s class:
“A. Rabbi Alexandri said: There are three that returned to their points of origin, and these are: The Jewish people, the gifts of Egypt, and the writing on the Tablets of the Covenant. The Jewish people returned to Babylonia. The money of Egypt; as it is written: “And it came to pass in the fifth year of King Rohoboam, that Shishak, King of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem; and he took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house; he took everything” (I Kings 14:25-26). The writing on the Tablets of the Covenant; as it is written: “And I took hold of the two tablets, and cast them out of my two hands, and broke them before your eyes” (Deuteronomy 9:17). And it was taught: The tablets were broken and the letters went flying and returning to their point of origin.” Talmud Pesachim 87b (this is the part of the Talmud concerning Pesach, passover)
The focus for this class was that last sentence. The flying letters returning to their point of origin. What does it mean? It begins a conversation about the origin of the alphabet (alef-bet, the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet), the relation of letters to word, words to reality. The letters flew? Where did they go? I thought they went to the second tablet, the one Moses brought down from Sinai. Apparently I was in agreement with the Talmud. But there was also a middle point, a sort of letter and word limbo, where they resided for a bit.
I know. Pretty abstruse, eh? Yes. But we are, after all, studying Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. Linear thinking needs to get checked at the classroom door.
I love that Jews love learning. And offer so many opportunities. A rich playground for a guy like me. Why am I studying this? I don’t know. It’s interesting. It’s complex. It bonds me to different groups of people, some living in New Mexico, D.C., Denver, the Mountains.
This is my fourth or fifth year. I would say my study has not been systematic, but not quite random either. Learning a foundational concept here, a new way of thinking about reality there.