Spring and Kate’s Yahrzeit Moon
Thursday gratefuls: Rich. Jamie. Marilyn. Susan. Truth. Emet. Luke and his new haircut. Alan. Pesach. Liberation. Slavery. Myth. Story. Legend. Ovid. Latin. Writing. Ukraine. Climate change. Democracy. Liberalism. High fire danger.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Emet.
Oh, boy. Tired this morning. I was up until 11 p.m. last night. Could have been New Year’s. When I got back from the mussar group at CBE, a guy was in my driveway. Kep was barking at him. Go, Kep. I stopped and rolled down my window.
I can’t get any cell service. I’m lost.
My suspicion meter went up, but he seemed non-threatening.
Could I use your phone?
I handed him my phone through the car window. Still suspicious.
My girlfriend. That’s her in the Jeep. He pointed to car lights nearby, the vehicle idling. She’s been drinking.
I live at 285 and Sheridan. I need to call a friend to come get me. (285 and Sheridan is in Lakewood, all the way down the hill.)
He made two calls, both went to voicemail.
The Jeep moved closer to my driveway. Well, maybe I’ll go talk to her. She’ll give me a ride home.
Maybe she would let you drive?
I doubt it.
He left, talked through the Jeep’s window, got in and they drove away.
Left me feeling conflicted. I was already past my bedtime. He was a stronger, younger male with a strange story that I couldn’t parse. Why was he walking alone, in the mountains, trying to find cell phone service? Even if his girlfriend had been drinking, what prompted him to leave her house and walk away into a Mountain Night when he lived so far away? He seemed sober and as I said, non-threatening.
Woke up this morning wondering if he made it home ok. If I should have driven him home. Why didn’t I? Was I too tired? Too unsure of my ability to handle him if he was not as he appeared? Conflicted.
Last night we talked about emet, the Hebrew word for truth. What a topic. See the above story. What was the truth of it? I didn’t know, couldn’t tell, and it made me nervous. So, lacking a way to discern the truth, I backed away. Afraid of a lie that might do me harm. The truth matters.
But, as Pontius Pilate said, “What is truth?” That’s the rub. And, in this post-modern age, who’s truth are we talking about? Mine? Yours? This guy in my driveway? His girlfriends? Was this a case of domestic abuse? He didn’t seem harmed. What was going on?
A lot ink has been spilled on the topic of truth. A lot. We came to no conclusions.
We always have practices. Things we do over the month that will help sensitize us to the particular middot, character trait, and how it can fit into our day-to-day life. Marilyn came up with “I’m going to tell people how I feel about them more often.”
I asked her if I could copy her. She said sure.
Then, after we’d finished cleaning up, Rich and Jamie were back in the kitchen and I was ready to leave. I went back to tell them I was leaving. “I came tonight in person because I knew you two would be here.” Jamie came over and gave me a big hug.
As I left, I surprised myself, and I imagine them, too, by saying, “I love you guys. See you later.” I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with this, saying I love you to important people in my life with my Ancient Brothers and I’m glad it’s spilling over. Because. It’s the truth.