Glue, tikkun

broken clay pot with clover

broken clay pot with clover (Photo credit: pberry041655)

An old story says that when God first let his light shine in the chaos of the new universe, the universe shattered wherever the light came in. And so we live in a shattered world and life is a constant effort to glue the pieces of the world back together.

But it’s by dealing with the cracks that I grow. I learn from my failures in everything from studying math to learning again and again how to be a mother — this time, how to be a mother to a young man who has now a wife and home of his own.

Possibly the strangest lesson that I have learned from gluing the bits of my life together into a whole is that the cracks between pieces, the cracks where the glue is, are the most valuable. Tikkun: an old Hebrew word for this repairing, is what keeps the world going from day to day. It is how I learn that being what I am is enough.

Like Leonard Cohen said,

“There is a crack in everything — that’s how the light gets in.”

Five Minute Friday


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Fear of Writing

Patti Niehoff:

And I am not the only one…

Originally posted on boy with a hat:

Mann writing

Writing is the activity I most enjoy doing (I don’t have a girlfriend at present), and yet, though I enthusiastically await every opportunity to write, hoping to create literary compositions, when I am faced with the blank paper I procrastinate. I do a thousand menial tasks to ‘prepare myself for writing.’ And by the time I am done with them, half an hour or more has passed, and I feel too tired to write and forsake the pen and paper. Alas, it is fear of writing!

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Last day of August. Just past Obon.

An Obon offering at Okunoin Cemetery, Koyasan....

An Obon offering at Okunoin Cemetery, Koyasan. Obon or Bon is a Japanese Buddhist holiday to honor the departed spirits of one’s ancestors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

August 31, 2013 || 3:38 PM

I have been reading about the Obon ceremony in mid-summer in Japan. It is a three-day festival to celebrate the dead. Their graves are cleaned and decorated by their descendants, and families gather together for parties and festivals. Their is a special sort of folk dance, to entertain the dead, I think.

The thought of my mother flashed through my mind. I saw her in my imagination, standing there amidst the dancers who were dancing to rhythms that I don’t know and can’t follow. Suddenly, her body starts to jerk itself into the rhythms around here, violent, strange movements that no human body could perform. The lower part of her face opens her mouth out into a round scream. Her jaw keeps falling down and down, gaping further and further. She disappears, absorbed into the motions of the dancers on either side of her, all of them ghosts, and they disappear into the swirls of movement.

Reading now: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

The Perfect Guest

Patti Niehoff:

We all miss him!

Originally posted on Stacked:



There have been many wonderful guests in the Library in the long life of this institution.  It is hard to imagine that any visit will surpass the pleasure of Seamus Heaney’s.  He was a man without airs.  An Irishwoman we know said that Northern Irish people were foreigners, but in our view Mr. Heaney, an Ulsterman, was the quintessence of all that is remarkable and fine in Irish literature and that he was no stranger anywhere English is spoken.

Go read some poetry.

-Nemo Wolfe

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