September 25, 2018

IN THE BLACK NIGHT – FOR PARASHAT VAYISHLACH

In the black night

the river runs cold

slowly passing me by

over formerly sharp edged stones

worn smooth by centuries of churning, 

as if through earthy veins –

and I Jacob, alone,

shiver and wait

to meet my brother

and daylight.

Will there be war?

And will the angels carry my soul

up the rungs of the ladder

leaving my blood

to soak the earthly crust?

A presence!?

And I struggle yet again

as if in my mother’s womb

and in my dreams.

We played together as children once,

my brother Esau and me

as innocents,

and I confess tonight

how I wronged him

and wrenched from him his birthright

as this Being has done to me

between my thighs.

I was so young

driven by ego and need,

blinded by ambition,

my mother’s dreams

and my father’s silence.

I so craved to be first born

adored by my father,

to assume his place when he died

that my name be remembered

and define a people.

How Esau suffered and wailed

and I didn’t care.

Whatever his dreams

they were nothing to me –

my heart was hard –

his life be damned!

But, after all these years

I’ve learned that Esau and I

each alone is

a palga gufa – a half soul

without the other –

torn away

as two souls separated at creation

seeking reunification

in a sea of souls –

the yin missing the yang –

the dark and light never to touch –

the mind divorced from body –

the soul in exile –

without a beating bleating heart

to witness –

and no access to the thirty-two paths

to carry us together

up the ladder

and through the spheres. 

It’s come to this!

To struggle again –

To live or die.

Tonight

I’m ready for death

or submission.

Compassionate One:

protect Esau and your servant –

my brother and me

as one –

and return us to each other. 

El na r’fa na lanu!

Grant us peace and rest!

I’m very tired!