December 11, 2018

Elul 10: A Welcoming Poem – Andrew Lustig

It’s when you’re all around a dinner table. / Sitting. / And talking and laughing. / When nobody has their phone on. / When dinner starts at 6:00 and continues until 2:00 because no one has anywhere else to be. / No bars to stop at or social appointments to fulfill. / When the entire community knows that no matter how funny the rumor or how juicy the grapes on the grapevine, gossip is not ‘cool.’ / It’s when you find that you really, truly, honest-to-God care about what the people around you have to say. / When conversations couple God and sex and nonsense and jokes that are only funny to us. / When I don’t feel afraid to screw up a joke. / Nor dumb when my ‘facts’ are… incorrect. / When silence isn’t awkward. / When I don’t care who I sit next to. / Or how my hair looks. / Or what time it is. / When I don’t feel compelled to check my phone or check my e-mail or check the score. / When time takes a backseat to space. A sacred space defined by comforts sculpted by living, breathing, actually human people who have somehow intertwined their self-interests and can all find happiness by just being together. / I am happy when I’m not constantly asking myself if I’m happy. / When it no longer matters that I left my laundry in. / Or that yesterday was the last day on the return policy. / Or that I’m so screwed, so unprepared, so ahhhhhhhhhh… if I don’t get my homework / bills / application done / paid / sent. / When silent smiles aren’t awkward. / When I can put my arm around you and not feel rejected if you don’t put your arm around me. / When my mind is free and I’m rowdy. Banging on tables. Dancing in circles. Not afraid to be off key. / Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. / Ahhhhh. / Just breath. / And join us…

Andrew Lustig is a traveling, Jewish Spoken Word artist, performer, and teacher.