8th of Elul, 5771
This past Sunday, I performed at a house concert in Northbrook, IL. On my way over, I happened to look out of the car and saw a half-moon shining brightly in the evening sky. It was a waxing moon. In that moment, as that half-moon lit up the sky, I became particularly aware of the passage of time. If Bob Dylan sings “Time passes slowly up here in the mountains”, well, I was feeling the exact opposite of that lyric. Time passes quickly, down here in the city.
It’s the 8th of Elul today, and I am feeling the quick tick-tock of time. This time of year is a time for introspection, yes, a time to check in and figure out where one missed the mark and commits oneself to improving for the next year, a time to repair relationships that need servicing, between people and between you and God – however you understand the word.
But for me, this time of year is also a time-marker – how quickly time passes. The sometimes exquisite pressure to get something done before it’s too late. The excruciating reminder that aging is occurring or that bodies deteriorate. The urgent knock-knocking on your heart to love SO hard because you never know which day might be one’s last.
I feel this pressure of time acutely this year, especially with a growing number of my inner circle of loved ones suffering from physically debilitating diseases. I feel the urgency of appreciating the present moment. I grasp at the clock of time and try, knowing the futility of the action, to slow it down. I pray for the strength of Today. The strength to not wallow in yesterday’s nostalgia or fear what tomorrow will bring, but the courage and strength to stay as present in the Today as I possibly can. The famous prayer HaYom T’amtzeinu asks God to help us by making us strong. Elul’s moonlight woke me up to time. What will it awaken in you?
Jewels of Elul is a project of Craig Taubman. I am a guest blogger today as part of the Jewels of Elul project.
This year, in addition to guest the blog and guest bloggers, Craig’s company has released a free compilation CD on Amazon.com. My song, “HaYom“, produced by Glenn Grossman, is one of the selected tracks.