Saturday, August 14, 2010
I like Saturday mornings. I no longer work, so Saturday morning isn't a goal, or something to hold in anticipation, or a light at the end of the tunnel like it was for so many years. Maybe it's because the neighborhood seems more alive - I see people working in their yards, washing their cars, walking (in the name of exercise) up the hernia-buster hill we live on, and the neighbor down on the street behind us, who restores old cars, spending the day in his driveway working on his latest project. A few weeks ago he got the engine running on an old jalopy and I thought invaders from Mars had arrived! Egads! What a racket!! I went out in the back yard and waved and gave him two thumbs up, while he danced around his driveway like he'd won the lottery, as the car roared and complained and belched smoke. This week he has the engine running smoothly and it no longer scares the crap out of the entire neighborhood when he starts it up.
Sadly (or not) something I no longer do on Saturday, is go to Shabbat service at the synagogue. I don't know why I fell away from that - it used to mean so much to me. But, as the years pass, I find myself getting more cynical and solitary, and I no longer feel the need to express myself in that way. Things came to a head a few years ago when I quit my last church job. Everything had become so pat... so routine... so boring. It was... "This is the way we go to shul/church, go to shul/church, go to shul/church... this is the way we go to shul/church, so early Saturday/Sunday morning. La la di da di da!" Fifty-some years of being a liturgical musician took its toll on me! These days, I just want to sit in my yard, or, when it's cold, sit in front of the slider, and look out at my wonderful view... at the colorful, noisy birds who raid the feeders, the miles of green hills and trees, the tankers, auto carriers and ferries chugging up and down the Carquinez Strait, the expanse of blue bay beyond the Strait, and Mt. Tamalpias rearing it's majestic self far in the distance. I know the beautiful, powerful, exciting ocean is just on the other side of Mt. Tam, and I can hear its roar, smell its salt and almost taste the sharpness of the air. Who needs to be inside a building, singing, chanting, bowing, reading, praying, and all the other stuff. Not I. I'm better off without it and it's better off without me.
However, there's one chunk of the Sabbath I refuse to let go... my lox and bagel brunch. This IS the thing I anticipate all week... my goal... my destination! For a short, blissful time, as I savor every bite, it's the perfect time to give my own version of thanks... thanks for the goodness of my life and all of the wonderful things that make my life so marvelous and incredible and awesome and wondrous and just downright cool!
Happy Saturday, everyone!