a jew in search of water


I walked behind her creepily to get this. Sommerville, MA.

(It has to be a moving body of water. I am skeptical about the options. If I were in the city, I would go to Riverside Park, and be one of many people leaning against the fence, throwing bread into the Hudson and muttering. Here, it’s tougher.  In the end, I go to a well loved place seemingly in the middle of nowhere, climb down a hill to the river, and proceed accordingly.)

This particular spot was solitary and quiet, there were leaves falling on my head. I brought some Hebrew prayers with me, but when I looked at them, I felt empty;  although I’d taken the time to change the language so it wasn’t completely male-centric, it was still hollow, so I put it away after reading Micah (Gd will again have compassion upon us, Gd will subdue our iniquities). I did what I did last year, except without the heaviness in my chest, which was to cast the bread into the water and listen to a song by Nerissa and Katryna Nields while I did it. (Give Me a Clean Heart.)

There are a lot of things I threw into the water. I’m pleased that it had such a strong current. One thing I did not throw away/repent for/whatever, that surprises me, was the not keeping Kosher anymore. I didn’t even think about it, it occurred to me only now. Maybe because I made the decision, it wasn’t something I did out of anxiety or carelessness or deceit. I’m trying to let this Judaism thing be what it is, which is complicated, and send my urge to simplify it very far down the river.

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