"I believe that we are always attracted to what we need most, and instinct leading us toward the persons who are to open new vistas in our lives and fill them with new knowledge." Helen Iswolski
My happiest times occur when I've been willing to jump into the unknown and venture forth as if I could indeed swim the English Channel, though my capacity to swim is limited to hoping I can get from one end of the pool to the other no matter what the length of the pool. I love community and I'm braver when I ask others to jump with me. And so, with no experience, I began to lead Passover seders (the ritual meal often long delayed by telling the Passover story), because there was no one else in my family to lead them and because in my experience seders were lovely to attend, but left me unsatisfied. There was so much to talk about and yet we went around the table in a rote way reading from the Haggadah, a book which tells the exodus story, in the same way year after year.
Once I worked with a group of women, also interested in the possibility of doing a different kind of seder, a Women's Seder. Supporting each other, we wrote a new Haggadah featuring biblical women and modern women who are totally absent in the usual telling of the story. It was a heady experience. Many seders later, in fact this very year, I asked two friends to go way out of the box with me, to have a paperless seder, to talk through the story by posing questions for discussion which would help us understand the exodus from Egypt in a more personal way. It was wonderful, and even my husband agrees it's the seder that sets the standard for all others to come.
My happiness has come from viewing myself in a new way. I figure if I'm curious about something others probably are too, and maybe they're even willing to swim with me. Years ago a group of us began to meet monthly because we knew in the future we would need support in our lives. Now here we are. We're at that stage where things fall apart, and we're committed to being here for each other. More recently a friend and I started a film club. We view the film on our own and meet to talk about it and often about much else. She invited people, I invited others and the group has morphed to include members neither of us knew when we started. I'm at an age where people tend to narrow down their lives. My happiness comes from keeping my aperture wide open.
Baruch ata adonai...I have so much in my life to be grateful for. I'm still laughing and pondering questions from Monday's seder. Lovely to recycle happy memories. Thankful for supportive friends. I'm grateful to have so much to look forward to. Thank you. Amen