Rosh Hashanah in Maine happens during a startlingly beautiful time of the year, when golden glories shine sweet and silent, subtle and supreme, over the poignant land. I love this time of year. I love the three days of the Jewish New Year more every year, no matter where I am. I love how you can’t pinpoint the year’s exact moment of rebirth within the privacy of mystery. So different from the fixation on the instant of the balldrop in the secular New Year, this respectful creating of plenty of space for birth to make its own way seems to harken back to the matriarchal roots of Judaism.
I think especially deeply about rebirth this year because of where I am in my own process of rebirth–one that’s taken notthree days but three years. Through most of this labyrinthine process of rebirthing myself into a new kind of poet and writer, I have been guided by blind intuition. I’ve taken plenty of stressful false turns, made plenty of mistakes, backed out of plenty of tough corners holding a shred of insight to help guide me to the next place in the process. It has not been easy.
And it’s not over yet. But I am beginning to see outlines of my newly-birthed self in the dawn light, and the good news is that I like who I see. She is real. She’s made of the stubbornest parts of myself, the parts that survived all my mistakes. She’s the hardest rock, the shape I just couldn’t chip away through force of will. She’s the strongest mineral, the truth that lasted even through the bitter acid of exhaustion and confusion. Created in the darkness of my own blind faith, she looks more like myself than anyone I’ve ever been.
Over the next months I will be reemerging into the world to share this new self with my readers and listeners, my students and colleagues and friends. I’m excited for you to meet her.
Meanwhile, Happy Rosh Hashanah, and may your own rebirth be strong and sweet and true.