Av: Month of Love, Month of Mourning


Month of love

Month of mourning

A cycle of the moon that contains both

Tisha b’Av - the fast of temple-era affliction

and Tu b’Av - Jewish Valentine’s Day

A cycle of the moon that casts dappled light

upon the bright buds of renewed commitments

and the broken shards of shattered dedications

A month

that reminds us what it is to be in depth of relationship to every part of our heart

Her ecstasies. Her anguishes. Her promises. Her pain.

Ancestral longings

Of flesh towards flesh

Of desire towards body

Of people towards home

A home before the shatter, before the scatter

Before martyr bone replaced cobblestone

On so many streets we’ve called our home

This first evening

The newest moon of this newest moon

We remember why HaShem wraps us, in this time,

in a total darkness that contains it all:

the wail of the fear of the eternal light extinguished

And the pulsating possibility of the lifeforce of the womb

Fresh Blackberry darkness

Bruised-wound, deep-blue darkness

She weaves this velvet night tapestry to remind us that

a broken heart and a beating heart are by definition one and the same

in this human life of imperfection, just an image of Her perfection

A broken heart, a beating heart

A broken bone, beaten

Broken eggs, beaten, kneaded deep, and eaten

Holy definitional overlaps. It’s why God made ‘delicacy’ means what it does

Vulnerable. Delicious. Breakable and precious.

May this moon and this moon hold us in all of our soft flesh treasuredness.

Avinu, Malkeinu. Let Av break us open. And through that broken, fill us pure.

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