I know I’ve been very quiet.
this does not mean i haven’t been super busy, but it does mean I missed a few classes. I returned last week and tonight got heavy…
I’ve mentioned that class has been taking time to study theology. We’ve been reading the Gillman book and breaking into Chavruta partners. I’ve missed classes and am behind on the book. It’s crunch-time now. As I try and catch up on class and return to the weekly commitment, let me tell you what the “Final” is (and it is due in one week!) – a writing assignment of our own, personal theology statement. Insert gasp.
I’ve been so troubled with the fact that I feel so different than everyone in regards to faith. My simple, regular faith without so many analyzations necessary. Now, I AM feeling better about just writing my own version and not caring if it’s different, we’re all different, right? But now I am wondering how I will condense my thoughts into a statement. Four classmates shared their statements already and I am pretty sure they all had theirs in the 2-page arena. If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably read other entries of mine – so you know how I can go ON and ON. The statements and poems I heard tonight were all moving in their own ways. I was crying through some, of course. They were all so different from each other yet very personal to the author. It’s so easy for us to say that is a very personal subject matter and maybe shouldn’t be shared. (there’s mixed emotions in the class regarding the subject matter) But maybe it doesn’t have to be. Just tell us what you believe! What’s the big deal?
I found it so inspirational to see people just get up and say what they believe. We probably don’t even do this enough amongst friends. SUCH a touchy subject sometimes! Let’s just imagine friends sitting around coffee or wine and saying “Hey, do you believe in Gd? What’s your take?” I’m just as guilty, I don’t do it often either. I guess I just feel better in seeing that in just four statements, there was so much diversity. And Gd bless our Rabbi who didn’t just open up the forum to discussion immediately afterwards but just gave us a moment to digest what we had just heard. The whole experience was heavy. It was heavy to hear their beliefs while thinking about what they must be feeling PLUS thinking about myself and what *I* believe and whether or not I can do this…Deep.
I’m still scared out of my mind, don’t get me wrong, but I AM overflowing with ideas I would want to write about.
I want to write about my complexity that lives inside my simplicity. The Orthodox looking woman on Shabbos that turns into the messy haired, tank top and shorts woman filming a television show in the desert for a summer. I want to tell them how strongly I feel Gd in my world without everyone laughing at me for how childish and simple my faith is. I want to tell them, without offending the Rabbi, that at first this book of his was just SILLY to me, seemed like a waste of time but then turned fascinating. The book became fascinating when the philosopher inside of of me said, “Wait, forget about your faith for a minute and just look at all these ideas, interpretations, & history!” I want to tell them about what I consider my funny conversations with Gd, how I check in with him on a regular basis and how I don’t have a problem saying “Him” or “Father” or “King” and I am still a feminist who believes in equality! Oy vey!
Maybe if I explain Gd in my practice and prayer, it may sum up my personal theology. But then, how do I explain all the phases my faith has been through? How do I explain how I use traditional texts and practices to make sense of my crazy, modern lifestyle. How do I quote Matisyahu lyrics without laughing hysterically? While thinking about my cousin Adri and our experiences in Crown Heights (story for another time)…
There is so much to say and I don’t know where to start. But I promise to post it when it’s done (even if I don’t have the courage to share it with the class!) I have two more chapters to read to finish the book and I think I’m going to start there.
To be continued…