Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, September 6, 2010


The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is my life’s strength; Whom shall I dread?

When evildoers draw near to devour my flesh, it is my tormentors and enemies who stumble and fall.

Though armies be arrayed against me, I will have no fear in my heart.

Though wars threaten, I remain steadfast in my faith.

One thing I ask of the Lord, for this I yearn:
To dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold His beauty, to pray in His sanctuary.

Truly He will hide me in His shelter, safe from peril.
He will conceal me in His tent; He will lift me up upon a rock.

Now is my head raised high above my enemies surrounding me;
And I will bring Him offerings in His tent with shouts of joy,
singing, chanting praise to the Lord.

Lord, hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me, and answer me.

It is You that I seek, says my heart.
It is Your presence that I seek, O Lord.

Hide not Your face from me; reject not Your servant in anger.

You have always been my help; do not abandon me, forsake me not, O God of my deliverance.

Though my father and my mother leave me, the Lord will gather me in.

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
Guide me on the right path, to confound my watchful oppressors.

Abandon me not to the will of my foes, for there have arisen false witnesses against me, people who breathe violence.

Mine is the faith that I surely shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.

Hope in the Lord and be strong.
Take courage, hope in the Lord.

- Psalm 27

Beginning one month before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, observant Jews recite Psalm 27 daily as they prepare for the approach of the Days of Awe.

There are several lines in this psalm that resonate with me, that catch in my throat as I recite them. But the one that gets to me every time is “Though my father and my mother leave me, the Lord will gather me in.” It’s a reminder that, as the wheel of Time turns, one generation replaces another... and as our parents’ generation ages and passes away, we end up standing at the front of the line, waiting our turn at the edge of the abyss.

I try not to look into that abyss too much. It was Friedrich Nietzsche (“Philosophy’s Peachy!”) who said that “if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” That’s an exercise best left to those occasional moments of sleeplessness and agita that strike deep in the heart of the night... for it is inevitably at Oh-Dark-Thirty that I find myself trying to imagine the unimaginable. And then, like pretty much all of us, I shove those thoughts back into the recesses in the Crawl-Space of the Mind, there to be taken out and examined another dark night.

But right now, my mind is occupied with other matters. September is upon us; the Days of Awe approach; the morning air is cool and crisp, heralding the onrush of autumn. (In New England, the grass at sunrise is already bedecked with frost; here, the temperature drops below 70 degrees.) And I will celebrate the goodness I have found in the land of the living.


Unknown said...

This, my dear, is one of your most beautiful posts.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more Donna!

Houston Steve said...

Sorry to spoil the mood, but . . . ragweed; don't forget the ragweed.