15 May 2012

On Psalm 13

How long?

Suffering can be a trap for some; while for others a liberation.  For some, words crash down upon the ground, shattering into pieces the broken hopes of despair; while for others, language pads the landing.

"How long, Eternal One, will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?"

Forever.  But not really.  It only feels that way.



Loneliness is often the refuge for fear.  Fear of pain.  Fear of growth.  And in a society rooted in convenience, immediacy, horizontal proximity and chronic impatience, we run the risk of losing the way en route to the goal--an often allusive mirage.

"How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart by day?  How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?"

How come they seem happier than I do?  What's their secret?  What do they know that I don't?  I seem to be pushing all the wrong buttons.  Helplessness a prison.

"Look here.  Answer me, Eternal my God.  Lighten my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death."

In other words, there's living and then there's living.  There's dying and then there's dying.


King David's concision in this psalm is a minimalist sculpture of uncommon beauty.

עד אנה ה
עד אנה תסתיר
עד אנה אשית

A Calder mobile of brevity and movement, rocking back and forth, riding the pain, tensile strength.

alexander calder, untitled, 1935 
alexander calder, cone d'ebene, 1933
Pain twists and torques our essence into the beings we are.  It's the nature of the beast.  It is simply unavoidable.  "I love the way the light..." says one walking through a gallery, observing objects, those silently suffering marvels of form.

Ah, but as they became what they are, they spoke, they moved, they came into being.  It just takes time.

How long?  How long?  How long?


1 comment:

Bat Mitzvah said...

ad mosai means how long