The old man peers at the yellowing book
then places it on the arm of the chair.
He gives the walker a sad, angry look,
and still struggling, looks up in mocking prayer.
Clutching the book, he limps to the table
and sinks onto the chair, risking a fall
that could reshatter his hip. Unable
to hear, he shouts to his wife, down the hall,
who brings the hearing aid and his glasses.
His eyes glow as the ancient words bring fire
to his voice, arms dance as though his class is
full of young minds that are his to inspire.
He settles into the chair, bent by age
and curses his body, now more a cage.
First published in The Right to Depart, Plain View Press (2008)
“And God said, “Let there be light,”
and there was light.
And God saw the light that it was good.” — B’Reshit (Genesis) 1:3-4
I mean God is omnipotent and omniscient, so why create it if God had even the slightest doubt that it was good, and is God even capable of doubt. But that isn’t really the point, for now I sit knowing that I could, one day, sooner or later, lose my vision, that a darkness would descend upon me and I don’t know for sure what God would think of it, but I would not find it the least bit good. A rabbi might say that I should not blame God, that God giveth and taketh away, but I have a long list of things I would gladly have God take away without a whimper from me, but light and sight are nowhere on that list though faith may end up somewhere in the middles. We’ll just see how things go.
The Buddha said when the student is ready the teacher appears. My Rabbi used to say when you are ready the Lord will appear. But you may not recognize God, that’s okay. Both Buddha and my Rabbi might have said that when you are ready you will appear and it is then you will no longer recognize yourself.