High Holy Days Journey with Amichai Lau-Lavie: 40 ways in 40 days to find your focus

Day 14


There’s this ritual I love – at the end of a haircut a hand mirror is held up so I can see the back of my head, my blind spot. This evening, at Raphael’s Barber Shop on First Ave., as he held up the mirror I thought: who holds up a mirror to my inner blind spot, all that stuff I’ve put ‘in the back of my mind’?

Good therapists do that, I guess, really good friends, sometimes maybe even good hairdressers. Random strangers.


Two weeks ago, when this journey began, I wrote about this self-reflection process as a long, close look in the mirror. Preferably full length. Today another perspective is added to the analysis of self – the rear view: ‘Oh, so that’s what I look like from the back? That’s how, how I am right now? Do I like me as is – or do I ask Raphael for adjustment, go for continual perfection of self?

Blind spots – haircut as metaphor for intentional change, and the blind spots are emotions, thought patterns, behaviors that we each have and often overlook, can’t or won’t see. Some of these blind spots been there a long time and some are new, and there something to be learned there about who and who I am. One needs the other to hold up the mirror. What if we can be each other’s back mirror holders, taking turns for each other in full introspection of identity. What if Yom Kippur becomes a human house of mirrors? Intentional human mirrors front and back, all going through the process of perfection.


Who are some of my back mirror holders on my list of friends? And if none, or not who could be? Who can be there to help me with my blind spots when I need to?


(For those of you who asked for direct and simple daily exercises, how about: spend 3 minutes in front of a mirror, holding hand held mirror, by your self, looking at the back of your head. While looking, think of at least 3 different people who you would like to do this for you on a regular basis – who will hold up a mirror to your blind spots?)


I feel the need, I guess, to move from focus on the blacklist – to more on the wish list. FYI, Israeli style, my address book is skimmed and 3 emails sent to 3 on my list, 3 long silences of various friendships gone sour. Check. We may go back to the blacklist later on the journey but for now I’m switching gears to focus on the wish list of people I love in my life, and want to spend more time with. Starting tomorrow. 20 min. report. Sunday was lame with 10 min. of biking when pouring rain interrupted. Today 20 min. bike and 20 min. weights to even up. E. is running daily, even in the rain. C. in Israel is working on it.


Day 13 8.22 Swiss or Israeli? (blacklist continued)
Day 15 8.24 Love the one you’re with