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



One of the items that came up for me on the shame list was debt.  Shame about letting fees pile up for not dealing with annoying debts. Just a stupid waste of money.

Nothing major: Parking tickets, a few bills, that promise to send someone a check for something worthy – different types of debts – unfinished business. I am glad to report that I am not – to the best of my knowledge – indebted to anyone, and as far as I know owe nobody any money. As of this morning.


It took 45 min. I went to the pile of papers in that first drawer of my desk, poured myself a tall glass of milk and went through the ‘to do bills’ pile, item by item: a few phone calls, emails, apologies, payments. Whatever could be handled at this time.


Pile refiled. Until next time.

Feels lighter.

Though I have to admit that there’s this nagging feeling that I’m forgetting someone, somewhere, something.. So I’m asking  – in case you are reading this and are aware of my debt – a payment, a response to a request, an apology. PLEASE TELL ME!


And for those following this closely – this sums up the week of address book lists.

Not that we’re done with the housecleaning. More to come next week is we are getting closer to the Hi Ho’s central.


Emerson, my old friend (I’m reading him daily still and getting to know his irritated, irritable, funny, eye rolling side) has this to say – moving us gently from the address book, to the checkbook, to the book of life and greater kindness:


“Count from yourself in order the persons that have near relation to you up to ten or fifteen, and see if you can consider your whole relation to each without squirming. That will be something. Then, have you paid all your debts? Then, have you paid to the world as much kindness as you received from early benefactors? It were a sort of baseness to die in the world’s debt. Then, can you not, merely, for the very elegancy of the thing, do an unmixed kindness or two?”


Here’s to less squirming!

Shabbat shalom.



20 min. update: last night, at 10:30pm I went out running in Tompkins Sq. Park. Running is hard for me. I am out of breath faster than other activities and harsh memories from my days of endless running while serving in the IDF haunt my legs. But I ran a few times around the park and paused to walk a round in between. In all the years I’ve lived down here I’ve never ran in the park. Today’s goal is yet to be determined.  

Day 17 8.26 WHAT A SHAME