i wake up in one of those fantastic big white hotel beds, very aware that this is day four. there’s already a pattern to this count, an extra meaning on the day as it unfolds, and the lingering question – what is today’s quality about? task? challenge? gift?
It is Good Friday. I wouldn’t remember it had it not been for the bells. I walk by this church in the Mission area in San Francisco and the bells ring ominous and long and I remember – today, now, Jesus is on the cross, the Easter Saga. We live side by side with different calendars and sacred moments, often ignorant and sometimes hostile to the other rhythms of time and the bells are heard by all but mean something different to me as they do to that lady with yellow headscarf on this rainy day rushing up the stairs of the cathedral. For me, it’s just a Friday, for her it is not the fourth day away from passover and up the mountain to greater clarity on love. It’s someones birthday today, anniversary, death memorial, sabbath eve, deadline for something, or nothing at all. We all count, all the time, different patterns.
I met a guy at a bar last night who liked my beard (which is already getting itchier than I’m used to). I told him about the 50 day no shaving challenge. He said next year it can be a national men’s challenge, sponsored by beard lovers and barbers that will host shaving parties on day 51. hm.
day 4. how will today be a love booster, an awareness builder, closer to self, home, focus. It is Netzach of Hesed – the Eternity within the kindness, eye on the long term big picture within each small act of love.
I will buy flowers, as I do each Friday for Shabbat – for myself and/or for whoever is hosting the Friday night meal I’ll be attending. Special focus on today’s flowers as an act of kindness and love (they wont be for me, I’m on the road) and beauty. Four flowers to be exact. One for each of the seasons, and each of the four questions of the passover procedure, and for the magic of counting one day different, weekly, from the others and making the mundane resonate with more. Flowers are not eternal, and die faster than us, and i love them and they make me happy – choosing them, arranging them, seeing them – they are reminders of all that lives and dies again, beauty in all stages. Maybe I’ll buy white lilies, and weep with the great mother as her mortal child is nailed and tortured, not my calendar, but part of the human mythology of the saga called this mortal coil. four white lilies for the sabbath. shabat shalom.

50 days to live your lover: 46 left.

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