Sunday, September 16, 2012

Clean Dirt: A Prayer for Tashlich




Every Fall
The park manufactures twigs
And leaves and dirt and dead bugs and bird poop.
It's part of the yearly cycle
Like Rosh Hashanah.
Debris and leftovers,
Just normal stuff
It's all around us
Can't be avoided
It's in the wind
It's life.

Clean dirt,
Making mulch for the next year's growth

This year we screwed up
We've been insensitive and selfish and, well you know,
The usual things.
So each year we walk to the water
Ready to throw it out
Slough off the evil!
Shake off that sin!
Shake it off!
We will fling our mistakes into the water
With a grand gesture.
Isn’t this fun?

But first we go into the park
And pick up some twigs and leaves and dirt
And probably some bird poop, too.
We are looking for Green sin,
Better for the birds and the fish
Than bread.
We hold the dirt in the palms of our hands
And we look down at our small pile of dirt
And we see how small it is.
And each of us whispers to the dead twigs:
“Okay these are my sins
This is what I did.
These were my mistakes.
This is who I hurt
Not so big or entertaining
Not funny
Not great
Not dramatic,
But small and quiet.
Just normal stuff
The debris of me.”

So together,
Let us gather the leftovers
Of this last year's life
And cup it in the palm of our hands
And whisper to the dead twigs
Nothing funny
Nothing great
Nothing dramatic,
But small and quiet:
This is what we did
These were our mistakes.
This is who we hurt.
And let us drop this into the moving water.

Clean dirt.
Making mulch for our next year's growth.

“Cast off all your transgressions from yourselves and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit”


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