I hang out with mystics. These are people who groove with mystery, dance with shadow and light, and go deep into their own universe. Cassandra Sagan is one of these. She lives in Portland, does InterPlay and is a Maggid, a Jewish storyteller. She wrote today….
As many of you know, my beloved grandson, Sidney Lev, was stillborn last year on Tisha B’av, rendering this day powerfully and eternally significant for me and my family, and I will be telling a very personal story about that loss at our minyan in Portland tonight. This morning I woke up with this image in my mind: Tisha B’av is like the intentional bee sting to an arthritic joint, a healing dose of intentional sadness.
Rob Brezhny who wrote PRONOIA, An Antidote to Paranoia, a book about (the very Jewish topic of) how the universe is conspiring to shower you with blessings, recommends that in addition to HAPPY HOURS we take time occasionally for SAD HOURS. Days of Mourning and intentional sadness are built into the cycle of the Jewish year, and I think that in addition to simply NOT FORGETTING the tragedies of our collective and individual past, they are also an opportunity to heal some of the associated trauma. As we all know, the story lines of sadness, loss, and tragedy are connected to each other through energetic and neural pathways; each new loss or sadness or betrayal seems to “light up” the whole sad string of lights, reactivating unhealed trauma. And each year, each time we come to Tisha B’av, we are in a new place in our own spiritual development, and by hanging out with, or at least playing tag with, touching on, having a safe container for a glimpse of our deepest grief and loss, we have the opportunity to bring new insight, light, strength, and story to what we hold in our bodies from the past—restorying, restorative.
I know most of you are understandably not fasting this Tisha B’av, or perhaps even NOTICING that it is Tisha B’av, but I do want to gently recommend that you take even a few minutes of silence on this day, when the gates of healing are opened to the collective Jewish bodywisdom, to reflect on, or write about, or davven on or dance on behalf of a little SAFESOMETHINGSAD, just a tiny sadness or loss or memory. TAKE THE BEE that’s here today for the taking. The Mystics say that Mashiach will be born on Tisha B’av; may she be born in you today, just a little!
Thankful for all who play in the big spirit of life!