a sukkah is a temporary shelter that Jews reside in, or celebrate in, for the holiday of Sukkot - fragile, trusting that God is taking care of us, able to see the stars
a sukkah is a temporary shelter that Jews reside in, or celebrate in, for the holiday of Sukkot – fragile, trusting that God is taking care of us, able to see the stars

“A sukkah is a metaphor for life: fragile and fleeting, but one must be able to see the stars.” Rabbi Wolpe, FB post, 9.30.15

The sky is jewel-blue with streaks of white clouds, and the trees wave magnificently in the wind.

There is a coolness to the morning as we descend into fall on this last day of September. Mid-week, I rise with effort, start my day, glance at the electronic calendar which parses out the minutes and hours of my day: so many things to do, so many commitments.

The other day a friend mentioned that there is really no such thing as time. It’s the tool we create to compartmentalize our lives.

And thus created, we fill it. Filled to overflowing. To chaos. To stress.

I look at my days of this week and see lots of gray rectangles of obligations, all entered willingly by me. A day presents itself, and I fill it up.

But why?

To feel important? To feel like my life is worthy of living? Like I am contributing something important to the universe?

Or because it’s there?

The thing about a sun clock like this is it simply marks the travel of the sun across the sky. It does not demand that we use one increment or another or many in a particular way. It just observes. Why don't we?
The thing about a sun clock like this is it simply marks the travel of the sun across the sky. It does not demand that we use one increment or another or many in a particular way. It just observes. Why don’t we?

In community, we create rituals to mark the passing of time. We have lifecycle events, rites of birth and rites of mourning, passages all.

We decorate and recite blessings to mark special days, and we ourselves have designed some days as more special than others.

In this way, we carve meaning out of a mass of endless time that dances on uninterested in how we use it.

And then we become slaves to our own creation.

We go hard and fast in our allotted hours of mundane days. And on the special days, holidays, we stop abruptly, with finality, with hard and fast adherence to something.

All self-imposed. All created of our own minds to make sense and order out of what cannot be penned in.

This idea that times does not exist in a way frees me from this race against time, but in a way it is frightening, isn’t it?

Don’t be afraid to not fill the hours, my friend said. Use the time to write. Or if you end up in front of the TV, that’s ok too.

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