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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Leaping Greenly Spirits of Trees

i thank thee god for most this amazing day
for everything...

Rosh Hashanah has come to us once more, the day of beginnings, summing up and bringing together our reflections for living more graciously, more freely, more deeply in the new year.

Happy New Year!

What are your new year resolutions? What do you want to do to live more fully?

I always wondered, not being a Jew, why Yom Kippur followed Rosh Hashanah when it seems more logical the two would be reversed. We would confess and then make our new plans. But now I see how it is and I love it.

Today is the day to begin to articulate our goals for the coming year, to walk more, to be kinder, to share more of what I have with others, to not use the "F" word so much, etc. And we are reminded of the freedom to walk into this new future. It is possible.

Then, on Yom Kippur, we gather up our contrition, we confess aloud all we have not done, all we have done that is harmful to others, to the planet, to our culture and the world, and to ourselves. Sounds like a pretty long day for me.

But in this intervening period of about a week, we are also reflecting about the tension between who we are and who we will be. And finding real strategies, articulating measurable, visible ways to bring into life that which we intend. Intentions aren't enough. Action plans are where it's at.

And as a part of the Yom Kippur reflection, we commit ourselves to these new solemn intentions. We will do them. And, frankly, not doing them will bring us back here next year and be a basis for what we must confess, our failings to be what we promised ourselves and the world and the Spirit that is "I AM" we would do and be.

I wish you a meaningful day of reflection, of looking forward, not back. A day and a week of making plans and finding strategies to enact them.

I'm starting with a promise I made earlier. In a few minutes I shall enter the doors of the Art Institute of Chicago, making my way between the majestic lions and up the stairs, and I shall revel in the genius of the painters I most love. The Chagall Windows are back up and have been restored - a fitting image for today - so that's where I'll start. And, likely, be back to complete the day.

Peace be with you in this New Year! Happy Roshanah and may you find joy in the leaping greenly spirits of the trees as they give up that color and become gloriously red and gold. It is the way of nature. It is the way of the world! Be glorious! Show your color!

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