Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Aaron's World

Aaron lay in bed, his brown eyes transfixed on a small ant crawling across the ceiling. His bedroom was awash in late morning autumn sunlight, a slow turning ceiling fan cast a swirling shadow across the ceiling. He had no desire to get out of bed.

Aaron began his life a happy and talented boy who turned in a happy go lucky if somewhat nerdy teenager who in turn married a wonderful wife and had 2 beautiful children (I just saved you 3 chapters).
Aaron had dreams, very vivid dreams. He had such a bright future ahead of him. But one year seemed to melt into another into another and suddenly the words of his grandfather, life goes by really fast so take advantage of every moment because before you know it its over, made their way from the background of his brain to the foreground of his conscience. He started thinking about mortality and immortality and legacy and started feeling smaller by the day. A tremendous transformation was taking place to Aarons world. His cute adorable children were getting older and bigger and were becoming people with their own minds and ideas. The formative years were gone and now the years when most people seem to accomplish were also ticking by. He felt himself shrinking more and more by the day. And so he lay there wondering about life, like countless other humans before him. They were dark thoughts no doubt gripping him by the throat and sending mild waves of panic through him. After a few failures he was beginning to doubt and question his own abilities and talents. He also wondered about this obsession that humans have with immortality. He thought about history and how many people are remembered after 100 or 200 years. In 200 years his offspring looking back up the family tree will see him as on of 1000 grandparents and that was a depressing thought. His buzzing phone on the cluttered night table beside his bed suddenly reminded him of an appointment he had to attend. So he put on his happy face and willed his legs off the bed and down the steps.

When he returned home it was hard to believe that this bustling place had been the quiet refuge of this morning. His kids were running around performing their usual mischief. He grabbed the younger one and lifted him in the air much to his delight and tried to kiss him but was rebuffed by the usual uch you give such wet kisses Daddy. "I do not" he retorted as he planted the wettest kiss he knew how to give on the squealing little boys neck and put him down. His daughter ran out of the house to go to friends just as he went to lay down for a few and close his eyes. He fell back into the arms of his familiar companion, his bed and sighed. He closed his eyes and let the darkness envelop him.

He immediately noticed something was terribly wrong as soon as he awoke. For one, the room seemed to be huge. No it truly was huge. He found himself staring at huge pieces of fiber and hairs. As soon as he looked down at himself he could see that he was no longer human. He started streching his limbs and counted 6 legs. Evertthing around him was so vivid and clear, albeit huge. He started to panic now and began runing as fast as he can toward the edge of his bed. He reached the edge and found himself staring into a huge chasm. He instinctively willed himself over the edge and found himself walking on a sheer drop 20 stories high. Suddenly he felt a booming vibration getting louder and louder and the next thing he knew he was flung from the soft wall and was airborne. He landed a second later on his back but oddly enough felt just fine. The only problem was he couldn't turn over. He flailed his legs with all his might until finally managing to right himself. He was in high carpet and had a hard time moving around. The vibrations were getting stronger and stronger and he could see now see a huge dark shadowy movement behind him. He tried running but the tall stiff carpet stalks were very difficult to traverse. He stopped and cringed as a huge black shoe crashed down just to the left, the earth shaking in its wake, and then another and another..until it faded away. He continued struggling until he finally found a small hole where he felt safe. Utterly exhausted he allowed himself to fall into a deep slumber.

Aaron woke up with a start. It took him a few moments to get his bearing, after all Its not every day that you wake up in a small hole in a wall. He was extremely hungry and felt very weak. He tentatively peeked out and drew back in as the bright light assaulted his sensitive eyes. He could see that a lot of time had passed in that hole as the window was full of brand new green leaves. His antennae were flailing around wildly as he picked up a strong scent. The scent was filling him with a desire that left him with no choice but to follow it. He crawled along the wall surveying the familiar room. An intense feeling of sadness filled him for a moment as he noticed that his bed was gone, but that quickly faded as he picked up the trail up to the ceiling, past the ceiling fan sitting still and into a small hole in the gap between wall and ceiling. He was now in a world of darkness but his eyes got used to it pretty quickly. It was then that he encountered his first life sized ant. At first he was terrified as he came face to face with the huge eyes and black shiny skin bristling with coarse hairs and the huge ever moving antennae. But the ant came closer and and gently encouraged him to follow. They followed the scent, which was getting stronger with each step, until they came to a teeming colony of hundreds of ants feasting on food. He joined in the feast, figuring out how to use his new eating mechanism. Before he had the chance to sit back and enjoy the afterglow of his having eaten for the first time in months, he was ordered to join a line of ants out of the hole. They marched in perfect unison out to an unknown location on a clearly marked scented trail. Suddenly he saw a convoy of ants marching the other direction toward him, each and with a huge piece of bread in their mouth appendages. Then he saw it, a discarded half eaten bread roll looming up ahead like a large spongy mountain. Oh those ever wasteful humans, he thought to himself, as he wondered how he would ever lift the huge boulder of grain before him. But he had no time to think and lifted it somehow with ease and turned back toward the hole counting his steps as he went.
He knew that his time in this world was not more than a few months and he felt this strong contentment with being one of many. This sense of teamwork, of accomplishing something as a group was exhilarating. He would stop and observe humans every so often pitying their ever present angst, before continuing his work.

Then one day in autumn after witnessing the birth of hundreds of offspring he felt himself grow weak and instinctively knew that his end was near. For some odd reason he suddenly had this strong desire to die as a human. He crawled off to the corner and prayed a silent prayer for that to happen.
He then went off along the ceiling of the kitchen when he looked down and saw another man sitting in HIS seat beside his wife. He suddenly felt a pang of jealousy overtake him. Without thinking he positioned himself above the mans coffee. The other ants motioned for him to follow, but he sighed and thought, I'm sorry I can never be a true ant, I'm still cursed with the residue of human consciousness. He looked down and allowed his feet to let go, and went flying down into the cup of coffee. He swam around for a minute before he could hear the guy exclaim "OH DAMN there's an ant in my coffee!" and chuckled to himself as he slowly went under.


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Friday, December 25, 2009

I prefer my mornings....


I prefer my




......before everyone
gets their
all over

(photos taken this week)


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Monday, December 21, 2009

as the world spins

The other day I was sitting and playing Dreidel mesmerized by the hypnotic, blurred motion of the spinning top.
Amazed at how such a relatively large item can be balanced on such a small point and remain upright as long as it's in motion.
And I instantly saw the connection to Chanukah.
This is precisely what it's all about.
This great vast universe that we inhabit. Science and wisdom has been working and toiling in getting to understand it and how it spins.
But up to a certain point. And that point is literally the point.
There was that moment before matter and before the big bang. The moment that is represented by the tiny point of the yud in Hashems name. The first urge to create..
It's that limitation that sets us apart from the Greeks.
Science will always be baffled wuth trying to capture the "moment before".
Science is spending billions of dollars smashing and colliding atoms under the Swiss Alps to glimpse those precious moments.
But it'll always be a step ahead..(or behind..)
So we spin the dreidel...and internalize this idea..of the vast universe with all her knowledge and data, spinning and carefully balanced on that divine point, so that we can always see the world from that perspective.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Chanukah 2am

he shuffled downstairs
2am silence
filled the dark hallway
with nothing
on his way to the fridge
he glanced into the
living room..
and found himself
heading toward
......the window
where one candle
.........still lit
filled the room..
with a flickering
golden light...the
faint scent of olive oil..
hanging in the air..
he sat down..in the big
leather sofa..
and just watched..
he listened to the wind..
howling outside...
and felt a warmth..
that had never
....been felt before
the single flame..
danced before him..
...holding onto life
his eyes felt heavy
and they began to close..
and his mind began
it's sweet journey
..into the unreal...
on airships..too close to
the ground...
where he could see..
windows..with happy faces
(..and some sad ones too)
with menorahs...
of all kinds..through the ages
.......to visit
.....his grandfather
from another world
who told him..wonderful
secrets....of bygone days..
in that wonderful..
3rd floor walkup
Boro Park apartment..
that he remembered..
so well..in dreams...
...only to say goodbye
and trip on a pile of mail..
his heart..

only to find himself..
back on the cold leather couch..
in the dark living room..
....quiet house
howling wind
the pane

in the


Happy Chanukah


Monday, December 07, 2009

The Tiger within us..


I don't usually interest myself much in the sordid tales of celebrity shenanigans, nor do I think that just because you are a celebrity you have to start behaving like a saint. People should go to their Rabbis or parents for moral clarity not some guy that can hit a ball with a stick.
But the way this whole Tiger Woods story unfolded has had me thinking.

Here's a guy who has this affair for 31 months. Now that's a far cry from a one night stand. 31 months means endless moments, exchanges of niceties, intimacies, expressions of all kindsa stuff, building up this huge illusion in his head.
And then, when she could make a few dollars selling the story...it all comes crashing down.

And I imagine..that's exactly how it's going to be in the next world when the Yetzer Hora, who just spend 70, 80 years seducing and being our best friend, our lovers, our partners in crime, suddenly stands there publishing headlines about us for all to see.

The whole illusion crumbling to pieces.
The betrayal that cannot even be called a betrayal, because the fidelity only existed in the fantasy that is your mind.

And yet, the next celebrity is already waiting on line to be next in this humbling affair..and the towers of illusion grow taller still.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

those that wait


the lights were shut
one after another
in rapid..

the door shut..
..the lock turned
keys jingling

in the darkness
to the blue light
of a distant
you can make out

those that have
been fed..
and swallowed
...the myth
that good things
come..to those
...that wait

they sit there