I have always loved the beginnings that September brings: the school year, the Jewish New Year, and my birthday all falling within days of one another. The idea of second chances, or thirty-second chances. I still get excited by a new marble composition book, having always believed in the possibilities of a blank page. This is the season of sermons in my home and invocations for reflection. Though I have never had much trouble looking back. In my twenties I took a Bach Flower tincture called “Honeysuckle,” for people who suffer from excess nostalgia (there is such a tincture, one, in fact, for every emotional affliction).
Too much rooted in the past, wistful for another time or place, my journals at the time filled with scrawlings of my romanticized college town, or home town, my last apartment or relationship recorded in some sort of other worldly glow. All the things I’d do again, or another way, or not at all.
And this brought me to thinking about the difference between longing and longing with purpose, between regret and atonement. Thought and action.
Earlier this week, I sat backwards on my train from Philadelphia to New York, slowly reversing from 30th street station, the art museum, boat house row, the big balloon marking the Philadelphia zoo, the city skyline – taking in those touchstones without having to turn my head, the way one is instructed to back away from the wailing wall. To look so fully in one direction while moving forward in another felt kind of miraculous.
Wishing everyone meaningful reflection during these Days of Awe, while moving ahead, with purpose, into the New Year.