Well, dunno ’bout you, but my Tisha B’Av was predictibly plenty.
I have a tendency, when Eicha gets going, to intentionally or not get my finger stuck in the socket of great suffering (not just my own). All that feeling? Yeah, never a lot of fun. And this 9 Av was the first time I’ve ever really felt personally vulnerable, the first time I’ve really worried for the fate of this country and/or the place I happen to be inhabiting. Whether or not it’s based in a rational connection to external reality, the feeling was there.
And yet, walking home from the Old City–I went to Robinson’s Arch, heard Eicha with the Masortiim, felt the cool white stones buzzing, and the energy was pouring from my hands–through a darkened Yafo street, past all the bus stops and cafes and clothing stores, this strange feeling of being suspended between permanence and impermanence, destruction and life really hit.
I guess that’s the paradox of Tisha B’Av.
Yesterday I was like a person in a fog. Had trouble getting up, standing, walking. Like grief, or something similar.
Anyway, the day ended, I broke my fast, had a shower, and slowly returned back over here, the land of the living. It’s exhausting tapping into that much of whatever it is, but it’s also important. The breaking down breaks us open.
It’s exhausting tapping into that much of whatever it is, but it’s also important. The breaking down breaks us open.
The first time I had a really tough overnight on-call at the hospital, and really found myself face-to-face with sickness and death and human tragedy, I came away feeling something akin to what you’re describing. Afterwards I felt like I’d been run over by a truck, but also strangely electrified, and the whole tahor/tamei dichotomy made sense in a deep way that it hadn’t before.
And I miss the work now that I’m not doing it anymore. Being broken open on a regular basis was apparently good for me. I’m not sure I like that, but there it is.
Anyway. Thanks. This post rings some bells for me.