>>>This post is going to be a big confused mass of interrelated reflections on last year and the year to come<<<
The FLOW Conference is currently being held where I am writing this. I expected a higher proportion of hot girls than I am getting. Not that there are a few gems, but from what I have seen most fix into the “traditionally beautiful” category. And one lady who looked similar to Kerry (I’ll let you guess which one ^_^). Boh.
On A Totally Unrelated Note: I am now the proud owner of Five (5) new yeast infections. This is important because I am finally going to kick the ends of these warts. These parasitic growths *are* (soon to be “were”) all that is/was wrong with certain unnamed iron warships and those who manned them and my family and school and etc. As much as I wanted to be rid of them, they tied me to those people, places, and events. But biting your problems just makes them grow back worse. Dermatologists should push into the life coach field. I think they’d do well.
On A Totally Unrelated Note: As I mentioned before, my apologies went well. That was slightly disingenuous since at the time of the writing, I hadn’t actually received responses from half of the people. But now I have or it is tooooooo late. And the last batch was successful.
On A Totally Unrelated Note: Because I had such an intense rest of the High Holidays, Yom Kippur I was just phoning in. This mostly worked, but then at the end, as the Gates were closing, everything I hadn’t thought about hit me. Yizkor is always powerful.
On A Totally Unrelated Note: I am shaken by the rift that have appeared in some of my friend’s relationships. I will likely take Sal’s lead since he is on the ground. But there is this little part of me too that is almost excited in a terrible way. A couple of weeks before this, my friends in Bay Area were also having issues. Now I seem to always be in the off-cycle. That is to say that whenever the people I know are in loving, stable, long term relationships, then I am not AND vice versa. So other people’s lives falling apart may yet be a portent of good-tidings for me! Is this not awful?
On A Totally Unrelated Note: I noticed some interesting things in the Machzor this year that I have missed before. Judaism has strong anti-Hellenic and anti-pagan trends. (This are clearly picked up the Christians and Muslims, though not in a healthy way since they are not henotheistic.) But Jews as a rule aren’t anti-panhellenic.
But one of my favorite transgressions that is recited is more or less “Forgive us for being Xenophobic.” This always gets me. If ever there were a (still-living) people that had every right to be afraid of outsiders in all ages and eras, it certainly must be us. But then right there in the Torah are many statues that say “Don’t do X, because your pagan neighbors do it.”
So the combined message is that we are a people set apart, but not to hate on the basis that others practice differently. Not really the way evangelicals of any religion act.
Here is where is gets juicy. One would still expect that any religious practices, though, would be completely free from the sorts of beliefs that those silly Greeks held. Especially on Yom Kippur. Two main instances I put together this year:
1) Blood Magic: For lack of a better term. Now the Jewish belief of the sacredness of blood differs considerably from the Greek belief that blood can be used to entrance someone. However, both peoples have this distinct belief that blood has a very distinct meanings. Of note, the Torah portions for Yom Kippur describe in vivid detail that would make a horror writer cry how the High Priest of Temples days would perform the High Holy Days sacrifices. Really grabbed me this time.
2) Dust: There are a couple of times where we beseech Hashem to remember that we are dust. I don’t know why this didn’t hit me before, but this has got to be directly tied to the Sumeric belief in the “House of Dust.” This is their version of the afterlife that is only less stark than the Jews themselves (who generally see the question of what happens after death as irrelevant and unknowable). But the House of Dust is a place that is sort of a formless windy medium. Gilgamesh manages to go there and come back (as with many Hellenic heros). But the fact that people become dust after they die is such a powerful notion that I think even the staunchest of atheists of our day would be hard to deny. In fact, since plants get most of their constituent carbon from the atmosphere, and since we eat either mostly plants or mostly vegetarians, we truly do come from dust, replenished by dust, and bound to return to it.
It is hard to look at the world and keep a good thought. But this year can be better. And it can’t be all that bad since Jon Stewart mad a joke about the Obamas and the McCains swinging…to Michelle Obama!
Rust never sleeps, but it is not what sunk your battleship. Better to infect these parasites and be done with it.