By which I mean it’s the beginning of the year. I’ve moved to a new city–with all the hassles that come from being the good tenant who follows those disastrous ones you see on HGTV who left the place a god-forsaken wreck–and I’ve begun a new job.
You liked it. I loved it. And here I’m giving it to you again.
This time around, I’ll be highlighting the beginnings of three more of my stories, providing commentary about why they were good, and why they weren’t as good as they could have been. I won’t go too much into the types of beginnings there are or the processes used to get there–you can read back a few posts in my “Writing” category for all that–so this time around, it’s all pro-tip facts and critical fiction.
Transitions are tough. Just look at me–I’m moving from one college to another, I’m living out of the house for the first time ever, and I’m actually (yes, it’s true!) starting to drive on actual roads. It’s a lot to handle. A lot to sort through and make sense of. In this melting pot of emotions, I somehow have to sort through all of these new feelings and figure out what they are–am I excited? Nervous? Some mix of the two? It’s not always easy to tell. Am I busy because I genuinely need to be, or am I just distracting myself?
Those questions plague a lot of us during times of transition, but do you ask those questions when you edit your story’s beginning? “But it’s the beginning,” you cry, “not a transition!” And that’s where you’re mistaken–the beginning is a transition: It’s the point where the reader transitions into a new world.
If you think moving on campus is a transition, how would you feel about moving into another world altogether?
I’m writing this Friday night as I wait to leave for Kol Nidre, the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the final moment before the book is closed for another year. It’s fitting then, I suppose, that I should be reading the last teaching from the second book of the Pirkei Avot tonight. Today, when you read this, two gates will close.
I’m struggling as I write this to think of an appropriate title more so than of what I’m actually about to write. My creative side says I should do something explosive, a massive pun or some catchy alliteration, but my rational side tells me to be reserved, respectful, considerate of everything that has just happened.
Perhaps, then, this is an acceptable middle ground?
Either way, I should be in class right now. Unfortunately, my class was closed today. In fact, my entire college was closed today.
One thing I like about this new PostADay blog that WordPress has is that, when I feel like I should post a new post, but can’t really think of anything to write, they’ve got the solution already. So today (or really it was a few days ago, but that’s not the point), they said to talk about why you started blogging. I don’t think I’ve spoken about it before necessarily, but it’s a good topic. After all, I’m still sort of celebrating a year of blogging, so it fits, doesn’t it?
Select a master-teacher for yourself so that you avoid doubtful decisions; do not make a habit of tithing by estimate.
It’s interesting that this teaching should fall on this Shabbat: As readers who saw my post this past Thursday should already know, Rosh HaShanah—the Jewish new year—was just days ago. The holiest day in all Judaism is only days away now: Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the Sabbath of Sabbaths.
The period between these two high holy days is called the Days of Awe, and there’s always ten of them. This is a special Shabbat then, that it should fall in these ten days: It’s Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of Return—a fitting name, being as that the ideal of Yom Kippur is teshuvah, returning to God (in that our sins have caused us to stray from God, to whom we must now return, as we must always do, in the end). I could probably elaborate further, but to do so would lead to an entire post on this special Shabbat, and that is not my intention.
My intention is to speak about teachers, specifically what’s implied by this teaching. And, of course, to state why this is a special teaching for this special Shabbat.
Rosh HaShanah. To some, wwo odd-sounding words you might not even know if you’re saying right. But to the entire Jewish community, one of our most holiest days: The Jewish new year. I could go on for a long time about customs and traditions and meanings and all that, but that would be tangent, I suppose, to the point of Rosh HaShanah being today and Rosh HaShanah being the new year.
And who doesn’t love new things? Certainly, they’re something to be thankful for.