Sloom. Intransitive. British, dialectal. To doze. Become weak. Drift along slowly.
I like the word intransitive. In middle school when I learned the word it didn’t mean much, but now I can tease it apart and dissect its meaning: trans across, in meaning opposite. It does not go across. It’s an action without object.
Adrift is a good word too. Describes the feeling nicely. Adrift in the ocean: a battered raft riding the waves, sun rays beating down, dehydration, head lolling off the side, tongue lapping at the waters–but if it’s salty, it’s like drinking death anyways.
Or maybe adrift in the air: like a bird gliding through an updraft, slung upward, seeing the ground far beneath it, but unable to do anything but lilt in the wind. Or adrift in space: an astronaut untethered, touched not by gravity. Total silence. Absolute abyss.
The year 2016 is my big Year of Re-creation, and the magnanimity of this statement only grows with the realization that I won’t be recreating myself as a husband, but as a single man again. And that’s okay. Perhaps painful at the outset, but all change can be.
In any case, it’s been a while since my last shot of stress, when I took that first step from Kelly McGonigal’s book The Upside of Stress to finally make stress my friend.
It should be obvious–as a three-year relationship ends and I set out to begin my summer teaching training–that stress is paramount right now. So it’s time to go on.
Take Robin Thicke. He’s a handsome dude. Very pretty. Nice to look at. And though I’m saddened he can’t think of anything to rhyme with “hug me,” when his song hits the airwaves, my shoulders start rocking, my head starts bopping, and when that ubiquitous “Hey-hey-hey” comes up, it comes out of my mouth, too.
But I’m conflicted. I like the song, but I can’t stand for what it says.
Last week we got lucky: The teaching was short. About as short as this week’s teaching is long. I read it last night, hoping to get a head start on my commentary, to let the ideas stew and steep as I sleep and I wake, to prepare for this moment, but instead I came to nothing. Only a title–a title that doesn’t even seem to fit.
If you were fortunate enough to catch my trilogy on identity last week, you’re already aware that I’m in a state of questioning the role of religion in my life but also feel most Jewish in a state of study and discourse. However, my independent study has a crucial flaw compared to a true student of Talmud: I lack a chaver, a friend, a study partner. Rarely do students study alone–they work in pairs, bouncing ideas from one mind to the other until true learning has been achieved.
I lack a study partner, but thankfully, I have you–and I always welcome comments and discussions, always welcome additional voices filling the blank places of the internet upon which these words encroach.
No matter, the summer has returned in full force. Less than a month ago I graduated with my associate degree and in two months I’ll begin classes at a new college working towards my bachelor’s degree. In the time since I walked across the stage and turned my tassel, I’ve gone to the beach, been a guest at another graduation, spent more time playing video games than I have in the last eight months, and studied over Shavuot and spent some serious time in the study of introspection. All of this has only been preparation for my annual dive into the Pirkei Avot. This year I’m starting chapter three and I hope you’ll follow me on this enlightening journey.
Family was this week’s theme. My brother and his family came up the first and we all visited until they left today. And whenever I had free time, I was busy journalling and playing video games. In fact, I’d probably be off playing video games right now if it weren’t Friday.
“If it weren’t Friday?” But–but the weekends are supposed to be for fun! And aren’t video games fun? Well, yes, but you see, that’s not the only thing the weekends are for….