Lately I’ve been using Thursdays as a way to remember special moments with my fiance in our journey together toward marriage and the relationship we’ll be able to build on the other side of our immigration journey.
But tonight there’s another couple I want to remember.
This week I had such plans–and this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this, you say? I’ve said this before, you say? How many times, you say–a hundred? You can’t be serious. It’s not possible. On the contrary, it’s hyperbole–but it feels serious to me. Talking last week about missed opportunities has made me keenly aware of all the missed opportunities I’ve had, the meager and the massive, and has made me wonder of all those times if I had just held my tongue a moment longer, how many other options would’ve opened up.
Today I’m not writing a story. Today I’m not doing a another writing exercise. Instead I’m reflecting on those moments I had meant to write about before.
Death. Lead my hand across the keyboard. It’s only the beginning.
There’s a popular joke that asks, Why do fast days go so slowly? The answer’s perhaps too simple, so everyone just laughs, no matter how many times they’ve heard it. Telling it has become as customary as the fast itself.
Tonight began Tisha B’av, the Ninth of Av. It’s a somber holiday, more an observance than a holiday really, for it commemorates disasters, not miracles. The return of the spies that condemned an entire generation to the desert till death. The destruction of the Temples in 586 B.C.E. and 70 C.E. The fall of Betar, the last stronghold of the Bar Kochba rebellion. The day when Jerusalem was plowed over and made uninhabitable.
Common catastrophes? Not quite. These disasters were crippling to the Jewish people, breakers-of-faith and sickening events even two thousand years later. We mourn. We member. We mustn’t forget.