Just yesterday I renounced New Year’s resolutions and goal-making in general, but it’s been shown that creating New Year’s goals is a great start to achieving them (and not setting goals is a surefire way to miss the mark entirely). I’m still sticking to my systems, but there are a number of outcomes I’m aiming at in 2016.
Imagine the darkest feeling you’ve ever felt.
It’s a good place to begin.
I wrote this the other day and figured it was too mentally askew to be worth posting. I was in a bad place–stressed by finals, consumed by philosophy–and strange things happen in dark corners on bright days, you know? So I’ve been thinking about it anyways, and since I’ve had some more time to consider it, to reflect on it, I’ve found there’s actually some merit in it after all.
So with no further ado, I present to you “Dancing Fire”:
That is the question, but pray tell, what will the answer become?
Yesterday I began sharing my story, my own experiences that have shown me it truly does get better. I spoke about my experiences hearing the word “gay” before I knew what it meant, and I shared the slow evolution from confusion to realization that despite all the pain it gave me, helped me to know I’m gay. I ended on a precisely hopeless note, but today all that withheld hope comes pouring out–and I hope you’ll continue with me on this journey.
This one’s a bit long, but it’s the last we’ll see of Hillel for a while, so if you’re a fan like I am, I shall bid you read this one well.
It seems like every post in this second book of the Pirkei Avot has begun with an introduction. Sometimes I don’t see a point in it, but so quickly it has become a trend, simply for my own amusement, I’m going to see how long I can keep it going. It also adds a layer of uniformity to all these posts (which contrasts the pattern of the first book, in which all the posts began with the teaching itself), and that isn’t a bad thing, is it?
Today’s introduction is going to be sweet, simple, and straightforward, because today’s–or yesterday’s–teaching is actually one I’m happily eager to write about–at long last, it would seem. Of course, specifying “yesterday’s” is the perfect segue to this sweet, simple, and straightforward introduction, which is simply this:
I got stuck going to the laundromat last night, so I didn’t have the time at home to write this then.
So with no further ado, why don’t we begin?
Last week left me no time, but this week has left me plenty, and I’m happy to return to this once more. I must say, though, this teaching is not only longer than usual, it appears, but also a little more challenging to decipher. Why not take a look and see what you think?
1.18 Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel taught:
The world rests on three things:
on Justice, on Truth, on Peace,
as it is written, “With truth, justice, and peace
shall you judge in your gates” (Zechariah 8:16).
Ever since I was about nine or ten there’s been this budding mythology inside me that I’ve yearned to write. It began as innocent childish imaginings, spawned of TV shows like Pokémon and Digimon or books about Harry Potter and astrology, but slowly the characters took on lives of their own, the stories became more defined, and this collection of fantasies twisted itself into something rivaling a full mythology. My biggest dream as a writer is to be able to take all of these stories and compose them into a single epic tale.
In one of my earliest attempts to write this, there were two characters I called Truth and Justice. They had come from a magical world to set the main protagonist on his adventures, a catalyst to the fantastic things I’d imagined. By the time I tried to write it a second time, these characters had vanished and been transformed; these events had entirely disappeared and been re-imagined.
What stands out to me, especially when I read this teaching, is that even then—only nine or ten years old, not even half my age now—there was something inherently important about Truth and Justice.