Saturday, September 8, 2007

Memories...and Reality



Each year, I am blessed to serve as the rabbi-in-residence for the Devorah Quilting Kallah at Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute. There, we are led so capably by our teacher, Flo London, who over the last few years has encouraged each participant to explore their own creativity. Because of this, I am always looking for new creativity exercises and ways to build my own creativity. So I was very excited when Melody at Slurping Life founded a new blog all about creativity...Wrapped Emotions.

I must admit, this time of year is awfully busy for me, but I really wanted to participate, so here goes!

Our assignment was: As a young child what was your favorite-absolutely-loved-to-get candy treat? Now go buy it and eat candy. Save the wrapper or box. Sit back, savor your treat, close your eyes and remember enjoying the candy as a child. What were you doing? Who was there with you? How did you feel?

I admit, I'm not a big candy eater, and I never was. I could only think of one time in my life that candy played a role, and that was during college. One year in the dorms, a couple friends and I bought massive quantities (the jumbo bags from the warehouse store) of Mike and Ike's candy. It was quite good, sweet and sticky...except the red ones. My friends would not eat the red ones.
So I bought a box of Mike and Ike's. And you know what, they were not very good. Sticky and sweet and artifical-tasting...yuck. I ate about 5 of them, I kept hoping it would get better, and then I dumped out the box and made my collage (above) which doesn't have much artistry, I suppose...but I think my creativity comes in words these days!

I got to thinking about memory vs. reality. How often do our memories of an event supercede the actual event? And how often do our memories prevent us from enjoying something current because it's "not like it used to be"? I think, as I'm doing a lot lately, about the upcoming High Holy Days. So often people will tell me that they can't find spirituality in the services because it's not the way it used to be, it's not their old rabbi, their old cantor, their old seat, their old prayerbook....whatever it is. And I'm sad for them. Because each year is a new year, each opportunity is a new opportunity, and each time we open ourselves up to the possibilities of something new, we let in those possibilities...for renewed spiritual connection, renewed faith, renewed intention, renewed relationships with each other and with God.


May this holiday season bring for each of us the possiblity of being open to new experiences, new ideas, and even...gulp...change. May we be able to live in the present, instead of in the past...always relishing our history, but knowing that what we have now holds its own blessings.

See more participants at Wrapped Emotions.
Wrapped Emotions button

3 comments:

~ Melody ~ said...

"May this holiday season bring for each of us the possibility of being open to new experiences, new ideas, and even...gulp...change. May we be able to live in the present, instead of in the past...always relishing our history, but knowing that what we have now holds its own blessings."

Thank you for this prayer of hope for renewed spirit. And thank you for playing at WE.

Your collage and words captured beautifully what I expected everyone (and they did) to realize. The emotions, the preciousness of the memories were only associated with the candy because of the people, the happenings, the moments which surrounded them. Your post says that so well.

bella said...

I love this and can't wait to check out this new creative blog. Thanks for sharing.

Even when it looks the same, feels the same, when we pretend it is the same, it is always new, isn't it?
There is never THIS - moment, day, expression, taste, feeling - again. It is only now. This is the loss and the gift.

Rabbi Phyllis Sommer said...

bella...that is a beautiful way to see it -- the loss and the gift. thank you!