Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hodgepodge 63/365 - Eighth Day of Hanukkah

We decided to light the Hanukkah candles this year, to cast a little more light in these dark times. I really enjoyed the ritual, and then sitting with the light while the candles burned down (which they are doing right now). Instead of a blessing, we read poems—by Rumi, Rolf Jacobsen, WisÅ‚awa Szymborska, Robert Haas, W. S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, and Kenneth Rexroth, plus the one below, from the first night, by Denise Levertov. It's a reminder to me to remember to heed Mary Oliver's "Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."

It seemed fitting that Hanukkah began on Christmas Eve and that the last night is New Year's Eve. Happy eighth day of Hanukkah and Happy New Year!


Sometimes the mountain
is hidden from me in veils
of cloud, sometimes
I am hidden from the mountain
in veils of inattention, apathy, fatigue,
when I forget or refuse to go
down to the shore or a few yards
up the road, on a clear day,
to reconfirm
that witnessing presence.

                         —Denise Levertov

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