Oy, I thought. It’s that tone.
“About what?” I asked warily.
“About that stick you have in your hand.”
“That thing you keep twirling about.”
“Oh,” I said nonchalantly, “I’m just practicing. Once I can twirl this real good, I’ll try juggling. Five balls in the air! Could be part of the show, right?”
“Someone is going to get hurt if you let it fly.”
“What are we really talking about?” I asked. But I put the stick down. “It’s not this, is it?”
“You want an honest answer?”
“You are a stickler for the truth…”
She smiled. “Very cute. Your ego,” she added softly. “We are talking about your Self.”
“How so?” I asked.
“Have you thought about the real shtick – the one that is made of all the stuff in your head? It will all come tumbling out of your mouth if you go on like this. It won’t be good.”
“What do you think I should do? Give up the job?”
“You are not seeing clearly,” she said firmly. “Your ego is leading you on.”
(Heads up: An annoying revelation is coming at you with the word “truth” written on it. In 22 font. Bodoni, no less.)
I didn’t like the ick in my stomach. I resisted.
“Where is God in all this?” she asked quietly.
“You’re mocking me, right?” I parried. “God,” I added dryly, “has apparently not made up the divine mind. Sometimes I get absolutely nothing. Sometimes I get a warning. Sometimes it seems YHVH is just fine no matter what I do.” I paused. “At least the officiating fee is fantastic. Makes for a nice change.”
“How do you feel about it?”
I could tell I didn’t like the question.
“Okay, I shouldn’t have taken this gig in the first place,” I admitted. “Something doesn’t feel right.”
“Yup,” she said. “I thought so.”
We both went quiet.
I like when the job is a fit. The visioning is invariably incredible, powerful beyond words. I love that flow going right through my fingertips into the sacred, sweet earth. I rejoice when the right words come in exactly the right moment. I don’t know what they will be before they arrive. But I always know when heavenly magic is happening: The blessing, the truth comes from beyond me, from above me. It is goodness and sweetness and eternity all rolled into one.
It’s a gift, and it always, always makes me grateful.
But I’m human. I’m susceptible, like anyone else. After all, even spiritual work needs to be paid for. It’s not like it didn’t take years to learn the craft. Sure, the negotiating, the interaction can take me into a different place.
It’s probably a sign when I get impatient to go, when my body gets me up too early in the morning. That usually means I just want to get the job done and get back home.
I’m off the divine grid. I teeter on the edge of the path, crowded and hemmed in.
“Look,” she said, “I’ve known you for so long.”
I put my head in my arms.
“You can press the reset button,” she said gently. “You can make your intentions holy. You can do it. Just let go and ask. Everything will turn out all right.”
It was a nice idea. Maybe, if I could slow down, I’d hear better. See better.
“I stand on your shoulders,” I said. “I’ve been doing that for years, now.”
“No,” she laughed. “You ride on them. Now, let’s go.”
“And how,” she said.
It was finally my turn to smile. “Ma tovu…”
This post is in honor of Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel, who knows how to talk to all sorts of magical beings.