Sunday, March 15, 2009

This Too Shall Pass

The past few months, I have been living my life a little different than I ever have before. I didn't mean to change so much, I did it without knowing. One day, I just woke up, and instead of seeing my life connected, and full, and continual, I saw it in a series of moments. The best way I can describe is like this. 
As I write this, I am viewing it as a moment. In about 10 minutes, I will not be writing about this blog. This moment will be over. I know that sounds sad and a little bit morbid, but that is how my thoughts have been lately. I can feel hot air on my cold toes right now, but in a moment it will be over. 
I noticed my outlook on time and life had changed when I went in to get some blood tests at the hospital. I have a big fear of needles, especially ones that go into my veins. As I sat down into the chair, and the phlebotomist wrapped that pinching rubber thing around my arm, I started to cry. She sunk the needle into my vein, and as my body tensed, my breathing stopped and I held my breath in shock, panic and pain... I realized... 
This moment will be over. 
I looked down, breathed, and I was okay. I don't know what happened, but my view on everything made a huge turn and twist and now... Now, I am not the same person as I was a few months ago. I don't know what it is. Right now I am scared. 
Everything is a series of moments that no matter how connected they are, they feel separate to me. I feel an end. Maybe it is because I am about to have a very large change in my life. I am as prepared as I can be. I am so scared, but I know what must happen. Maybe this feeling that I have lately, goes along with this story. This is a popular Jewish folktale.

One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah Ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, "Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot which gives you six months to find it." "If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty," replied Benaiah, "I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?" "It has magic powers," answered the king. "If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy." Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility. Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring. On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day's wares on a shabby carpet. "Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?" asked Benaiah. He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile. That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity. "Well, my friend," said Solomon, "have you found what I sent you after?" All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled. To everyone's surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, "Here it is, your majesty!" As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face. The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: gimel, zayin, yud, which began the words "Gam zeh ya'avor" -- "This too shall pass." At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.

I suppose I will leave you with that, so that you may have the opportunity to think about it in your own life, as well as give me time to think about it for my own.
Question of the blog:
I have rings that mean different things to me. Do you wear any rings? Do they have specific meanings, or have an interesting story to them?

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