We are basically halfway through The Scintilla Project. What that means: they’re be e-mailing me prompts, and I’ll be writing on them. For another week or so. And if I fall behind, maybe this whole experiment will drag out for more than two weeks.
Day 7: What have been the event horizons of your life – the moments from which there is no turning back?
The unraveling continues. Yes, Israel in and of itself was an Event Horizon.
But the whole is only the sum of its parts.
In the middle of our trip, we visited The Western Wall.
The Kotel. The Wailing Wall. The remnant of the temple that was destroyed.
The place we are facing when we pray in our synagogues at home.
It is tradition to place slips of paper containing prayers into the wall when you visit.
So I wrote a prayer of gratitude.
There have been times in my life where my prayers have been a plea. I fully expect that there will be many more.
But on the day that we went to the wall, I knew that my life was So Full. That yes, there was always room for more, but that even if nothing else ever changed I had been blessed with more than Enough.
I folded it carefully along with the prayers I carried for others.
For all that I had thought about what I would bring to the wall (prayers) and what I would wear to the wall (a black maxi-dress and a black cardigan), I had never given any thought to what the actual wall would be like.
Until there it was, directly in front of me, bathed in the golden morning sun.
The wall is divided into two sections. The men’s side and the women’s side. This I knew.
The men’s side is expansive, bright, spacious.
The women’s side dark, confined and crowded.
As I entered the women’s section, I began to weave. Around women clutching books of psalms. Around women holding sick children. Around old women. Around young women. Around women with their heads covered. Around women with hair streaming down their back. Around women sitting. Around women standing.
There I came to find myself standing silently behind a row of women praying along the wall and I took it all in. How they placed their hands on the wall. How they bowed their heads against the wall. How they stood shoulder to shoulder.
And then a space cleared and it was my turn.
I tucked Our Prayers into a crack with thousands of others. I placed my open palms on the stone. I rested my forehead in the same indent that had cradled the heads of thousands of women who came before me.
I did not ask for this photo of me to be taken. I did not know that it had been until I returned home.
What Rachel saw through the lens of her camera, I think it does the best job of explaining how it was for me that day.
The person who walks up to the wall is not the same person who walks away.