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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Last Night I Dreamt About Social Work

I put their things slowly, carefully into boxes.
They are small and clean, but not particularly sterile, like old cigar boxes.
Somehow every object fits neatly until the box is full.
That part seems too perfect for coincidence.
Then I close the flap lid, set the box aside,
and start again with a fresh pile and a new container.

Each thing belonged to someone, and must have been very important to them
Or maybe it just symbolized them more than they knew.
Anyway, these are the items I’ve been given… and they definitely fit into the boxes.
For one person it might be a spoon from a nice silver set.
Those are easiest. I simply dab my thumb and forefinger in water and rub the spoon.
I close my eyes and imagine that I’m helping the rebbe conjure up an image of the person.
When he is satisfied, I kiss the object once and find its place in the box.
We move on, but sometimes I see what the rebbe sees:
A mind’s eye disclosure of an entire life.
It’s a flash of too much information and it startles me like electric shock.
Sometimes, when I have to kiss the object afterward, this makes me cry.
And sometimes, when the object is a pacifier or an infant puppy
I can barely do it.

When the moment happens, there is magic in it.
Like a deep stirring of soup, and then ashes carried gently aloft by the heat of a bonfire.
But rather than a floating feeling, we create a feeling of resolve…
A disintegration that cannot be achieved in any other fashion.
There is no judgment, no reward or damnation.
But each soul requires peace, and it is through this process that we
Completely separate the raw energy of human life
from the specific container it chose to occupy.
It is extremely important that we fully honor each and every object,
That the rebbe’s vision is unclouded,
That every kiss is sincere, and that each item finds its perfect place in the box.

I cannot do this yet. But I catalog and process and assist in the details.
I think my rebbe is happy with me, but he has never uttered a single word of praise.
I think this is an internship. I don’t really understand how things work,
And they keep a close watch on me.
Like an acolyte, I observe, stay silent, and follow the rebbe’s lead.
The workplace, and the colleagues are all austere
As if Heaven was a fluorescent light bulb factory.

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At 9/14/2006 10:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thy tale is as eloquent as the bridge of thy nose, Bummer Man. ;)



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