Hallways, Third Light, Third Night

Chanukah Third NightAround the lighting of the candles
I can have a few around me
Technology astounds me
In the process of the share
Whether through computer screen
Or speaker phones
I can be connected to those I love
While still remaining physically alone.
 
It helps; it helps…
But the hallways are empty,
As are the rest of the rooms,
Filled with memories.
Faces in the candle lights
That I have fear in igniting;
Faces in the picture frames…
Faces I wish were here.
 
I wander, trying to find a space
That fills me with comfort.
That space has not been found…yet.
I hope I find it soon
That I can accept what is,
relax,
and find peace.
 

I lost the internet while Skyping the service with my SO. My son & daughter-in-law were on the phone, as the previous night. I had a mild case of panic as this happened, as losing her face robbed me of one of the pleasures I have as I look forward to this connection when she is unable to be with me in person. I was able to reconnect, but later, having already finished the service.

The lighting of the candles is doubly hard for me this year: I was in a fire, years ago, and having to light them myself (I’ve always had others around to strike the match, light the nightly candles, even light the old gas stove we still have). Since 1994 I have only lit a match less than a handful of times, and now I’m being required to do this every night of Chanukah.

Before someone says it: I wasn’t even thinking of an electric Menorah until last night’s difficulties, in lighting first the match and then the candles. I am contemplating getting one, but in the long run: I am looking at this as part of my process as well, to come to grips with all that I am feeling inside.  This week is a further test of my having to move along  and through the empty ways, moving from darkness into the light. Moving to being more self reliant, in so many different ways. I’m finding little things that I was not even aware that I was so dependent on others for doing or just being. Lessons to be learned, baby steps and big jumps over chasms.

The Rabbi gave me a story to read, along with all the other spiritual work:

This is the the tale of a Rabbi who lit two Menorahs nightly. One in a downstairs window, and one in an upstairs window: that one was filled with more oil, and lasted longer, and it was discussed and wondered about all through the town why he did such a thing. Finally, one man whose curiosity went beyond the behind the back questioning, visited the Rabbi.

When going upstairs with him for the second set of lighting, he stared into the flames, which lasted for quite awhile. In time, he got to see the faces of his father, grandfather, mother, grandmother, and more who had passed on. The experience brought tears and relevations to him, as those who dedicated the eight nights of lighting, who dedicated themselves to their families and God, were never truly gone. They were remembered and with him, as the Rabbi’s loved ones were with him as well…the upper lights just brought them closer to heaven.

Once passed along, everyone in this Rabbi’s influence took this on, and they shared the holiday with their past as well as their present. They did not walk down their hallways alone, but were surrounded by the memory presence and spirits of love.

I just thought I’d share that story, in my own way. The tale I read was “The Secret of the Menorah” which came from: The Dream Assembly: Tales of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, as retold by Howard Schwartz.

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About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on December 11, 2012, in Caring, Family, Fear, Friends, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Loneliness, Love, Meditations, Mindfulness, Prayers, Spiritual, Support, Therapy, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Bravo for overcoming one more fear, in striking the match to light the candle. May you always find the strength to kindle a light for your path through darkness.

  2. I think it was Churchill who said if you are going through hell, keep going. I’m so happy that you have kept on going and it sounds like you are facing some of your fears and getting a bit stronger each time. Blessings

  3. Your journey is powerful, Stuart. I hope you know that. It’s not easy, but I have faith that you will find your way.

    • Yes, I do know that this is a powerful path, a new open doorway I’m taking. It def has not been easy. Thank you, and the others, for having faith in me, esp when I have so many times where I have little in myself.

  4. This brings tears to my eyes, what a lovely story the Rabbi has given you and to be able to see the faces of the loved ones who have passed on. To unite the past and the present and feel comfortable with it. Wishing you much light and strength!

  5. “They did not walk down their hallways alone, but were surrounded by the memory presence and spirits of love.” – I like that a lot. Our loved ones may be absent from this life, but are not gone.

  6. Your journey is powerful. And the way you keep fighting back is inspiring. Our loved ones are as close as we keep them. 🙂 In our hearts! Always!

  1. Pingback: The Open Door, Eighth Light, Eighth Night « The Opening of Doors

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