Friday, April 10, 2015

There was a man selling garden plants on my block today. He was set up with some buckets and a stool just past the key making guy who always wants to talk to me.

I stopped to look at the plants, and I said to him, "Man... I wish I had a little dirt. I'd sure love to have a garden."

And he said "Tim bu dong," which means I don't understand you crazy foreign lady.

But I did think that if I had some dirt I'd plant me some tulips. I'd have acres and acres of tulips. And I'd plant Cara Bells, Morning Glories, and Wisteria. Oh, what a fine garden I'd have. If I had some dirt. I have no dirt, so having a garden is not a possibility for me right now, though I did find a stick that had some life in it so I've put it in some water and it might grow. You never know. It has life.

I found a secret garden here in Jing'An this afternoon. It's not really a secret, of course, it's just that I'd never seen it before. It's right off the main walk, but when it is cold you tend to just walk on by. Anyway, I decided I could get past the sleeping policeman and look around. There's a big pond, but it's not very deep so you can see the three big koi fish in it. One was so long and sleek, I thought he might be as long as a foot! There were two others, one was kind of fat, or maybe pregnant. It's hard to tell with koi fish. And, as I looked carefully, I could see that there was a small white fish, probably a koi, and it was just poly-wog sized. It was hiding in some moss. I only saw the one. And there were tad poles. I don't even know how many. I mean, I know how to count sheep, but tadpoles are crazy. Maybe a thousand, maybe more. And they were so black and so squiggly. I thought they were just about perfect. And later, when they are frogs, I'll go back to the pond to be serenaded by them. And there was wisteria. I love wisteria. Wisteria is like a big blue-bonnet, the flower of Texas.

A lot of people hate Texas. It is because they don't understand it. That's one of the main reasons people hate things, I think.

I decided that I'd walk through the garden more often. Now that I know about it, it is a door that I can choose to go through. Of course, I can walk on by and see if there are any other doors, or I can go through that door. There are doors everywhere. And, when I say "door," I mean possibility. But, let's call them doors for right now.

And that brings us to the fourth day of the Omer, and the Dalit. I can never get away from Dalit. It is full of potential, yet enormouisly grounding.

It's spiritual meaning, and this is very basic, is that it stands at the opening of the Bet (house). It's a point of access. Also, the Dalit is a poor man. But, don't worry about it because the rich Gimmel will soon catch up to it. This reminds us that it is only in true humility -- and the Dalit is all about humility and selflessness -- that we can receive anything at all.

When I talk about the selflessness of the Dalit I don't mean it in the sense that the ego, or the self, is a bad thing to be done away with. It's not like that. It's kabbalistic meaning is that it has nothing of its own. Everything about it is a gift.

Here's a story I remember:  There was a time when a man was carrying a very heavy load. I don't know what it was, maybe dirt for his garden. It was very, very heavy. Anyway, there's another guy who is helping him. But, the truth is that the first guy is the one bearing all the weight. The other guy only appears to be helping. That's how we are with God. God is doing all the work, but we appear to be helping out. We might be compared to that little girl in the fried chicken commercial when she says, "And I helped!" even though everybody knows that she was probably just in the way.

In fact, that's probably why the Dalit is a moon letter. It reflects someone else's light. Though, that should put us more in mind of King David. It really, more than that, is about bitul bimtzuit, and it's an image of the soul. But I think we won't dwell on that. It's too complicated. And, by "too complicated, " I mean that I don't understand it.

So, all that is to say that the Dalit is the means for humility to enter into the divine dwelling here in the earth plane.. I probably should have just said that.

Anyway, the number for the Dalit is four: There are four elements in the physical world, the four matriarchs, Jacob had four wives, there are four children at the seder, four cups of wine, four gospels, four letter words... You get the idea.
 “dalit aleph bet images”的图片搜索结果
And, it's a door. Just look at it. It looks like the lintel of a door, doesn't it? Actually the vertical beam reminds us that we stand together, and the horizontal beam reminds us that there is a miracle when we are all together, and that is that we all have enough room to prostrate ourselves before God.  It's amazing this shit I remember.

Anyway, what I've been thinking about these past few days is the fact that there are so many doors arrayed before me. Which will I choose? There are doors that lead to walks in the park, some that lead to work, and others that lead to rest, foot massages, ukulele lessons, going out with friends, walking, whatever. They are the doors that don't really matter. Those doors pertain to the earth plane. You can pick anything and it's fine. But there are others, more important. I can choose bitterness, or sweetness. Both doors are right in front of me, right now. I can choose kindness, service, giving, spreading joy, torah study, loving, vulnerability... Oh, wait... don't want to go there. But the door is there. I can choose it when I am ready. I can choose to own my feelings or ignore them. Both doors are there, and they both go somewhere. 

And, I guess that's the thing. All doors go somewhere. The thing is, where do we want to go?

In other news I've had a couple days off. I didn't do too much. Ukulele lesson, foot massage, lunch with a pal. I'm reading Dorothee Soelle's book about suffering. I wish I could hear her read it. I try to imagine what she must sound like saying those things. I did some private writing and some walking. I skyped with a pal in the USA, and some people about things in Arakan. I do what I can to get some food in there, but I can't do much. I feel so helpless in the face of such tragedy. And all anybody could do is just a tiny bit. But it is important to do what you can. More important for me, maybe, than for them. You know I wrote that thing that time about how giving to those who ask has changed me, and when I'd written it I realized that a lot of people really do have faith in their ability to affect change, but they are not all that open to being changed. Isn't that funny? My favorite theologians are trannies and this one homeless guy I know. He has such faith. Faith that I'll give him some money, LOL. But, it's a kind of faith and it touches me. I want to be more like him, more hopeful, more sure that when I go to God I am going to get something that is actually helpful. Maybe I am too mushy, but this world forms me a lot more than I form it. I am still up in my count of the Omer. You may remember that last year I forgot a day pretty early on and so I wasn't allowed to say the blessing for the other days. Standards, you know. But, so far, I've remembered. I get a daily email reminder and that helps.

There are almost no good pictures of a Dalit, by the way. If you Google image it you'll just see a lot of people from India. They are interesting pictures. I looked at almost all of them! But, that is not what we are talking about here.

Tomorrow I will try to teach a little English. Maybe I'll blog again. I might even find my voice. Maybe even write. Any of those doors could open.


  1. Thank you for teaching me about Omer. Also that book on suffereing by Dorothee Soelle is the best I ever read.

  2. I am loving these posts! Will check out the book. Thanks, Lindy.

  3. Thank you, both.
    I love that you're reading along with me.