(Warning! Lots of words coming up. Feel free to skip right to the photos, it’s probably what I would do.)
I was chatting with some strangers on google hangout at 3 AM the other night (yup, I’m a total baller), and you know how things are when those wee hours appear. All the farfetched quasi-intellectual theories claw their way out from the more lonely corners of the mind. And bad jokes.
We got to chatting how odd it is that people need so badly to be right. Online seems to be worse than IRL ("in real life" for those who actually live out there and don't need an acronym for it) but it's pretty prevalent everywhere. For myself (this is something I really worked on) it’s gotten to a point (I was as bad as any for a while there) where I kind of enjoy being wrong. There’s something exciting about seeing an idea in different light. I’m wrong about so much so often it’s laughable. Laughable now, but sad if I would have refused to listen to what other people say. Actually listen, not just wait until they stop talking to you so you could say your bit because you already have them pegged and boxed and you know what they’re going to say…
Stranger Google dude brought up a valid point about how if we are so open to all ideas, then who are we? Are we just a blank canvas for others to impress ideas on?
Then it got late(r) so we all hung up and waited patiently for the next day’s hangover.
The conversation was lingering around as I slept (very well mind you), and when my daily post coffee epiphanies hit, it had expanded quite a bit.
Chassidic literature is filled with the idea of “bittul”, and how important it is. It’s more of a concept than a simple translation of a wordword, I guess it means self-nullification, abnegation of ego, or something of the sort. We are constantly warned of the danger of ego, and how G-dliness only rests in a place of bittul. Yet we are also supposed to serve G-d as full individuals, replete with a logic, emotion, a sense of humor, and all that jazz (is jazz Jewish?). So what's the dealio?
I’m just thinking out loud here, but maybe it’s the egotistical expression of self that’s the issue? When we hold on to our ideas, thoughts, expression, even emotions, as if they are who we are, and without them we are nothing. But they aren’t, they’re just expressions of the soul or “self”. The unique way our individual minds work, how we react to the world, and our unique experiences is what we bring to the table. Being open to new thoughts, views, and experiences, does in no way lessen our self. I think it’s just the opposite, when we allow our egotistical grasp on these garments of the soul to slip, we find out who we really are. So while hunkering down behind the walls of past experience may feel safe, all we are really doing is holding our self prisoner.
So I raise this glass of lemon water wish you all (and myself) a massive dose of organic letting go juice. L’Chaim!
(I may be wrong about all I just wrote. Bring it.)
A few months ago I packed my bags (again) for the holy city of Brooklyn to this lovely couple’s lovely (and rainy!) wedding. And truly, they were (and probably still are) the sweetest of the sweet. Quite international as well; she from China, him from Hawaii. They met in a small town in Sudan, okay now I’m just making stuff up. But the rest is legit.
Fun fact. The house the bride got ready in was in the family for like 4 generations. I think her great-grandmother was born there. Something like that.
Anyways, as always, this is best viewed with a brew (coffee, beer, or maybe kombucha, that’s up to you) and a good chunk of time. And if you made it this far, congrats! You have a special place in my heart.
Makeup by the talented Sary Farkash
Flowers by the wonderful Mimulo Floral and Event Design
Second shooting by Paul Simon (not that one)