Someone told me of a beautiful Jewish concept, tikkun olam or repairing the world. The explanation said that tikkun olam, for contemporary Jews, most often refers to acts of charity or social justice.
In the broadest sense, the idea acknowledges that at some point our universe does break apart, that we repair our disarray one broken thing at a time. One by one by one, we accept that being fragmented is part of our process. Step by step by step, we let go of the broken pieces, allowing them to arrange into a different prism.
Part of becoming whole again rests on the willingness to accept ambivalence with all the anxiety and discomfort it brings. What once felt comfortable and reassuring is gone. The step between a problem and a solution is now a giant leap of faith.
Four months ago, my universe split. It felt like that biblical word, asunder, was the only concept that fit my manic need to run headlong into fear. Anxiety and ambivalence were constant and I made mistakes, one after the other. Nothing felt safe. The new normal was science fiction.
For each of those 130 days, I have been the elephant in the room creating discomfort to those I love as they cared for and reassured me. For 130 nights, I have ached with the empty spaces.
Today, as I spoke to family and friends , read blog comments by neighbors (who are friends), organized a few pockets of disorder and stained an interior door, I realized that tikkun olam is happening.
Four Ordinary Women has welcomed a new champion who will breath life into our efforts to be read. Acting on Mark’s suggestion that I honor unfulfilled passions, I am considering future music lessons. Who knows? I might even stretch this new found Jewish idea and learn to dance.
Bob’s pictures will stay on the kitchen table. His den is cleaned but unused. A last gift, his blue bathrobe, hangs on the bedpost. I sit in his chair as I read or write, wrapping myself in all that he was. Yesterday, I sold his boat and was able to watch it pulled down the drive without feelings of disloyalty.
My world is repairing itself. Blessings on tikkun olam.