Saturday, April 11, 2020

Pandemic post: Pesach and moving from "eternal now" back to being anchored in the cycle of the seasons

So... at the end of week four of stay-at-home for our family (end of week three for the UK), six weeks after the first covid-19 case in Scotland, part-way through Passover... here's my first pandemic-related post. 

(My Beloved Partner, inspired by Ada Palmer's #SomethingBeautiful hashtag on Twitter, has been blogging about being Present in Challenging Times for 23 days now:  There are some lovely and kind of eerie pictures of life in Edinburgh there.)    

Anyway.  On to me.  

Tonight we attended a Seder via Zoom, hosted by a long-time dear friend of mine, with whom I share some other long-time dear friends.  It was a marvelously multi-time zone event, filled with people I know and people I'd never met, in person or on-line, before -- family and friends of the host, spread from northern CA, to the next neighbourhood over from our old one in Seattle, to Twin Cities, to London, to us here in Edinburgh.  

It was kind of a last-minute decision.  I had thought I was fine with pretty much skipping Pesach this year for lack of spoons.  But then I realized I wasn't, and when I posted to Facebook about some of the things I was doing to observe Passover after all, my friend invited us to their Seder. 

So Beloved Partner and I spent the afternoon putting together a Seder plate with what we have on hand.  This was a little hilarious but mostly worked really well, and it was kind of fun and creative.  

So, we had a lovely, brief-ish Seder, and then a special dinner ourselves.  

I needed this.

I realized, as we were cleaning up, pausing to look out the dining room window to the growing green in the back garden: 


Most of my experience so far of stay-at-home has been sort of an "eternal now" -- for example, yes, I know it's spring, because there have been several days warm enough for me to sit outside and read or crochet, and I had a birthday, and we sprang forward, and the sunrise is much earlier and the sunset even more muchly later...

But it wasn't until the Seder tonight that I felt anchored in the past and future, in the *cycle* of the seasons.

I needed that.

And I'll have to have a think about how to do that with Beltane.


I feel like I ought to close with something pithy, or wise, or encouraging, or...

All I can say is what my therapist and I have been telling each other each week so far:  This shit is hard.  

I have a whole 'nother post about the Angel of Death that is still percolating, but for now my wish for us all is survival.  

Love and blessings,


[top picture:
an oval wooden table, with two places set with white dishes on the long side to the left, and along the edge clockwise from there: on the far short side of the table, two white square bowls with greens (parsley, and dandelion greens for maror / horseradish), and a flower-shaped bowl with charoset; on the other long side, a blue and white Palestinian-patterned bowl with matzoh buttercrunch, salt and pepper grinders, and a pitcher of home-made pomegranate soda; on the short side, two glasses. in the middle from in front of the plates: a Seder plate with parsley, a ramekin salt water, egg, radish for beet for shankbone, dandelion greens for maror / horseradish, and a ramekin with charoset; a plate of matzoh; two glasses; a small square bowl of radish slices; silver candlesticks, one with a purple candle and one with a blue; a ramekin with another egg; and the haggadah where the computer will go.]

[middle picture: close-up of a blue-patterned Palestinian pottery bowl with broken-up pieces of matzoh buttercrunch in it]

[bottom picture: close-up on the wooden table of the silver candlesticks, now lit, purple candle on the left and blue on the right, in front of a blue-patterned Palestinian pottery bowl with matzoh buttercrunch in it.]

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