liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
I've been in a funny mood these past couple of weeks. There have been lovely things, viz:

A dinner to mark roughly a year since our quad got together. Roughly, because there was no specific time when we decided that we were a quad as well as all the individual relationships in it, but it was pretty obvious within a few weeks of the couples happening.

Various phonecalls from my loved ones, which always raises my mood.

A visit from [personal profile] angelofthenorth, who is always really good for me, and good at making me spend a weekend sitting quietly and recuperating properly.

Giving my favourite undergrad lecture, on control of the cell cycle, which I enjoyed and feel good about and it went well.

Other misc teaching things that I enjoy, leading discussions about complementary medicine and a workshop on making healthcare accessible to disabled patients, and doing lots of pastoral meetings with students which I always enjoy.

But I have also been feeling like things are a slog. It's hard to put my finger on what's wrong. I have a vague sense of dread and not quite keeping up around several work things, which is probably mostly emotional (maybe even hormonal, my cycle's not behaving) rather than anything external wrong.

I'm not getting enough time with [personal profile] jack, which I feel bad for complaining about since it's mostly due to spending time with other people I love, but still, I feel a little over-busy and short on good connection. And indeed, I'm pining for more time with all my partners, proper time when we're not tired and not rushing around doing other things, and it will happen, but my extrovert tank feels a bit drained, lately. At the same time, friends dealing with actually hard things that I can't help with is hitting me worse than usual for some reason.

[personal profile] adam_in_rabbinical_school's father died last week. Obviously this is absolutely terrible for him and merely a bit of a bummer for me. But I'll be honest with you, journal friends to whom I reveal my innermost thoughts, I am feeling a bit down about it. Partly cos I liked Ronnie and there's always an emotional impact when someone you interact with regularly dies. And partly because, well, he died late Friday afternoon and I was on tenterhooks all weekend to hear how much organizing of his funeral would be expected of me. I didn't think it would be Sunday as Jewish tradition prefers, because in this area it's pretty hard to get death-related secular bureaucracy to happen fast enough to bury people as quickly as we'd like. In fact the funeral was Wednesday, and a rabbi came to lead it, and the family did most of the organizing, so all I had to do was the memorial prayers on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

And I admit that a shameful part of my reaction to the sad news was, oh no, I really don't have enough slack in this week to rearrange things around a funeral. Of course I did it because I had to, but it meant work deadlines slipped a bit and after the trouble I got in earlier in the year I'm a bit scared of falling behind again.

The other thing I let slip because of lack of time was preparing the Torah reading for the service on Saturday. I had a good excuse for not doing it, which was that the community had promised me that someone was coming who would do the leyning for me. I should have insisted harder on being put in touch with this friend of a friend directly, but I didn't, and I didn't prepare the reading just in case because of being caught up with the funeral, and of course this mysterious "someone" never showed up at all, and I ended up having to sight-read. (From the printed book, I can't actually sight-read from the scroll anything like competently). And because I hadn't prepared it properly I didn't remember quite how long last week's portion was, so I didn't adjust the rest of the service accordingly and it went on for over 2 hours. Only a little over, and in theory an Orthodox community don't expect the service leader to abridge things ever, but my lot have got used to me being pretty good at timekeeping and were a bit grumpy.

While I'm complaining about other people's tragedies causing me inconvenience, I had to rewrite my sermon to mention the bereavement, as the mourners were of course present at the service, and that's the kind of thing that I have low confidence in my ability to do well. Normally the person I'd ask for advice would be [personal profile] adam_in_rabbinical_school, who has relevant professional training as you might be able to guess from his username. I don't think I was awful, I talked about the death of Isaac and transitions between generations and said something about resurrection hopefully without being too annoyingly pious about it.

Anyway, it's been the kind of time when I keep opening compose windows and not knowing what to say. And I haven't got anything new for Reading Wednesday as I have read basically no fiction in the past couple of weeks. So have some links to other people's writing:

  • I rather appreciated [livejournal.com profile] evilrooster's fic Silence in the hill country. It's not at all the sort of thing I normally like, since it's NT fic for one thing, and for another the main topic is Mary's pregnancy. And I'm slightly hesitant to recommend Christian Bible fic, but as far as I can tell the story is framed in a reverent way; the writer is a practising Christian.

  • A rather sweet story about a so-called natural inseminator, a man who helps women to become pregnant by having sex with them rather than just donating sperm. Although there is a weird bit in the middle where the journalist expresses horror at the idea that people with genetic diseases or autistic people might donate sperm, so if you don't want to run into sudden unexpected eugenics you probably shouldn't follow the link.

  • [personal profile] rachelmanija started a wonderful discussion about how people find hope in a time of despair. I should note, I could hardly be further from despair, there are many many good things in my life and I have more to look forward to. And some of what people are writing about is dealing with absolutely horrible circumstances, pretty much everything horrible that could happen to anyone is in the comments somewhere. I'm finding something very moving about people's descriptions of just still being here after the worst possible things happened to them.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-02 09:03 pm (UTC)
ambyr: pebbles arranged in a spiral on sand (nature sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy) (Pebbles)
From: [personal profile] ambyr
"I didn't think it would be Sunday as Jewish tradition prefers, because in this area it's pretty hard to get death-related secular bureaucracy to happen fast enough to bury people as quickly as we'd like."

When I had to help organize a funeral for my (lapsed Christian) metamor, I ended up going with the Jewish funeral home in part because they were the only ones willing to work on the quick timeline our partner wanted. It still took four days, but that was better than weeks!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-02 10:02 pm (UTC)
lethargic_man: (capel)
From: [personal profile] lethargic_man
That's not what [personal profile] liv means by fast. Two years ago, my mother died in the small hours of Sunday morning, and was in the ground before sunset that day, with a substantial crowd of people turning up from hundreds of miles away and (in my case) internationally.

When [personal profile] liv says Jewish tradition prefers Sunday, that doesn't said anything about religious tradition; rather Sunday's the only day (burials not taking place on Saturday) when people can just drop things and be present for a same-day burial.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-02 10:11 pm (UTC)
ambyr: pebbles arranged in a spiral on sand (nature sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy) (Pebbles)
From: [personal profile] ambyr
I'm Jewish. I've attended many Jewish funerals. I'm well aware of the Jewish tradition regarding burials, and of what [personal profile] liv means, thanks. I was agreeing with her statement that it is legally very difficult to have someone buried within a day in many jurisdictions, even if that is religiously and/or personally preferred.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-02 10:37 pm (UTC)
ambyr: pebbles arranged in a spiral on sand (nature sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy) (Pebbles)
From: [personal profile] ambyr
It's okay. I want to apologize to [personal profile] lethargic_man, actually; I could have been much more polite in my phrasing. It's not a period of my life I remember happily, and I should have taken some time to calm down before responding.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-02 10:51 pm (UTC)
ambyr: pebbles arranged in a spiral on sand (nature sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy) (Pebbles)
From: [personal profile] ambyr
"That must have been a hard thing, organizing a funeral for a metamour."

Thank you. It made me really wish the poly community spent more time--spent any time--talking about death and how to handle it. Because there's about a thousand things that it is really much better to have worked out before you're also dealing with grief. I wish I knew how to start that conversation.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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