I am sitting deep in a garden after the sun has moved on; surrounded by trees thick with leaves, I feel like I’m in a well of grass. The atmosphere is swimming with filtered light, blue green, yellow green. The trees are budded, bonded, arabesqued, with fir needles and cypress needles, massive oak and holly. I look up from the bottom of their shadow ocean, as ripples of light toy with things, as shadows fall from forms onto grass. They spend their time leaping and teasing, suggesting that if you try to catch them, it will be a dizzying game.
This week has already been dizzying. The Jewish High Holy Days come with a plunge into memory and reflection, games and deflections of self-awareness. Yom Kippur, in particular, often opens me to timelessness, a slice of nonlinear time. At moments, I have flashes of everyone who has ever blown or heard a ram’s horn, which is a lot! Put another way, the shofar cuts a rift through time and the fabric of particulars.
With the shofar, you can journey down deep, following a journey through wilderness to howling nothingness. But all is not lost – in the well you still have breathing equipment, and deep in the darkness you acquire translucent vision. I came up with a gasp of breath and some “bendies.” I returned with an appreciation of the shadow that accompanies being, keen to watch the two of them stride along.