Are You Avoiding Me?

Yesterday a friend asked me if I was working on Tisha B’Av. I answered “no”. I later thought about how nice it would be to work, or better yet, to sleep. To go unconscious and wake up Friday morning not having to worry about it until next Summer.
What am I trying to avoid?
It is not as if I have experienced the Temple or anything directly associated with it to feel the loss I am supposed to be mourning.
Perhaps, I am trying to avoid the background hum, the uncomfortable feeling that as much as we pretend, things are not ok; there is lack, there is pain, there is sickness. There is falsehood. There is brokenness.
And from all that discomfort, a longing grows. A longing for wholeness, for truth, for presence, for connection.
I don’t like to feel the pain and therefore not the longing either. It’s unsettling and I have found some really good ways not to think about it too often or too deeply.
Tisha B’Av shuts off my exits and prevents me from escaping into those distractions. It calls me into the pain and then the longing for wholeness in a way that initially makes me want to run, not believing that longing will ever be satiated.
What if I allow myself to begin to feel the pain, to take a brick out of my wall. To trust the pain signal and the longing it generates as motivation to strive for more truth? What if I embrace the desire that grows from such emptiness as an indication of my, of our, ever-intact divine essence. What if I look at the pain and the longing as a reflection of what is eternally right about me, about us, not what is wrong.
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