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Who’s messing around with the rough edges of my life?

Whose sinewy hands tweak my brokenness?

Who forces me to feel my shards and claim them?

Whose fingers pull and knead, pull and knead?

More pinches, slaps, punches startle me.

Take me where I never dreamt sojourn.

Patting smooths my new shape.

A wet towel cools me.

Then explosion—

Like toddlers, jumping piles of reddening leaves.

Expanding-resting-expanding-resting.

What am I becoming?

More pulling and kneading.

Will this never end?

Yet this touch coaxes surrender.

A song releases mine, long hidden beneath barrels of stale flour.

Change continues:

More shifting from here to there.

My pregnant shape swallows my fears.

More waiting follows.

Suddenly, my belly is cleaved and braided together.

Brushed with egg yoke, I wink at the sun.

The brick oven’s fire evokes more transformation.

It’s happened–the aromatic new creation.

Above me a shawled woman blesses candles,

chants psalms to the Challah I have become,

offers me to be torn apart and consumed by her loved ones.

Within my new brokenness, I am whole.

At 7:25 A.M., I awoke with this disturbing dream:

I drive my car to the Visiting Nurses Association, a complex of many buildings, for my day of orientation. I discover Valet Parking at the main entrance, and an employee hands me a claim ticket in exchange for my keys. The day passes with new learning of my responsibilities. Then, I find my way to what I thought was the main entrance to pick up my car and return home. However, I am lost and no one is around to ask for help. I’ll have to walk. I’m angry as I finger my claim ticket.

In the dream I’m still healthy, still driving, still working, but that’s not what’s going on. It’s about my car, a symbol that used to carry my body from place to place. Having worked with the Visiting Nurses Association in the past, I deem it appropriate to return there to learn new interventions for my ailing lungs. I’m in control or so I think I am.

The employee with Valet Parking, perhaps God in disguise, welcomes me, and hands me a claim ticket in exchange for my keys. Still thinking I’m in control, I go about my business, to my satisfaction. Later, I look forward to an evening of relaxation as I seek the main entrance and the retrieval of my car. I’m lost, alone, with no one to help me, a condition that engulfs me when not in conscious contact with God. My anger mounts. All I have is the claim ticket for a new body/car to be received after my transition.

Reduced to walking for the present, I clutch the claim ticket. Anger burns in my psyche.  I grieve.

It’s catching … desperate need for discernment …

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