25 October, 2010


"Secret" by Maroon 5 (lyrics) is my inspiration this time.
I've got a secret. What is the point of a secret anyhow? Perhaps it is to protect someone (the carrier or someone else); perhaps it is to remain anonymous; perhaps still it is to mull over internally before sharing. So then, why share a secret? Perhaps to seek help; perhaps to find glory; perhaps to make connections.

My secret empowered me today. I held my head higher than in recent days. I walked with more pride and confidence. I owned my secret and treasured it. I did not walk in fear that someone would take it away from me. There were times when I walked in fear that someone would find out however. Constantly checking, and yet smiling, I must have appeared a little off. I'm still working out the practical details, so maybe tomorrow I will be less fidgety.
Today, I wore tzitzit (tallit katan). And I tucked them. So, what does that mean? It means I can walk anywhere and no one knows I am wearing them. It means I have to be really cognizant when I use the restroom. It means I have a secret.

But what does it really mean?
All day long I have felt little knots pressed against my skin. All day long, something has grazed and tickled my leg. All day long I have been reminded of my connections. When I finished eating and was sitting with friends at lunch and had only a few minutes remaining, I got up to go talk to someone else, when I felt them, and I went and benched instead. I was sitting in the library doing some translations for my bible class and I was getting really frustrated because the concordance and the dictionaries didn't have every word from the TaNaKh listed. Over 75minutes I had been sitting there translating a single verse and trying to find it's match somewhere else to no avail. Nearly at my wits end and about to call it a day, I shifted heavily in my chair. Three of the four tzitzit pressed into my leg. I took a deep breath and dove back in. Less than two minutes later I found exactly what I was looking for (still don't know how). On my walk home I heard the usual negative remarks about my kippa (most of the time, the general street comments fall like water on a duck's back) and all I could do was grin because I knew that I also had my tzitzit on. That my relationship to G-d and Judaism was both public and private.

In this world of facebooking, tweeting, blogging, is anything private? Are there secrets that are kept? For as much information exists, there is also another layer. We do not know the person next to us, even when it might seem like we do. Those private thoughts, those private conversations, those private relationships, they are unique to the individual. The impetus, the drive, the motivations, these too are unique.
Sometimes, it is good to let such things out. Perhaps Maroon 5 does it have it right when they say:
"Everyone has a secret/ But can they keep it/ Oh no they can’t."

1 comment:

  1. Rachael - Sounds like you are plowing fertile ground. Secrets are the trickiest and most beautiful part of the orchard. Sending berachot from Boulder...Rabbi Rose