Repetition: Omer 20

Repetition: Omer 20
Photo of the Maltese style Labyrinth at the University of British Columbia, illustrating a post about repetition.

Yesod. Foundation. Tiferet. Beauty. Yesod she’b’Tiferet. Foundation of Beauty.

What’s the foundation of a beautiful soul?

Repetition. Not the kind that goes in circles. But in cycles.

Teachers know. When we want to lay a foundation for a good habit, we use repetition. We say things over and over again. And we ask the learners to do them over and over again.

So, today I realized something. Sefirat Ha’omer can be really repetitive! The beauty in love. Then the love in beauty. Then the love in splendour. And the splendour in love.

So I wondered. How many places can I really go with this journey? Where else can the concepts shine a light? Haven’t they already revealed so much? Why is there so much repetition?

And then, of course, I saw something new. Sefirat Ha’Omer is supposed to be repetitive. That’s the whole point. You go back and keep shining the light in the same places. But see new things.

So, I’d like to come back to my dream of two days ago. And then ask: what does it say about the foundation of a soul?

We discover harmful bacteria in our pond. Then, I notice blue ink stains all over my white dress. And bits of paper stuck to my face. I pull them off, leaving my face swollen and bruised. One friend says another stopped using her husband’s last name. Suddenly, I’m travelling on a train with no windows. When I get out, I’m in Charlotte, North Carolina.

So, symbol by symbol:

The pond. Water often represents the unconscious. This water isn’t overwhelming, like the ocean is. And yes, bacteria—negative stuff—swim around. But they are dangerous only if you drink them in. It’s still safe to visit the pond.

The white dress. Specifically, it’s the one I wear on Yom Kippur. So, it hints at the pure soul I hope to be at the end of the ritual. But this pure soul is stained with the ink of my writing. With what leaks out as I prepare neat blog posts for public consumption.

My face, covered. But partly revealed, and partly bruised. Is this the face I show others? Or the face I show myself? All I know for sure: when I peel off the paper, I see a face in need of healing

Name change. Identity. It’s mine alone. I am me. Not other family members. And not the audience I imagine I write for.

Travels. To a place I used to live. I’m going back again, to see what more there is to learn.

So, as the Omer brings me around again to similar prompts, I ask: How can I go deeper? What can I draw up from the unconscious? Can I take up things that leaked in a previous reflection? What do I see that is for my eyes, my heart, alone?

Maybe I’ll need all 49 days to answer these questions. I’m not sure why I should be surprised. I mean, you don’t say, “I’ve mastered spiritual practice.” “I have achieved enlightenment.” “I don’t need Yom Kippur ever again.” “I did psychotherapy when I was 21, so I dealt with everything.” Instead, you ride the train over and over again, and then see where it takes you.

So, where is this train taking me? How much deeper can I go?

Today is [ONLY!] Day 20 of the Omer, i.e., two weeks and six days.

New to the Omer count? Here’s a primer.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *