׳׳ואהבת את ה׳ אלוקיך בכל לבבך ובכל נפשך ובכל מאדך…׳׳
“And you shall love Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart and all your being and all your might”
-Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:5, my translation and emphasis
Dear G-d, make me stoic and at ease- a brick wall or at least something sturdier than my flimsy fortitude, more a farce than a fence to fight against the fierce forces of my fears.
And if I must be glass, can I at least be frosted , one-way, with the edge of opaque
non-disclosure, the kind from the Toddler Center in my developmental psychology lab, where the children played with no discretion, content while we jotted down our fieldnotes and felt something like power over their oblivion.
Or the kind of glass encasing museum exhibits transparent but impenetrable, boldly invincible against the finger smears of those with no regard for the instructions pleas:
Do Not Touch the Artifacts-
because the dinosaur frames, and the fossil remains, and the Galliano get-up that hangs on a mannequin expressionless have the foresight to know your carelessness is just too great a risk; they’ve done their cost-benefit analysis, and they’ve listened to their wise predecessors who were adamant in their instructions pleas to Stay Unscathed At Whatever Cost.
Dear G-d, enable me to be someone who says “idgaf” in a way that is more than aspirational.
Let me block out the apologetics I’ve leaned on for too long, the ones that insist on redefining strength
to include tears, that belittle the conventions of thick skin and a callous heart. Grant me thick skin and a callous heart.
Make me someone who answers “fine” to “how are you?” with no indications of cracks in the surface of the glass
Because I was born transparent, subtle as a parade fishnets in place of woolen stockings.
My legs have scratches, scars, and scabs I can’t stop picking, their sources unknown or unremembered. I am not a warrior.
To the G-d who demands my Love from the recesses of my heart, my being, my might–who commands my dedication from my muscles and from my soul-flab in their entirety, my heart : לבבך is a sponge, absorbing every drop of worried, hurried, lingering sense, weighed down, building up mildew to draw your my attention when it doesn’t get wrung out my being : נפשך is a wholeness greater than the sum of its parts, at least from your bird’s-eye view my might : מאדך my intensity, my “very”-ness, is both a weight and a lightness, depending where I throw it, or if I have the strength to lift it Lift me.
Love me, you say– with all your softness and your edges with all that you are and without what you lack with your tenderness and your intensity with your tears and your rage and your attempts at indifference I can see through. Love me with your wholeness, through the glass, uncontained. With all that you are.