While I was there, I also got to spend time with Rabbi Margaret Holub and the sweet, small congregation of Mendocino Coast Jewish Community. (Nothing concrete yet, but I've been invited to brainsdtorm some new rituals and music with Margaret and a couple of her colleagues for what we hope will become something like a template that synagogues can use when programming their own celebrations. More later.)
Now, I'm home -- and must confront everything that comes with being here at home, including the continuing fallout from the 2016 election and the precarious place I and so many others find themselves in now. The outcomes that are on the horizon will affect me and millions of other people -- in America and elsewhere -- personally and profoundly.
But I must remember that in any sort of competition, there are winners and losers. Sometimes we lose.
And now I need to figure out how to live on the losing side of this election, not just next week but for the next several years, since any President can leave a mark that outlasts his/her term of office.
And while the fallout will certainly affect many things, it also has tremendous poewr to bring people closer to each other, in service to a cause, or a faith, or a calling.
I am still unsure of all the things I can possibly do in the wake of this election. But I DO know I can still make music. So I'm going to keep doing that for as long as I'm able.
I also know that I can fix bicycles. So I'm going to do that, too. (If you're in Portland and want to help me obtain bikes for the neediest among us, contact me directly and let me know.)
And I know that around every corner there is despair, lurking and threatening to take me down without notice.
So I have to keep doing what I can do, and find other folks to it with (and/or for) so despair has a harder time getting inside my head and heart.
In the wake of very real changes that are coming, maintaining the right balance between determination and caution is tricky. Sometimes we stumble and fall. But let's make sure that when someone stumbles, the rest of us are there to catch them and help them get back on firm footing. When I'm not traveling, I'll be spending time and energy finding ways to make a difference here at home.
Up next for me is a visit to Judea Reform Congregation in Chapel Hill, NC, where I'll join Rabbi Larry Bach as a guest artist December 7-12. If you'll be in the Chapel Hill-Durham area, come make Shabbat or Havdalah with us. Check the temple's web site for details.
Whatever festivals you observe in December, here's hoping they're filled with joy, light and Buckets Of Peace.