can i get things going in the way i would like? rarely. but here's the fantastic wonder i have come to see. if and when i can pass beyond unmet expectation, stay in the present while keeping eye gently on the goal, i experience marvels that i didn't see coming. this is a fresh addition to this priceless understanding.
friday morning i begin to call the usual suspects to arrange a ride to the rabbi's house for shabbat celebration. as the day goes on i'm more or less sucked into the goings on that pull me in ten thousand directions. by the time it strikes me that i haven't got any return calls from the shabbat ride buddies. it is already five pm. for a short while i have this thought. maybe this is the sign i should stay home tonight, it has been a long and rattling day. and then i hear something else. noah's story. go through directory. on the spot i feel an upsurge of enthusiasm. yes, i want to study noah's story.
i pick up the shul's directory, finger through the membership one by one. attention is one-pointedly focusing on who might be going and passing through my way. gotcha. ann. i call ann. she says, yeah, i'm coming but i'm not driving, louise is picking me up. i call louise. she says, i can pick you up but i don't know i will stay all the way. i say, once i am there i know i can find a ride home. i'm not kidding. there were times rabbi would ask me, while people are leaving, in a volume that is loud enough to fill the ears of anyone in the room, suk wah, do you have a ride home? and, believe you me, if i hadn't had a ride fixed by then someone would step up.
where am i? o yes. so louise shows up on time to pick me up. her husband marvin is driving. ann and i are in the back seat. louise says, suk wah, do you know how to get to the freeway? i say, no, let me call hwubby. well, he doesn't pick up the call. louise, ever so kind, says, it's all right, we'll go the other way. momentary pause ensues. she says, it's all right, i just don't get to do it the way i would like. i burst into a chuckle. i say, you're spot on, louise. that is the secret to living and it has been my experience this entire day. everybody laugh. my eyes swipe around the lovely dusk lights in the distant horizon above the berkeley silhouette. a bright understanding shines through me. i say, but i can say i have no doubt that things always turn out even better i plan, look, this person and that person did not return my calls and now i get to spend some quality time with you. by the way it is so true. louise and marvin have another home in hawaii. they and ann live in the city. i rarely go into the city. we really don't get to spend time with each other except on high holidays, celebrations and torah study.
not only do i get to spend some delightful time talking and laughing with them i take the opportunity to ask their advice on some delicate matter i have to take care properly and i get it. o yes, this is another great one. i say, i need to run a situation by you guys. they all go in sync, oy vay. i describe the specifics. they take it seriously. they take it seriously. they ask clarifying questions. when all is said and done, i say, thank you, now the problem is no more. ann, who is always filled with bright vitality, says, with deniable authority, no, this is not a problem. louise agrees. i say, hey, you are supposed to guilt me. louise says, no, we are on a higher jewish path. am i fortunate or what to have such fabulous jewish pals.
as i bathe in gratitude i recall this old, wide known joke. if you want to make god laugh tell him/her your plan. the sparkling truth pouring from it fill my heart. good shabbos to all.