Thursday, January 26, 2012

This Insubstantial Pageant Faded

We caught the northern lights in Bergen! Photo courtesy of Andreas

At the first cheider this year, we covered Tanach. The main bits, anyways. Created the world, argued over how to divvy up the Ten Commandments, and performed a skit about the drama in Melachim Alef. One of the boys kept calling the asaret hadibrot “the Ten Commitments”. Which sounds easier on the twenty-first century ear than “commandments”. Maybe we English-speakers should switch. Next up: building the Beit Hamikdash.

Thea, Odelia and I met up to write the Purim play the cheider kids will put on for the community. Maybe I’ve just watched one too many Purim spiels, but I basically wrote the whole thing, offering them options as we went like a Purim play buffet. Let’s be honest—this is Bergen’s second Purim play ever, so I don’t think we have to worry about repetition.

Walking home this afternoon, the fjord sparkling beside me and the snowy peaks of Bergen shifting shape as I passed them, I had the eerie thought that perhaps this entire year is simply a dream. That as I near spring, it will thaw, melt, dissolve into a dew, and wash away across the Atlantic. When I get home, I will tell people I’ve lived in Norway for a year, and that will mean precisely nothing to them. Or else a weird mash-up of skiing, Ibsen and knitted sweaters, that in fact merely danced around the periphery of my reality here without being the substance. How can I catch this in my hands and take it, palms cupped, back home to show everyone, without it running out between my fingers? How can I save it for myself? Wind strands of Norway into Grieg’s “Morning Song,” and tuck snippets into the souvenir troll I’m bringing back to sit on my desk as a paperweight, and forever change my midwestern “yeah” to a Scandinavian “ja”? Will that save Norway for me? Or memorizing driblets of poetry on fjord and fjell and stjern and sol, so my mind traces out its patterns whenever I doze off? Kansje jeg skål ikke forlate. 

What do you mean, David's the new king?
Killing Agag, king of Amalek. Dramatically.
Batsheva requesting that her son Solomon be king. Look at him hold that baby.
Bergen at night

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