“This is craftsmanship of thought, to draw a painting of the world you can rely on and almost believe in”.
Attempting to go back and look at the past is a fascinating process because it’s an impossible attempt to touch that which cannot be touched again. Interestingly, in Hebrew the root for ‘to happen’ [k.r.a] also means ‘to read’, as if both are acts of interpretation. Although they are planted on the page, the words’ flow takes me with it and onwards to places where even the feet of time never set foot in.
February 21, 2009
The thought is dedicated to Ram
A tale of a rainbow and horse
I woke up to the sound of pouring rain and I daydreamed about the sun before it shone and the rainbow that might beget from the sun’s meeting with the rain. Then I got up to answer a questionnaire. I did not know what to answer to one of the questions which appeared in it: “How many Jewish texts do you study every week?”
The question made me think of earlier thoughts. “Who is a Jew?” I wondered.
According to the Jewish religion, a Jew is (among other things) one who cannot live without learning and praying every day. “The Rema” claimed that someone working for their living must calculate how much money he needed a day, if he achieved that amount, he must devote the remaining hours of the day to study Torah.
Is it important what we study? Need it necessarily be reading the Bible fervently or praying with the body moving forward and backward intermittently?
Studying does not have to be always from the same book as a prayer isn’t always the same prayer. However, the movement should be infinite (forward as well as backward), a progress in being while reading the Torah or another book and being inspired by the words and by the countless shapes and creations that are born of them. Such observations lead toward understanding, gratitude and reform.
Learning about anything or anyone else – about the world, nature, animals and humans, a friend, a spouse, a parent, a child… – is to learn more about yourself while deepening your connection to others. Is this not our ultimate goal? Such study brings a deep mutual familiarity between the learner and the subject matter, and can replace the prayer.
I, who pray only sometimes, regret that prayer does not exist in my life consistently, but studying is present in them all the time and there I genuinely pray.
A mythology book I found on the shelf in the library taught me something about myself. In one of the stories I first discovered “Iris”, the goddess of the rainbow, and as someone who has this name, I prayed that I could do at least part of what she does. For my 33rd birthday I received an amazing rainbow in the skies of New York, just above my roof. And for my 40th birthday which I celebrated a Hatzeva, I received a gift of two wonders: an April shower in the parched desert, and the second, a pair of rainbows that shone simultaneously upon the sky.
I believe in the connection of two – it’s no accident that I gave birth to twins – and I want to be a bridge connecting people while also walking on it gracefully as a horse, to lead one person towards another. That my last name – Cavallero – means cavalier or knight in Spanish, is also no coincidence.
In “The book of Yosef” by Yoel Hoffman I found a beautiful description of embroidery. After I edited the excerpt it became “the horse I want to be”:
“Today I’ll get a spool of thread from the sewing box and embroider again the leg of the horse. and the horse will lower his leg. and then I’ll embroider his feet as they go up and down until the horse reaches the palace entrance. and when the horse arrives at the palace entrance I’ll embroider the man coming down from the chariot and give him flowers.”
The horse was edited, embroidered anew and mailed as a gift to its author.
I am just a horse and two are its makers – the rider on the horse walking the path and the other, standing on another side to receive the flowers.