Purim is less than a week away.
For my bar mitzvah
, I not only read the parasha
of the week (Tetzaveh
), but Megillat Ester
as well. Well, around a third of the Megillah, anyway. And I even threw in a few voices and some musical tricks (for dramatic effect) so that I could use the opportunity to show off. No one actually suggested
any of this to me- I just surprised them all with the neat gimmicks I'd imagined
. See, I wouldn't
aim to do what anyone else could do- I needed to show that I had a unique
contribution to offer.
Since it was so much work, I decided after that that I'd only read the Megillah every other
year. Each time, I tried to top my previous ambitions
, apparently because I hadn't aimed high enough
the last time. Each time I added in more voices, improved on the old ones, learned a larger portion of the Megillah, and came up with a few new musical gimmicks. The last time, I intended to finish it off, but ended up handing off the ending to the Rabbi because he asked if he could do it. (I was blessed that he should ask- I wasn't good at the ending at all
.) Each time, I took it a little bit more seriously, because the longer you stick with something the more attached
you get to it. But I always did the reading in the morning
, when there were fewer people listening, as opposed to the big reading in the night.
This is the "other
" year. This is the seventh
year since starting with this whole project, and so it is the fourth
time I am reading, and this will be the first time that I finish
the job. I will read all ten chapters, including all the voices called for, and every little gimmick I can think of. And this
year I'm doing it at night- this will be the
megillah reading for our community.So here's where I stand.
This is a trial, to see whether I can meet my own improbable goals of offering something to society.
If I succeed, I will have proven to myself that I can accomplish any goal I set for myself, no matter how outrageous. The title="74">glory of the success will encourage me to pursue my other goals, setting me on a hard path into a glorious life of hardships.
If I fail, I will have demonstrated to myself that I'm not good enough in the Real World to achieve the silly dreams in my head. That will start a very gradual process of increasing title="Myst and Mirages">dissatisfaction with the disconnection between the Real World and the one in my head, which will eventually lead me right back to depression. The failure would weigh on my mind, holding me in place right here.
At least, that's how I imagine
the situation.Here's where I stand in Reality.
I thought I had two weeks to go until Purim. So practicing seriously
was something that I'd do "some day soon". But then, on Shabbat, my father mentioned that both my parasha
and Purim were coming up this week. The parasha
is no problem at all- I've done it every year
for seven years, so I could read it in my sleep
, without any practice. But I thought the Megillah was a week later. And that
... I'm not ready for it, not really. There are mistakes all over the place. There are large sections I've forgotten, or that I never knew well to begin with.
Here's where I stand. I've got this one week to get it right. I also
happen to be in the middle of the mother of all distractions: a great new The Legend of Zelda
experience. (This situation seems title="Tapestry Thread: WHAM!">familiar somehow.)
Here's how I imagine the situation:
I can be a child and live for the present.
I can be an adult and live for the future.
One birthday, I went to Norman's
with Benjy. And I told him there that if I could wish for anything, it'd be that I'd never stop changing from one year to the next. I guess I really have
changed. Maybe it's time to wake up and acknowledge that there's a hard road ahead, but a road that -God willing- can be passed.
Purim is less than a week away. And I'm going to be ready