In her early essay in which Mira accepted my proposal to launch this project, she laid down some conditions. I ran right up against good old number two tonight:
The second condition is that this not become a tyranny, as in, oh shit, I have to write a kaddish meditation today, what a bummer.
It had been a long weekend. I was still trying to get over one of those nasty summer colds, hadn’t slept well, and played an opera that warm, muggy afternoon in which it was all most of us could do to stay awake. We’d made, eaten, and cleaned up a dinner, and all I wanted to do was collapse.
I whined to Mira, “Oh, shit, I have to make a Kaddish, what a bummer.”
She looked at me in horror and said, “Well, then you don’t get to do it.”
I insisted. “But I’ve found it’s the ones I really don’t feel like doing where I tend to learn something. Doing it anyway.”
That Protestant work-ethic thing gets me sometimes.
Mira was firm. “No. This must not be a tyranny.”
“I’ll get some work done first. I’ll do it in a while.”
So I opened my laptop and started plowing through some tedious work I needed to get done before my Monday meetings, and next thing I know, Mira’s got that godawful “learn to do a professional Kaddish” thing open on her Mac—the one we both poked a bit of fun at after Mira wrote her Kaddish for Rabbi Schneerson—and we’re both reciting along with it and cracking up.
We decided to back up and start over, recording the silliness for posterity.
So there it was—a daily kaddish that felt like a tyrannical bummer, made fun by my collaborator.