I inadvertently hit the publish button when I was preparing this entry earlier today. My apologies.
Little sleep last night after hearing the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. Not only did I publish this entry accidentally, I published a Facebook riff with her name misspelled. At least I misspelled it consistently. Gah.
And at least I caught that I wrote Luciano Pavarotti instead of Plácido Domingo in an early, teary draft; not sure I could have redeemed myself from that misstep.
I’m including that riff below, because I think many of us are processing complex emotions. Everything else, and now this. This riff was my way of transforming the news, of creating fierce hope from uncertainty, and spelling and names were less important than claiming something anchored in hope.
Today’s reflection offers a space to intentionally stay Centered, a space where we let our many griefs and fears float into the ocean of Trust
For those of us strongly empathic, we can feel the collective grief and fear deep in the bones, so we’ll honor the collective anxiety, and claim higher ways of being, in Being, and we’ll honor the spaciousness and hope freely given to us when we need it.
I hope you’ll join our circle, and contribute to its quiet, gentle, transformative power,
Today’s photo was taken yesterday from the upstairs porch.
We’re living in many transitions.
There’s beauty in the breakdown.
(Please note, there may have been mic problems, and you may experience some volume changes, though I think the problems were only with the headphone volume. — JH)
To join today’s circle, please click here:
“According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began tonight, is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness,” Franklin tweeted soon after the news of Ginsburg’s death broke.
NPR reporter Nina Totenberg explained the tradition on Twitter: “A Jewish teaching says those who die just before the Jewish new year are the ones God has held back until the last moment bc they were needed most & were the most righteous.” . . .
It’s not the only point of significance. Because Ginsburg died Friday evening, her death occurred around the time Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, began.
“If one dies on any Shabbat they are considered a Tzadik … more so when it’s on the new year,” Rabbi Andrea London of Beth Emet synagogue in Evanston, Illinois told USA TODAY.“ . . .
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg received an honorary doctorate from Harvard the same year I was graduated with a Masters.
It’s a funny story, my oh-so reluctant Harvard graduation attendance, a tale for another day. I had a hard time, in Whitman’s words, ‘celbrat[ing] myself,’ but for all my self-indulgent feelings of being an outsider and a fraud, even though I earned Honors, it may have been one of the best days in the University’s history to attend commencement. The weather was perfect — clear blue skies, in the high sixties, and the slightest breeze kept the air moving around us, without any gusts.
It was an electric spring day, full of promise, made more electric by the ceremonies. When I filed into the yard wearing my cap and gown, I changed, and my world did as well.
It was a celebration of my work, too, not just everyone who was smarter or more gifted or who came from privilege. Here I was, crossing the finish line and receiving the gold medal of mastery in work I loved. Not bad for a poor girl from an uneducated family who lived in her imagination, loved reading, and loved putting big ideas into good strong words.
And then there was Ginsburg.
Yes, the perfect day to celebrate dreams and dreamers.
Plácido Domingo also received an honorary doctorate, and he gave everyone there that day the treat of a short, impromptu performance. Before the day’s ceremonies, as I remember the story he told, Plácido found out that Judge Ginsburg was an opera lover. Opera was one of her personal passions, so he stepped in with a song, asking ‘permission’ right on the stage.
Of course, no permission needed.
Everyone went a little wild as he unexpectedly caressed the breeze with his voice, filling Harvard Yard with tenor notes, and Ginsberg seemed sincerely thrilled.
Plácido Domingo singIng made a perfect day even more so.
As ceremonies in the yard wound down, I watched an escort assist RBG down the aisle from Memorial Church toward Widener library. Even then she was as frail and delicate as a hummingbird. Tiny, I remember thinking how fierce she was to navigate the ceremonies, such invisible strength and power in a fragile vehicle of a body.
This was 2011.
For nine years she fought for us, a hummingbird with a lion’s heart. Some folks are questioning why she didn’t retire during the Obama administration to keep the court. She didn‘t. This is life.
An astute writer has mentioned that Ginsburg passed on the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. In life’s music, and the dance of stories and our telling of them, I don’t believe in coincidences. Time will tell us more.
There’s music and poetry in our lives when we look deeply, use our story telling to adroitly fashion our experiences, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at my Harvard graduation is part of my story, one of the too-many-to-count precious gifts that life’s given to me.
Rest in power, Judge Ginsburg.
Thank you for your service, for showing that no matter how fragile a hummingbird might seem, it can be lion courageous and strong.
And thank you for being part of this woman’s story.
Keeping my eyes full of fierce, unrelenting hope.”