Sunday, April 24, 2005

"Do you ever feel," he asked suddenly, "that although you know you're sane, and intelligent--you don't hear voices or think the houseplants are talking to you--that you're living in a dream? That people come and go out of the darkness and you don't know why or where?"

"All the time," said Deborah. "You know, when people get sick, or when they are in mourning, or when they face death, they often feel crazy when in fact they're seeing reality very clearly, it's just a different reality from the one they're used to focusing on. Suddenly the routine of denial and habit doesn't help them, it isn't available anymore. Jewish tradition, for me, creates a kind of counter-routine that doesn't dissolve in a crisis. So that you're not suddenly looking down and discovering in a shocked way that you're walking on a narrow bridge. Tradition is kind of like the railing of the bridge. The bridge is still narrow and its' still suspended over darkness. But there's something to hold onto that lots of other people have held onto."

--Jonathan Rosen, Joy Comes in the Morning

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