Purim

Winter and Spring wrestle... A certain wildness reigns...
Your soul knows this story intimately,
the twists and turns of chance and fate, the sense of possibilities hiding everywhere,
how anything can happen...
You well know the sometimes whimsical nature of life...

     So you enter the Biblical story of Esther...

kathy-purim-water-1

 

Under the full moon I put on a mask
and drink flowing wine
which in time blots out the lines
between good and evil...

Under the full moon I tell
of newly promoted Haman's rage,
   that Mordecai, the Jew, did not prostrate himself before him.
   rage of ego, rage of a man of power...
Where the seemingly personal insult results in a proposal for genocide...
   to give to the king's coffers ten thousand talents of silver...
   to destroy a people, young and old, women and children and men...
     in one day,
     because,
     because they are different, do things differently...
     do not bow down.

frank-purim-fullmoon-1Under the full moon I tell
how women of power act within a man's culture...
  Where Vashti, the Queen says "no" to the King's  request
    to appear publicly for display, 
    but loses her throne.
   Where Esther, chosen for her beauty and sexual prowess,
     subtly unfolds her strength,
     risking life to approach the king un-summoned,
     using conventional forms of wine and dining 
     as vehicles, to prepare the ground,
     to speak her request...
    Yet shines, stands clearly,
      metaphorically disrobing...
     And claims herself,
         as Jew,
         spokeswoman,
         guardian, of her people...

Under the full moon I tell
how an entire culture's fate hangs by gossamer threads...

   By Vashti's refusal
    before a drunken male court
      to dance without garments, only her crown...

   by Ahasueruses' sexual desire
    among all the women in the country,
     for Esther...

   by Mordecai's sitting by the King's gates, overhearing
    the King's chamberlains plot to kill the King...
     telling Esther, and thus
      saving the King's life...

   by the King's inability to sleep one night...
   ordering the book of records to be read...
     the scribe happening to open to the recording of Mordecai's deed of redemption,
     and the King realizing, 
     that Mordecai's act had not been rewarded...

kathy-purim-mtns-1

 

May I strive
  to remove my masks...
  allow myself out of hiding...
  let new parts of self emerge...

May I remember
   there are forces unseen which dance in this world...

May we work for a world
  where no people lie afraid because they are different...
  where men and women, children and elders, can say 'yes' and 'no' freely...
  where differences are celebrated and relished...
  where none know fear... 
 

 May we work for a time
  when we can see and hear Spirit in all...
  when all might be safe in their cities and in their skins..
   in the light of the full moon. 

In the light of the full moon.

 

 


Photography Credits

First and third photographs: Kathy Berendt
Second photograph: Frank Dobrushken