An on line acquaintance and poet I converse with had me thinking this morning after I read one of his released works.
His work was speaking to having the virtues he saw in his mother, and I was led to thinking about something I'm sure I drew from rabbi Art Greene, but was on the verge of being expressed with my fellow talmudim as we spoke last night over words of Avot.
It's been profound, seeing my grandmother come up from my mother's face as she ages. We were all so lost when the matriarch of the family died. We fight becoming our parents in vain. I think we need to grow into the next iteration of them perhaps? A link in the chain of a sort of divine manifestation, that trusts each generation with the choice to express its best self in the next go around.
We were at the last mishnah in chapter four of Pirke Avot.
Those who are born will die, Those who die will live again. Those who [then] live are to be judged, to know, to make known, and to let it be known who is God, who is the Maker, who is the Creator, who is the One who understands, who is the Judge, who is the Witness, who is the Litigant....Don't let your inclination [to do evil] persuade you that you will be able to escape in the grave, for against your will were you formed. Against your will were you born. Against your will will you live. Against your will will you die...-Elazar Ha-Kappar
It was agreed upon that it was surely a sermon, and of the fiery type. However it was also a moment to reflect on the continuity of life. I was drawn back to the beginning as so often I am. Our cosmology is one not of sibling rivalry or patricide and rape. The story of creation in Torah is one of utterance or will for a world. People seem to have come with willfulness and things get messy in a New York minute, but that's not the world that was first created.
Norman Rockwell didn't live in the world he painted, he painted the world he wanted to live in.
The mishnah spoke to me of the continuous stream of creation the unknowable is said to be "pouring forth." Expand your field of vision enough and constant change and eternal stasis can become one image. Rabbi Greene spoke on evolution as the divine will protruding into this world, in ever increasing complexity, seeking to be fully realized. That as magnificent as we are, in another millennia we will seem so primitive. His understanding was of the physical, of DNA and struggle and the mechanics of the organic computer we call earth. My reading is of the cultural, and the ever present choice we have been given, and via observance of our situation, the natural fight to be our best selves in the recombination of our parents parents parents matrix.