Yom Kippur at Mt. Sinai
At eight thirty in the morning the cemetery is teeming with life. This is not an allegory about the trees or nature or anything coming out of the dirt; but people, I've never seen so many people at eight-thirty in the morning. Frankly, I haven't seen eight thirty in the morning since who knows when.
This cemetery is alive and the people in the administrative offices love my yalmukah. I tell them it is from Guatemala, made by people who didn't know what yalmukahs were but were assured they were a good idea.
Everyone here says "good morning" with the enthusiasm of the living. When walking amongst the dead it is in vogue to act as alive as possible, to distance oneself from the inevitability that you may one day be driven here and then never leave. My mortality confronts me like an empty chair.
There are thousands of empty chairs here, two hours early, while the choir practices. A woman sits directly behind me. I attract that kind of attention here in the sun with the French horns and the cantors. Two drops of rain belie the sun and make my ink run. They are asking for a music stand for the shofar blower. It is amazing to me how an instrument that plays only one note needs music. It is amazing how complex the simplest things are.
Someday, when I am dead, I will spend all my time learning everything.