…no, that’s the end of that statement [with two or three exceptional exceptions].
Archived posts in ' "Moments"Back home
Dear OSX Lion,
I understand you want my documents to seem persistent in Preview, but when I open an image I really, really do not want you to open the 20-30 other documents, pdfs, and photos I had open prior to quitting the application 5 minutes ago. If you can do this for me I can perhaps forgive you for making all the finder icons grayscale. Maybe.
Friday night I participated in a Jewish tradition known as Kol Nidre, a prayer service that starts Yom Kippur, the most important holiday of the Jewish year. It’s a time of personal reflection and, traditionally, atonement for the sins of the previous year. At this moment you are supposed to have spent several days asking others for forgiveness for wrongs you have committed and forgiving others for the mistakes you have yet to let go of. It’s a mournful yet beautiful tradition that I try to keep alive in my own life, despite my staunch atheism. It’s comforting, really, to remind myself that people do make mistakes, and that wrongs can be forgiven and change can occur.
This was a very special Kol Nidre for me, as I experienced it at 140 Broadway in the Financial District, right across the street from the ongoing protests in Liberty Plaza, by the Occupy Wall Street movement, standing up against the financial greed and power politics that have pushed the majority of Americans into economic and social hardship. And as we sat in silence, meditating on our own shortcomings, cheers rose from the Occupied camp in a parallel recognition of mistakes made.
It struck me that we were all sharing a profound moment. That so many people (around 700) would gather in solidarity with a cause considered so abstract is still amazing to me. That our stated goal–to reflect and to heal for the coming year–was so in tune with their (our) stated demand that the wrongs of our society be confronted and healed, blew me away. Here we were, all facing east (it’s traditional to face Jerusalem while praying), all absorbed in individual moments of atonement, all feeling the same need for change. The entire square was filled with a sense of rejuvenation, like people were finally starting to wake up and take notice of what’s been going on lately.
And honestly, we all desire to change internally–to be better people, to succeed on our own terms, to have better interactions with people we care about, to feel better about ourselves–but this moment was just as much about changing externally, about the changes that we as a society need to make in order to be healthy. And Kol Nidre, the very ancient ritual of asking for the strength to make these changes, was the perfect embodiment of this desire, set against the backdrop of a movement that is quickly growing traction. It was hopeful, and it was truly subversive, and it was one of many such moments that will occur at Zuccotti Park over the next few months.
As is becoming my habit, I’ll end with a quote, cribbed from the supplement handed out before the service:
“Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to
overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred,
opportunism, falsehoods. The liturgical movement must become
a revolutionary movement, seeking to overthrow the forces that
continue to destroy the promise, the hope, the vision.”
-Rabbi Abraham Heschel
Too Long/Didn’t Read: The blog has been renamed “The Brooklyn Amplifier.” Details below.
When it comes to writing a blog, you can’t escape the need for a focus. Honestly, all the best curated websites have a razor-sharp definition of what they will and won’t post. I’ve been having a really hard time finding a focus, or at the very least communicating that focus to my readers (if there are any of you…).
A blog cannot be a catch-all for its author’s thoughts and expect to be successful. It’s just too much to expect readers to tune in to your brain in all its moods and states. And so, with that in mind, I have embarked on a journey to focus this space, starting with a name change.
From hereon out, this blog will be known as The Brooklyn Amplifier (thanks Taylor for the suggestion!). See, it’s cute, because I once started a business called Brooklyn Amplifiers that never really took off, and also I like to play guitar really loudly.
You can expect the new blog to function the same way a good amplifier does: by making the good stuff louder (and enriching its tone) and letting the noise fade into the background. Discussions here will never be tangential to current affairs, but rather will expand upon them to give us all a better understanding. And since I live in Brooklyn, enjoy biking, and work in tech, you can expect these to be the subjects from which I draw.
But wait! That’s not all! My future plans include:
- A total site redesign (mostly because the title is super long now). Probably with really cute drawings of guitar amplifiers.
- Really good categorizing of content. So that you don’t have to read shit you’re not interested in.
- More pictures and rich content. I know you guys like that.
…is to post once a day, regardless of how motivated or inspired you feel. Eventually, the focus works itself out. But then again, maybe it just turns writing into a chore.
For the love of god, someone explain to me why the weather makes the trains blow so bad
-C.S., commiserator extraordinaire