Spoke to my x wife last night who is 1200 miles away and asked her what is a good simple prayer upon getting up in the morning to begin the day. She recommended the Shema Israel, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad. prayer which is so simple but beautiful. M converted to Judaism a number of years ago, after we were separated, but knows 10 times as much as I do. During the conversation she mentioned she was part of a discussion group on Long Island, consisting of two yeshiva grads and other intellectual and searching types. They had good piercing discussions on Judaism and just life in general and she thought I would enjoy it and also shake it up a little. She went on to say it goes well for a while and then someone says something you disagree with and it becomes really annoying and you don't go for awhile.
I agreed and then added sometimes with groups it as if I'm on a raft and they are in a yacht. We can share thoughts and I can shout across but at any time the waves can send me under if not a big fish and all that might happen to them is their tea spills. They have a comfort level I've never felt. Some were able to learn at their own pace. For me it has been rocky, crisis driven, and studying could not be done for its own sake, but to make sense of the shocks I was absorbing. Religion, theology had to work or not in my landscape. If it didn't I couldn't keep it around for too long.
I then said for whatever reasons our backgrounds seemed severe and severe lives followed. There is a reason she has a heart condition and is not that old and there is a reason I get sinus migraines monthly. Head pressure can't be good. M agreed. I take care of myself too, get sun, eat well, do whatever I can, more than 95% of the people, but have not been able to turn this around. Our issues can take us out I added. Despite our efforts, our bodies reflect forces at work that were there from the start.
I said many others who age have issues. They have knees replaced or hips. But they are able to linger on. With us we have damage that can end things abruptly. Our bodies took some hits and absorbed them and carry them around.
True, they just.....lingeeeer on, she answered.