Phew, that first week of the school year is over! I always find the first week to be both exciting and exhausting.
For me, the academic year has always been my "new year," more so than in January, probably because the Jewish New Year usually begins around the same time. This year, it begins on Sept. 29th. On the Jewish New Year, we take the time to look back on the year past and acknowledge where we could have been more skillful in our doings, and we look ahead and set our intentions. It's a ten-day period of reflection, and we are essentially wiping the slate clean.
On September 30, coincidentally, I'll be holding the book launch reading/celebration of my new collection of personal essays, Listening Against the Stone: Selected Essays, published by Skinner House Books this summer. It's serendipitous, because this book essentially spans my writing career, including much older essays and brand new pieces. Taken together, they form a picture of how my own sense of spirituality has evolved over the years. The title comes from a scene in one essay in which I lean against the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, seeking some guidance.
I would love to see you there, if you can make it. It will be at Village Books in Fairhaven (if you haven't been there yet, Village Books is our groovy independent bookstore in the groovy part of town...) at 7 p.m. Thanks!