Friday, July 08, 2016

Eyes and Ears

The goal of this blog is to break through the fog at the Friday night dinner table....

BubbegrandsonIn honor of my bubbe's 10th yahrzeit, a special treat for you this week.

Bubbe was born in 1911 in Chicago and lived most of her life in California. She was the last Yiddish speaker in the family (so far), and died with her eyes and ears wide open.

What do I mean by that?

I mean what Helen Keller means in her 1933 Atlantic Monthly essay, "Three Days to See":

Most of us, however, take life for granted. We know that one day we must die, but usually we picture that day as far in the future. When we are in buoyant health, death is all but unimaginable. We seldom think of it. The days stretch out in an endless vista. So we go about our petty tasks, hardly aware of our listless attitude toward life.

The same lethargy, I am afraid, characterizes the use of all our faculties and senses. Only the deaf appreciate hearing, only the blind realize the manifold blessings that lie in sight. Particularly does this observation apply to those who have lost sight and hearing in adult life. But those who have never suffered impairment of sight or hearing seldom make the fullest use of these blessed faculties. Their eyes and ears take in all sights and sounds hazily, without concentration and with little appreciation. It is the same old story of not being grateful for what we have until we lose it, of not being conscious of health until we are ill.....

To read Keller's entire inspired article, click here.

She concludes:

Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to the other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra, as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object you want to touch as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense; glory in all the facets of pleasure and beauty which the world reveals to you through the several means of contact which Nature provides.

It's great advice, but how do you break through the daily fog of perception?

Suggestions from your table?

Shabbat Shalom


Like this post? How about putting your gelt where your gab is: Like it, tweet it, or just forward it.

No comments: