In Which Sparks Are Found

1. Judaism has a magnificent term–tikkun olam. It means “repair of the world.” It was humanized in a 16th century myth. In the myth, God sends light to the world in ten vessels. The vessels, too fragile to hold the light, break on their way to Earth. In order to get the light back, God creates humans. Humans, then, are charged with tikkun olam. They must repair the light of the world by finding these holy sparks.

2. There is a movement in psychology known as social constructivism. Its main tenet is that meaning is constructed rather than discovered. Meaning and truth are created through conversation and interaction. My identity is not so much a steadfast reality as much as a group of stories and characteristics that the people around me and I agree upon.

3. I’m beginning to wonder if the very act of language is intrinsically oppressive. The act of naming something sets it apart from other things. My frustration with words is that they are simplistic. When setting something down on paper, I cannot possibly fairly represent things the way they are in my head. Complex networks of ideas intersect in counter-intuitive ways. And I don’t think I am capable of explaining them.

4. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, the oft quoted Bible passage for weddings, reads:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I believe all these things. What this passage fails to mention, however, is that love is the quickest way to get all of these other benefits. Love is patient and kind but it also demands patience and kindness. Impatience and meanness have no room in love. Love forces its opposites out. True love makes us better. It challenges us. One of the ways I know my parents love me is that they hold me accountable when I make a mistake. 

5. When I am safe in my room, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why I would ever do anything I don’t want to do.

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