Words of the Week: Sarah Wildman

“As a child, I tuned out the more awful potentials of the [Unetaneh Tokef] prayer’s plaintive cry — and there are many, and they are terrible, assigning an agency to God I find uncomfortable at best. Instead I was drawn to the sentences that enjoy less notoriety than the others: ‘Who shall be at rest and who shall wander,’ the poem asks. In Hebrew, that sentence is a play on words, a single letter altering the meaning from ‘rest’ (yanuach) to ‘wander’ (yanuah). It goes on: ‘Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued? Who will be calm and who will be tormented?’ To be forced to wander another week, another month, another year is physical and also spiritual, literal and also emotional. In almost three years of cancer and pandemic, I have wondered how my family can find rest as we wander. It has been, and continues to be, I think, in these small in-between moments, in the noticing.”

Source: Sarah Wildman, “I Don’t Need My Life to Be Remarkable” (The New York Times)