Half the menorah is filled.
It looks vaguely unbalanced, and I am tempted to put the candles in pairs on either side of the shamash. I like the image it conjures for me, that of the oil slithering down from the tip of the flame through the body of the beadle and out into the other receptacles, out into the world, spreading a message of hope and accomplishment and miracles and light.
As the political scene begins to unravel, as xenophobia becomes the new black, as a contender for the Presidency of the United States can suggest badges and banning and be taken seriously, I come back to these lights.
I'm gonna let it shine, this little light of mine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.
I've been repeating that to myself all day, as I cringe through Facebook and the local paper and Slate and The Huffington Post. By moving Trump and his antics from the front page to the entertainment section, The Huff Post made a statement that I wish other news outlets would emulate. Yes, he's the leading candidate on the Republican side, but that doesn't mean that he deserves on air promotion.
Couldn't the anchors make oblique reference to Trump's hateful speech and then move "In New Hampshire today, Donald J Trump continued his outrageous and un-American campaign for the White House. Because our network has a conscience, because we have read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, because we have studied history and understand the basic underpinnings of our country's birth, we will not be publicizing his rhetoric. His words do not represent our better angels, the angels President Obama urged us to embrace back in January, 2011."
A girl can dream, can't she?
Did you see Tom Brokaw last night? I tried to embed the link, and failed. You can click through here, though, if you want to see a thoughtful presentation of hatred over the years Mr. Brokaw has been on the planet. To his Hitler, Joe McCarthy I'd add Father Coughlin and FDR and the Japanese internment and sending boatloads back to Germany and the more I think about it the angrier I become.
I don't want to be angry. I want to take the time I'd spend on rage and direct it toward the Syrian refugees who will be arriving in Tucson later this winter. I don't want to focus on the ugly side of America; I want to think of it as the kind of place the incoming refugees imagine it to be.
Humans of New York shows us that piece. The tree in the Florida sunshine for a 10 year old's between-the-branches-adventures. The peace to think only about milk and diapers. The streets are not paved with gold, but they are not inlaid with IED's.... at least not yet.
I do not want to go there. I do not want those thoughts in my head. I want the Christmas pillows and the Hanukkah lights and the love of the season and my soon-to-be-arriving family to be bouncing around in my brain. And so I bake brownies and hand them out to teachers and therapists and the homeless-and-harmless (or so his sign says) young man on the corner. I wear my snazzy boots and smile at the compliments. I walk around in a reindeer adorned sweatshirt and giggle back at the little ones who point it out to their all-too-often-too-frazzled-to-notice grown-ups.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
It's all I can think of to do.