Categories
General WorkPlace Spirituality

A Year Since CubeSpace

It’s been a year since CubeSpace closed. Today is the first day of summer. Each year, there will be a first day of summer. CubeSpace closed its doors for good on only one occasion. Some events recur, others drift further into the past.

Looking back over the last year, it has, without doubt, been a tough year. The search for work continues. The economy is weak (I know, shocking news to you), and looking for work is no fun at all (also a revelation, I’m sure). Yet time moves on, and with time comes some perspective.

I look back on CubeSpace and remember the wonderful events we helped host: barcamp, WordCamp, CyborgCamp, and so many others. I remember the conversations as people fell into the vortex of the front desk and would sit chatting for hours. The never-ending stream of coffee.

Most of all, I remember the people. So many folks who were so much a part of my (and Eva’s) daily life, whom I see only sporadically now. People who helped out whenever they could. People who stopped by because they happened to be in the neighborhood. People who just had a quick question. Oh, and folks who wanted to get a little work done, as well.

The mix of the various elements of the day, and questions seemed endless. One minute I would find myself wrestling with a computer networking issue, the next answering a question about Judaism, or doing unofficial pastoral counseling, and then brainstorming a marketing strategy for someone.

I also remember arriving at 6:45 in the morning, sometimes staying until 9:30 in the evening. Eva and I needed to plan life to swap off taking care of CubeSpace, and saw far less of each other than we do now. Getting out of town was a major hassle, arranging adequate staff coverage for our absence.It was exhausting, and sometimes we felt like we were dragging ourselves through the wilderness.

A year later, I still miss CubeSpace, and probably always will. I remember the wonderful parts and the hard parts. But it is a time past, which will not come back.

The summer begins, the longest day of the year. There are new beginnings yet to be had in life, but some things drift into the past. As the length of day is changed by the season, we are changed by the events in our lives. I am forever changed by CubeSpace in ways that I hope are positive. I hope many of you have also been changed for the better by CubeSpace.

A year later, I thank you all who participated with Eva and myself in the bold experiment we called CubeSpace.

Categories
General Jewish Spirituality spirituality

The Year that Was

Every year at Rosh Hashanah, I try to look back over the year which passed, the events which have transpired and how I’ve changed. This year, I thought I might do some of that by looking back over the blog posts I’ve written since last Rosh Hashanah. 

I’ve written 95 blog posts (this will be the 96th) since last Rosh Hashanah, going back to last October and this post, wherein I was noting how strange it was to move from the workaday world to sitting with a family as a loved one died. It was light postings through December, as I was really getting my feet under me as a congregationally rabbi in Salem. I was learning to balance the roles, while still talking about knitting upon occasion. 

There are the posts that describe specific events from the year. There’s the post talking about how I invoked the Oregon State Senate, which was amazingly cool. Also when I passed the 100,000 mile mark on the car, and thinking about where the car had taken me. There was the time I saw a pair of raccoons in the yard. There’s the post I wrote as I was leaving Salem

Then there are the feline related posts. We adopted Chloe and were excited. A week later she was dead, and I wrote my prayer for a dead pet. Ten days later, we faced a much harder loss. Diana, who had been with me for 14 years, died. 

There are posts about the connections between knitting and spirituality. And posts about my experiences teaching Sunday school and bar and bat mitzvah students. And posts simply about Jewish Spirituality and theology

There were a whole slew of posts about Shabbat. Some commenting on how ready for it I was, some on how I planned to spend Shabbat. 

There are a huge number of posts about knitting, and I can track my progress through various projects over the course of the year. I note a few times that I seem to have a lot of projects going at once. My celebration of finishing a shawl that took about 6 months. 

I note a number of posts talking about how much I’m enjoying what I’m doing, but I’m exhausted because I’m doing too much

 And also a post about how cool it is that I get to perform weddings. And several posts about doing funerals, how satisfying it is, and how hard it can be.

There are blog posts about me. About me feeling like I’m getting older and that my brain is less efficient

There were some humorous posts (or at least attempts). One about Hannukah. One about Purim and Talmud and Knitting. A post about why I haven’t been posting. A very mildly humorous post about fictional items for auctions. A post about Rosh Hashanah sort of rounded out the year. 

There were post about flowers and the coming of spring. A post about cleaning up the front yard. And a post when I realized I’m not going to have the garden I’d hoped to have this year. Then I took some pictures of flowers on the way to work

Also some posts that are among the most frequently searched by keywords. One about the fact that life isn’t fair, usually in our favor. Another on the subject of being strangers in the land of Egypt

It’s been a long, full year. I’ve been at CubeSpace and at the congregation in Salem. I’ve performed 8 weddings, and 6 funerals. I done 9 bar or bat mitzvahs. It’s been a long year, and a good year. I’ve grown and become more the person I want to be. I’ve shared much of that with you all who read my blog, and it’s been a privilege and a pleasure. You’ve made insightful comments and sympathetic comments. 

May the new year be a good year for all of us. Shana Tovah umetuka. A good and sweet year to us all.