Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) went well in the end. Of the ten prayer services over Yom Tov and the period immediately before and after, I attended eight in full. I missed most of Shacharit (Morning Prayers) both days, just hurriedly saying a little bit of them by myself. I actually managed to wake up fairly early, around 8.00am both days, but I struggled to get up, particularly this morning when I was exhausted from yesterday. I got to shul (synagogue) at 9.45am yesterday and around 10.45 or 11.00am today. For reference, Rosh Hashanah Shacharit and Musaf (Morning and Additional Prayers) are REALLY long – my shul started at 7.45am both days and went on until 1.30pm today and 2.00pm yesterday. I did manage to hear the shofar (blowing of the ram’s horn trumpet) in full both days.
Mood-wise, I was mostly OK, except for Sunday evening, when I was very depressed and despairing. Yesterday and today I was OK, but a bit tired and overwhelmed at times, especially this evening when the shul was flooded. There were enough dry bits of the room for us to be able to hold the service, but it probably added to my stress levels. There was also an alarm ringing in the building much of today and yesterday. Orthodox Jews won’t use electricity on Shabbat or Yom Tov (Sabbath or festivals) so we couldn’t turn it off. That’s the kind of thing that is certain to set off autistic annoyance in me. I think it was quiet enough that everyone else tuned it out.
After struggling on Sunday evening, I’ve been feeling a little more confident about having a good year and that God might have good things in store for me. I’ve been feeling that writing is somehow my main mission in life, at least at the moment, and that writing fiction about “fringe Jews” (to use a phrase from a now-defunct blog, meaning Jews on the fringe of the community, in a variety of different ways) might be a useful and meaningful thing to do. However, I don’t know what to do about many other issues in my life: how to earn money while writing before I can support myself (my parents and E. want me to consider teaching or being a teaching assistant; in some ways it’s tempting, but in other ways it’s scary) and my relationship with E. (emotionally/in terms of personality we seem a really good fit, but financially/practically there are issues and religiously we don’t fit well at all). I also need to make a decision fairly soon about whether I will volunteer in a museum or as a teaching assistant; the former seems a better fit on the surface, but the latter is more likely to lead to a job. On a job note: I had a call the other day from someone about job support. I missed his call and it went to voicemail and I couldn’t really hear him. He called several times over Yom Tov when obviously I could not answer. I think he is from a mental health charity offering support into the workplace for people with mental health issues.
Shul took up most of the last two days. There isn’t much downtime on Rosh Hashanah. When not davening (praying) or eating I was mostly sleeping. I read quite a lot of Batman to unwind as I didn’t have a head for The Elegant Universe (the popular physics book I’m reading). I’m reading the Batman: Knightfall saga, a big epic storyline that ran over multiple comics in 1993 where Bruce Wayne is crippled and is replaced as Batman by Jean-Paul Valley/Azrael who turns out to be brainwashed, unstable and uber-violent, so Bruce Wayne (after being magically healed because this is comics) has to reclaim the title of Batman from him. I’ve only read parts of it, as I don’t buy individual comics, only graphic novel collections and much of the saga was not collected into graphic novel form until a year ago. The bits missed so far have not been so essential, but I do have an essential bit coming up soon that I’m looking forward to reading (the storyline where Bruce Wayne gets magically healed) .
I’m off to have a belated dinner now alongside an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’m thinking A Matter of Time (the episode where the Enterprise crew meet a time-travelling historian who claims to know their future, but is actually a criminal whose hints about future events are just bluff and guess work). I fancy a trivial episode rather than something epic. I’m too tired for epic this evening.