I felt very drained on Friday and struggled to get up and get going in time for Shabbat (the Sabbath). Shabbat started earlier on Friday than any other day in the year, at 3.36pm. I went to shul (synagogue), but felt uncomfortable there. I’m not sure why; there were elements of mask discomfort and social anxiety. I probably have not adapted to the social distancing and other COVID safety measures, and Kabbalat Shabbat without communal singing is a rather sad and subdued affair.

In the evening, I spent quite a while on Torah study, reading the essay on Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) and love in Judaism by Rabbi Lord Sacks z”tl in his Pesach Machzor (Passover Prayerbook) as well as the first chapter of Shir HaShirim with Rabbi Sacks’ commentary in the same book. I found it all rather moving and it felt a bit like one of the religious experiences I often want to have, but never manage. I did also feel grief about Rabbi Sacks’ recent death. I’d often wondered if I would get a chance to have a conversation with him one day and it suddenly hit me that that would never happen now and I felt a stab of grief.

I did some recreational reading too. When I got back from shul, feeling very drained and slightly depressed, I spent half an hour reading my recent purchase, Doctor Who Magazine #242 from August 1996 (the issue before I started reading regularly). I’m rather more excited about it than I am about the current issue of DWM, which seems less analytical and also less joyful. Or maybe modern DWM readers and writers just get excited about different things to me. At £3 including postage, my old DWM was cheaper too. It’s weird to think that this is a new thing that dates from my adolescence. I have a horrible feeling I’m going to start hunting eBay for DWM back issues, at least for the rest of Gary Gillatt’s time as editor. Nostalgia is as good as it used to be.

Friday’s Chanukah donut: chocolate-filled.


Today was a normal Saturday. I slept too much again. I actually woke up about 7.15am, but it was so dark outside that I couldn’t face getting up and ended up falling asleep again. I wish I could find a way out of this sleep disturbance. When I was awake, I davened (prayerd) and we had the usual Shabbat meals. The evening was mostly filled with Torah study.

I haven’t eaten today’s donut yet, but it will be chocolate-iced. I also had a kosher mince pie, which is as close as I get to celebrating Christmas.

4 thoughts on “Grief and Nostalgia

  1. How many of the people that you interact with (community, etc.) know about your autism, etc.?

    I was just wondering how others interact with you – from their perspective, are you what they would consider “normal”? (please forgive the terminology, I just don’t know how to phrase this question correctly)


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aside from people who read my blog (only a couple of whom I know in real life), only immediate family and one friend know about the autism, although more people know about the depression. In terms of my shul community, one or two people know about the depression, but not about the autism.

      I don’t know what they think about me, but I’m not conscious of anyone talking to me differently, although at times I feel hugely socially inept and wonder what they are thinking.

      Re: terminology: “allistic” is the technical term for “not autistic” but most autistic people use “neurotypical” which technically means “not having a developmental disorder.” So someone with ADHD or dyslexia would not be neurotypical even though they aren’t autistic.

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  2. It does sound like your sleep schedule is difficult to deal with; it adds another layer to depression when you can’t get up when you want to, thus the day feels wasted. It seems like you like chocolate, from the doughnut choices. Strangely, I’m not a doughnut person. Something about the texture. I do like fritters and pastries though.

    Liked by 2 people

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