Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dead for a moment

We’re having work done on some of the kids’ bedrooms, with the side effect of our bedroom becoming a storage center (Canadians: storage centre) for a whole lot of stuff. The result was that I had to sleep in the basement last night.

[Sleeping downstairs was not a bad idea anyway, given this heat. It seems the designers of this home and its A/C thought that we should all be moles and live underground; no discernible cold air reaches the air ducts on the second floor. Our children's toys are well-chilled.]

So I came upstairs this morning and found the Rebbetzin asleep in my bed. The switch made sense, given that hers was loaded down with assorted childrenswear, but it still threw me for a minute. When I opened the door and took in the scene, it was a Ghost-like moment, like I was gone… For a moment I felt like I was actually dead, and seeing the room from another plane.

I’ve always had serious death fears, and although I’ve come a long way, I still think about death a great deal more than is healthy. So this was a natural leap for my imagination.

I've done the same thing in traffic - after narrowly missing an accident, feeling momentarily like my body actually was in the accident, and now I'm moving along in spirit alone. [Am I the only one who does this?]



  1. Re: no cold air upstairs - we had the same problem. Is your basement finished? If not, locate the dampers on the air ducts and close the ones feeding the downstairs rooms (or at least close all the basement air registers).

    Use a fan upstairs to move around the air and bring some cool air upstairs.

  2. What is the rule for thinking about death? At what point does it cross over from "normal" to too much.

  3. Michael-
    It is a finished basement, yes. We are looking into vent covers, but I suspect leaky ductwork.

    When it starts impacting function in a noticeable way?

  4. "Am I the only one who does this?"

    Yes, you're a weirdo. :)

    No, seriously, I think you've just got a different perspective on the fragility of life, from your position as rabbi, seeing all the tragedies and illnesses that have affected your congregation over the years. You've had mortality issues (and the corresponding existential ones) thrust at you more often and in more immediate ways than most (lay) Jews in industrialized nations do these days. Talk to pastors/ministers of other faiths; I bet you'll ind similar things.

  5. Tzipporah-
    Thanks; so if I'm weird, it's at least understandable...