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Transformation and Challenge

by Rachel Cohn, Adamah fellow, Fall 2014

Three months at Adamah has convinced me of the tangible realness of both transformation and its daily challenges. Judaism here is so rich and so vibrant and still full of the contradictions and choices we face outside of this loving intentional community.

Sometimes we won’t get along.  We don’t always ask each other the right questions to show that we care. Sometimes we don’t have the words to explain the pain we carry with us or to ask for the right wells of wisdom in our tradition that can help us heal.  Our communities still aren’t enough to feed everyone’s souls, to get it right, to make peace in a real way, to help us each see the light of god in each other.  There is so much here that is alive in our spiritual practice, and still – we need to do more.  This simultaneously breaks my heart and makes me realize that I have to try anyway, to bring what I can amidst the brokenness, because what else is there to do?

Maybe this is the process of becoming more ourselves:  this also happens every day. Sometimes it means openly sobbing in a field while harvesting carrots. Sometimes it means massage circles. Sometimes it means learning to chant Kol Nidre with four days notice when I didn’t think I could. Sometimes it means I feel angry while shoveling goat poop and laughing hysterically five minutes later in a goat sound making contest. Sometimes I feel old. Sometimes I feel young. Sometimes I want things to be easy and resist what is hard and new and foreign. Sometimes I see the learning potential in anything and everything without thinking twice.

Sometimes I decide it’s a good idea to try driving a really big truck.  Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s actually a good idea for me to drive a really big truck.  Sometimes it means talking to a chicken in a bizarre ritual that makes me think more about the number of ways of creating chicken soup than releasing my sins before Yom Kippur. Sometimes it means jumping in the lake when I know it’s too cold. Sometimes it means saying exactly what I mean even if it might hurt someone. Sometimes it means writing down whatever is flowing out right now even though I know I should be asleep because I have to wake up in four hours to meditate.

We’re all being transformed all the time. And it’s a crazy, wild ride to witness this magic up close with people I love, in a place that feeds every ounce of my being.