Not long ago, I wrote a poem about the difficulty of keeping a secret for an entire month. Having thought about it further, I realized that there was no need for me to wait quite so long… I only had to wait 12 days until tomorrow night… because I can kinda, sorta cheat on this.
See, my wife and I got married on August 30th on the Gregorian calendar, but that particular date in 2011 was the 1st of Elul on the Hebrew calendar. These two calendars are always close to one another, but specific dates align only once every 19 years, which means that August 30th and the 1st of Elul won’t coincide again until 2030… And much to my relief, it so happens that the 1st of Elul is tomorrow evening this year.
Now, since this year is our 10 year anniversary, I’ve spent some time planning for it, trying to come up with something memorable to give my wife as a gift. Finally, after coming to a decision, I got to work and completed my anniversary gift project on July 27th, more than a month before our Gregorian anniversary date.
And that was when I started wondering whether or not I could keep my mouth shut for more than a month… until I checked the Hebrew calendar 🙃
The anniversary gift
I do not remember the exact moment at which the lightbulb went off above my head. However, I’ll not soon forget its golden glow.
After having spent more than the last year of my life writing poetry, it dawned on me that it would feel unnatural not to write my wife a poem for our anniversary. Writing poetry, exploring sundry poetic forms, reading many other’s works on a daily basis, actively participating in the d’Verse poet pub community… poetry has unquestionably become a major part of my life.
As I’ve mentioned, I am familiar with a frame maker who works not far from our home, and I have a warm relationship with him and his wife who works as an artist. Usually, I purchase frames for the jigsaw puzzles that my wife completes; but… I also could get a nice frame for a poem of mine, couldn’t I?
So I got to work… but, to be honest, it took me a while to get started, and it wasn’t simply because of my busy schedule. Writing a poem to my wife for our 10th anniversary felt incredibly daunting to me – more so than any other poem I had ever written, including those that I’ve written in memory of my Papa, in whose honor I created this blog.
Still, having been honing my poetry writing skills on a daily basis all this time, once I’d gathered my resolve, the poem itself seemed to flow; and there weren’t too many lines that I found myself stumbling over. Then, once I’d completed it, I used Canva to put it on a nice background with a nice font; had it printed out at a local printing place; and took the poem over to the frame maker’s shop.
I am writing this blog entry on Saturday night, after Shabbat ended.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, the Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar, which means that dates on the Hebrew calendar begin at sunset. This means that our 10 year wedding anniversary will be at sunset tomorrow (Sunday) night, which is when I will give my wife this first of her two gifts. (I’ll be giving her a second gift on our Gregorian anniversary date, but that won’t come as a surprise to her.)
After we celebrate our anniversary tomorrow evening, I will share the poem I’ve written with you guys, my poetry community. It’s true that the poem is a personal one, and my wife is a fairly private person, but this blog is my poetry’s spiritual home… And not posting my anniversary poem on the Skeptic’s Kaddish would feel no less unnatural to me than not writing such a poem to my wife in the first place.
So I will share my poem and clarify a couple of details tomorrow evening. For now, I am sharing this reflection primarily because I don’t want to rehash all of this above the text of the poem itself… That would be ungainly.
Anyway, until then… I will be around!