I've been thinking a lot lately about what one owes a friend. When you do everything you can to support a friend and they don't appreciate it, and in fact are nasty to you in return, at what point should you feel a little codependent? Is there a line of devotion that you shouldn't cross with a friend because it will cost you too much to come back to your center.
I've been having big conflicts with a friend. I've been thinking of some of this persons actions as unappreciative, but then I think about the fact that a person doesn't know what you give up doing to help them. Time that could have been spent learning the piano, singing, and tending to my own "garden" was spent to help someone else, and when they lashed their tongue at me I left feeling like I had been robbed.
It makes me think of Ntozake Shange's poem, "somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff". It doesn't have to be a lover, and given some of my experiences over the past year, I don't think it even has to be a person. Whatever lost cause has a person consumed, devoted, and eventually exhausted will all feel the same in the end.
However, I don't think I could be less of a friend. I like being the type of friend who is there through thick and thin, who will drop what they're doing for a friend in need. I guess I'm just learning (again) that it does come at a cost, and I should have boundaries.
On a different note, I REALLY enjoyed the High Holy Days. I have said repeatedly that the days I spent there were the best I've had all year (Roman calender). For someone who eschews organized religion, I have already made plans to go back for Shabbat next week.
In hindsight I overestimated the number of curious gazes I would get, along with my level of reaction to them. Overall I found people to be curious and welcoming, and cherish the privilege of going to someone's home for Rosh Hashanah.
That is where I also had my first taste of gefilte fish. It was so delicious and homemade. I must get the recipe. I could tell it was made from cod, and I absolutely love cod.
So, I've gotten 5772 off to a good start, and had a great introductory Jewish experience. Now I just have to decide when and where to convert...but I will take my time.