mostly because of all the standing, sitting, then standing again,
but apparently that was important to do as a community,
I disliked it immensely
but thinking back now
it was because no one had told me it was okay to question things inside the temple walls.
So I grumbled and begrudgingly sang all the words I had memorized,
- sounding harsh at times and far away -
that I felt had no relevance to me.
Even those in this community had senses of piety I knew were false here
so devoted were they to the words
and showing up to be counted there
because numbers matter
and I would not read or say words about redemption and goodness and praise
if it meant nothing to me as it did them
only they had the glistenings of tears in their eyes
to fool me,
I am an adult now
and I still rarely attend a service,
and I still think it is a forced habit,
but growing up has its perks like understanding
understanding that the words we say stand for are not prayers but a history
a long line that those with the tears try so hard not to forget,
though they never remembered it in the first place.
I don’t pretend to remember
but if I don’t stop learning
the code behind the words, the psychology of the language, the tone, the tears
maybe I can find out.