The Jewish New Year starts tonight. We have party hats (yarmulkes) and noisemakers (shofarot) and we sing of the good old days. But instead of kissing someone at midnight, we're meant to apologize before and during the holiday to those we've wronged in any way. Readers: I'm sorry if my postings have offended you, have been too infrequent or, the greatest wrong of all, have not been interesting enough.
I had the good fortune yesterday of attending a 90th-birthday celebration for a beloved great-uncle and seeing one of my favorite (and much younger) cousins there, in from Seattle. I hadn't spent much time talking to her since she was 16, and I really enjoyed getting to know the thoughtful and clever person she's become, and seeing how her striking teenage looks have metamorphosed into something equally striking but quite different.
I also got a card from another cousin with whom I shared many confidences when I was 16, who is exactly six months older than I am. It's possible that I haven't seen her since then, but it turns out that she'll be moving back to the New York area soon, and I am looking forward to reconnecting and seeing what I'll still have in common with a married woman with two teenage children who's been living in a small town for a long time. Plenty, I suspect.
But I do have to apologize to both of them and to all the others in my life whom I've neglected as the new new thing has come along.
I don't think of services, which I do attend throughout the year and have occasionally led (yes, Glamourbrain is a sometime Torah scholar with mystical leanings), as "spiritual Starbucks", but they are a wakeup call, and an opportunity to be thankful that I am here. And, of course, a chance to dress up.
A sweet year to all of you.