Handbook of Suffering – Lesson 9

The limits to suffering

It was her gift of water,
not just for the man
drinking from the jug
balanced on her hand,

but for all the impossible
camels of the Fathers’
imaginations, and the equally
impossible math from generations

of Torah masters who calculated
the water carrier was but three years old
though nubile, quick-witted
and ready to go forth to the aggrieved son,

still mourning his own almost death
and the life of his mother, great shofar
howl of loss as she left
this world to teach the One

there are limits to suffering.  And the son?
He loved her, the willing bride, the water carrier.
And once he healed through loving her
he took up his task and blessed

his father by finding his wellsprings, filled
with sludge.  He dug them out so water
might flow.  If all you can do, pressed
to your limit, is redig your ancestors’ wells,

that is enough.  This is an eternal
lesson in the Handbook of suffering.

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