Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh, Happy Day

Today was one of the happiest days I've had in a long time.

It started off with teaching Bible as Literature. Today we talked about the rebellion of Korah against Moses, in Numbers 16. It's one of my favorite parts of the text. It's the one where Korah pisses Moses off, and so the ground opens up and swallows Korah and all of his followers--except that it's not meant to be read literally. It's a metaphor for how deep and great is the chasm between two parties who fail to communicate with each other.

And then I came home, made coffee, and laid on my couch, watching the rain through my window, and thinking about all of the work I have to do on my dissertation before tomorrow.

Then I got a lovely email, from someone I love very much. How much happier my day suddenly became. It's amazing how powerful words can be--an amazing reminder that we should always use them carefully and lovingly.

Then I thought for a while about moving to LA in a few months, and of all of the new directions my life is taking, and I was happy. I am excited to be in warm weather, to do the work I love, and to be with the people I love.

Once I finally got situated and began working on my dissertation, trying to finish a chapter on Krzysztof Kieslowski's films, I was happy again, because I remembered how much I love my project.

Of course, it would've been a happier day had I actually finished the dissertation chapter, but it was still a day worth having. Tomorrow will be stressful, but today was happy.


myshkin2 said...

This is a lovely post! I love the way it ranges about, settling from time to time on happiness. I also wonder where you came across that interpretation of Korah. The little I know about him relates to his accusations that Moses was simply making up much the Law (to suit his own purposes and maintain control) and that's what led to his (Korah's) demise. I like your sense of the story too.

Monica said...

I use the Everett Fox translation (FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES), which I think is incredible--it's based on the Buber-Rosenzweig translation (from Hebrew to German). A student also pointed out to me that in Numbers 26 it says something along the lines of "The sons of Korah did not actually die," which would make no sense if the ground opening up was literal rather than metaphorical.