Feb. 4th, 2012

rhu: (Default)
Well, sort of.

Recently, I've had a hard time summoning kavannah, spiritual intention, during my davening. I'm tired, I'm rushing to keep up with the congregation, and saying Amidah under those circumstances at least 22 times a week.... well, it's becoming awfully mechanical.

On her recording Live from the Cafe Carlyle, Sutton Foster talks about one of the challenges of performing in a long-running Broadway hit: how to keep each performance fresh. She has a cup in her dressing room filled with slips of paper with different emotions written on them; before each performance she draws one and she lets that inform her performance that night.

And this week I got the CD of her performance with the Roundabout in Anything Goes. Her rendition of "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" is amazingly inspirational (setting aside the specifics of which religion the lyrics purport to be inspiring).

These two things came together in my mind this afternoon: Can I choose various songs to use as a model of an emotional/mental state while reciting my prayers? I tried to channel the joy that I feel Foster radiates as Reno singing "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" while I recited my mincha Amidah --- and I practically danced through it (without moving my feet, of course).

I may be on to something here.
rhu: (Default)
Well, sort of.

Recently, I've had a hard time summoning kavannah, spiritual intention, during my davening. I'm tired, I'm rushing to keep up with the congregation, and saying Amidah under those circumstances at least 22 times a week.... well, it's becoming awfully mechanical.

On her recording Live from the Cafe Carlyle, Sutton Foster talks about one of the challenges of performing in a long-running Broadway hit: how to keep each performance fresh. She has a cup in her dressing room filled with slips of paper with different emotions written on them; before each performance she draws one and she lets that inform her performance that night.

And this week I got the CD of her performance with the Roundabout in Anything Goes. Her rendition of "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" is amazingly inspirational (setting aside the specifics of which religion the lyrics purport to be inspiring).

These two things came together in my mind this afternoon: Can I choose various songs to use as a model of an emotional/mental state while reciting my prayers? I tried to channel the joy that I feel Foster radiates as Reno singing "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" while I recited my mincha Amidah --- and I practically danced through it (without moving my feet, of course).

I may be on to something here.

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Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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