the same thing…over…and over…and over again…

it started on april 14.

i made a commitment that day to recite the mourner’s kaddish and psalm 23 daily for everyone who has lost his or her life either due to, or during, the coronavirus pandemic, until this nightmare, too, shall pass. every day at 1pm (pacific), i go on facebook live to say the prayers.

i got the idea while talking to one of my best friends, loretta. her cousin had died, alone, in the middle of all this craziness, and could not have a proper funeral. she, vanessa, was a person. with a name. and a life. and friends and family. and no one in the end. so, i took it upon myself to say these prayers for her, with friends from across the globe, to help honor a life.

since then, i have said the same two prayers online every. single. day.

though it may seem tedious to be so repetitive, i have found that reading the prayers–particularly psalm 23 (which is both a jewish and christian passage)–over and over again has really made me think deeply upon the meaning of life, and death, and prayer itself.

i have to admit that i have surprised myself that every day that i read, a new thought comes up, a commentary. how do new thoughts keep arising from the same exact recitation?

ultimately, it’s a lot like asana practice. if you approach each effort as if it is brand new (it is!) and as if that moment has never been lived before (it hasn’t!), there is the space for infinite thought and personal growth. the same sentence may strike me one way one day and completely differently the next.

honestly, i am not a religious person so much as a righteous one. and i’m not a faith leader. at least not in the conventional sense of the word. but if i can get a handful of people to reach beyond themselves with me and say a prayer for humanity together, at least it fortifies my faith. faith in mankind and faith that we will come out of this this valley of the shadow of death stronger than we came in.


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