Shabbat Shalom: What Gets You Through

Jan 13, 2022

This week’s Shabbat Shalom message is brought to you by guest writer and JEWISHcolorado Director of Communications Ellen Israel.

I had only lived in Denver for a year—and only been working for JEWISHcolorado for a month—when the pandemic rolled over the country like a malevolent black cloud, and I found myself sequestered in my apartment, mostly alone, mostly glad to have a job, mostly just hanging on like everyone else.

What got me through, and it’s clear we’re not through yet, was music.

Not every night but a lot of nights, I turned on Spotify, chose an artist, and had myself a dance party. And if you had been driving along South Downing Street and you had glanced up as you were rolling by my building, you would have seen me in the window, a woman alone, dancing to music you couldn’t hear.

I discovered a lot of new artists and a lot of new music and a lot about the fine line—and just where it lay—between alone and lonely. The music kept me company, as did my daytime colleagues on Zoom, and when even I had reached the outermost limit of my natural inclination to introversion, I made plans to spend time in real life with the small number of people in my pandemic pod.

In particular, there was one Ryan Adams song that I played over and over and over again, twirling around and around in a simulacrum of all the Dead shows I have ever been to and all the rock concerts at which I have danced in the narrow space between rows of plastic seats.

Come pick me up, take me out…

It seemed like such a simple thing, but it also seemed impossible: that there might be a time when I could grab my sunglasses and wallet and run out the door to someone waiting in a car below.

That time isn’t yet, but I have faith that it’s coming.

In the meantime, I wish for all of you the thing that gets you through. The ritual that gives structure and meaning to your days and weeks. The friend whose laugh makes you laugh. The song that soothes your soul.

And someday soon, please… come pick me up and take me out.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ellen Israel
Director of Communications

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