Today was the first day I've ever had a negative feeling about Shabbat. After all of the holidays, I am basically "holiday-ed out," I just want to be "normal," and I feel frustrated (a little). Today is also a friend's birthday, and after class everyone was going to the bar. But I hadn't pre-cleaned for Shabbat in anticipation of going to the bar after class, and I felt bad about leaving that to JewishGuy without warning, and I had promised JewishGuy that I would pick things up from Walgreens on the way home (which he doesn't have time to do), so I went home.
I usually read text books on the train ride home, but I didn't feel like it. Instead, I took out my sketchbook, the one I keep with me at all times. I first drew the chain as a response to the activity we did in class where I learned how to make an embroidery chain stitch. Then I drew the candles. At first I saw it as an expression of feeling trapped by the holidays, keeping me from being a normal classmate, keeping me from doing things with my friends.
But then I realized it also looks like a special place surrounded by flames, flames from the candles which symbolize divine light. Shabbat is a special place. "An Island in Time," as they say. And this is kind of like that.
So I wrote above it, "entering, not trapped by," because this little sketch is really about my transitioning into Shabbat and into the observant lifestyle. At first, it feels like I'm trapped. But if I change my perspective, I am in a holy place.
There's a little bit of art therapy right there.