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Tonight, I am conscious of my difference and tonight, I do not feel apart because of it. Tonight, my uniqueness, and everyone else's, feels like a blessing, feels paradoxically unifying.
Driving home from work, I thought about how I had become a bit blaze about human diversity, but how living in India for six months last year re-ignited my sense that there's still a distance to go toward people's routine appreciation of one another's difference.
If only I could be different without ever feeling alienated by my difference. Equally, if only others could seem different to me without my becoming disoriented by their difference. I'm thinking of the time Pat and I visited the Bull Temple in Bangalore, and how not at home I felt, observing worshippers of a two-storey, peanut-oil-covered, stone bull.
I've said this here before: I'm reasonably comfortable, attending ritual circumcision ceremonies of Jewish, male infant relatives...because that's how I was raised. And so if that's comfortable to me, as I've also written here before, then my rituals/customs and beliefs are not better than someone else's; they're just different from one another.
God, please enable me to marvel at difference more routinely, rather than to fear it. Amen.