Meredith Levick

Don’t Turn Away From Me Now, No Not Now

Photo credit: Meredith Levick

You may want to turn away,
you may not be able to look directly into the heart of things,
It may sting your eyes,
offend your being, slice you to the core.
Your sensibilities may feel deeply wronged.

Unfortunately that’s simply not enough for right now,
it’s not enough to keep you in the corner,
head buried in a book, ear drums smothered by a podcast,
meandering through this and that,
alone in your hum drum of the doldrums.

I beg of you, dear reader, don’t turn away from me,
from each other
no not now.
This is why we’re here.

This is why we’re feeling beings —
this is why we’re made of sinew and bone, nerves and emotions,
endings and beginnings,
always beginning again.

Over here in small town-ville USA, we’re nearing Thanksgiving.
A nod to our colonialist roots to be clear – and
nothing to do with what is happening in Israel and Gaza right now.
Let’s get clear on terms, then use them properly.
Words have power. They always have and always will.

And now this upcoming holiday is widely “celebrated” as it were – with or without

a religion of your choosing.
Your choosing,
you choose, you get to choose. 

So we’re carving turkeys (or tofurkeys),
accessorizing side dishes, and making plans with family and friends.
We’re laughing until we pee (just a little),
waking up to the rain storm pushing against the house,
and the days are both endless and finite.

Don’t you see, my beloved,
this is why we’re here.

We’re holding dualities and dichotomies,
navigating trajectories and absolute tragedies.

You may want to divert your gaze and find something more pleasant to focus on.
But we simply don’t have that luxury.
We simply cannot afford to do that right now.
The loss is too great, the currency too substantial,
and the state of things too

So please, when you speak to me, look me in the eye, don’t turn away,
I want to see you,
wholly and holy.

When your lips open to speak,
let me stare and fall straight in,

let me capture what it is that you have come here to do
and to express and to be, and

let my words fall onto sidewalks like rain drops,
for you to muddle your way through

as I muddle my way through
this human experience.

About the Author
Meredith Levick is a senior program professional with a background in communications, client management, and organizational development. Her work experience spans the secular and the Jewish world, and she thrives on creating mutually rich cross-collaborations and supporting global Jewry. Currently she works as a consultant for a number of organizations, including Hakhel: The Jewish Intentional Communities Incubator and the Varda Institute, based in Israel. Additionally she is a non-fiction writer and poet and believes in the power of harnessing the shared nature of the human experience to relate more deeply to each other and to day to day life. Meredith holds a BA in English literature and Spanish from Northwestern University and an MA in Experiential Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Additionally, she received a graduate certification in Israel Education from the iCenter. Meredith is a proud graduate of the inaugural cohort of the Adaptive Leadership Lab, funded by the Jewish Agency for Israel.