A Firepit Purim

March 15, 2009 § 3 Comments

firepitA year ago, I attended my first Firepit Minyan for a Purim celebration. It was a Texas spring: 70 degrees, humid and breezy. We had a brief service around the fire. The regulars knew which way the smoke usually blows; I dodged cinders and inhaled ash in the empty seat I found.

Later, guests performed a Purim play that the 10 year old daughter of the hosts had written. Filled with humor and slang, it brought the ancient story to life.

This past Friday, only a few of us attended. A rainy cold front blew in and folks were scared off by the idea that we might be meeting outside. We didn’t. Warm and dry, in the passage linking the kitchen and the living room, the ritual continued. Some players were the same; some of us were new, but the tale was told again.

During last year, as an exercise, I was writing poems that had a specific structure – four lines and four stanzas. Here’s what come from last year’s celebration:

Around the firepit costumes flow
as wine gathers in the embers of

the lives that touch each
hand as they meet


LOL and OMG become

the language of the ages while

elders strain to



Perched high

horizon low

the dog with wings

is our protector


The fire circle:

a culture of  the ages,

history springing to


You had to be there.

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