Through an extremely strange sequence of events tonight I changed the foreign language I'll be studying for the next few years from Italian to Hebrew.
And I was so looking forward to being able to go around saying ciao and capisce to everyone. Pity.
It wasn't exactly a voluntary thing. It was more of a, "Apparently you weren't listening the first time around, but blast it all, Ashley, you are going to study Hebrew. Even if it means your other class develops a 'scheduling conflict'. Even if it means getting up early every morning. Even if it means having to revamp the three-year-plan yet again. Okay?"
I do what I can. I salute with a "Yes, sir!" And I buckle in.
I grow the beard.
This is a phrase that has emerged in the Schaffer household lately; invented by Tall One and expounded (or expanded, as the younger ones are apt to say) by yours truly. Preferably spoken in a bad Russian accent, it means: "Shut up and do."
Musically, "You must grow the beard!" means: "Feel the music. Be the music. Live the music. Be a real pianist and treat the music as you would a lover."
To say someone "Didn't grow the beard" means that they failed to act with passion and life. They just sat back and let the opportunity/moment/world/meaning (etc., etc.) pass them by.
Needless to say, beard-growing is good.
And a little bit crazy.
But it's electric.
So, I'd like to propose a toast. To growing the beard; in all facets of life. May we refuse to let the good things walk past us. May we roll with the punches, and see the silver linings. May we love with enthusiasm and zeal and loyalty. May we laugh with gusto, and cry with fervor, and be fully engaged in everything we do. May we mean every word we say.
What is 'devotion' in Hebrew? I guess someday I'll find out.