The words caught me suddenly, taking my breath away. Behold, place is with Me…
Space and time, all is within Me… all exists within Me, within My word that wills it into being.
Hinei makom iti.
I held the brush carefully, spacing the letters in my mind before I touched black to red. Right there, crossing the pink space nestled within encroaching darkness.
The letters came out somewhat slanted. I shrugged. I had known this one wasn’t working anyway. Whatever it would be, it would be. I would have the other canvasses, and hopefully some would come out good.
Time for spray paint. I gathered the paintings due for a metallic treatment, and carried them outside. Silver spray. Gold spray. I already knew exactly how I wanted it. I sprayed, following the pattern traced out in my mind, fading and concentrating the colors according to plan. The wind was strong. I hurriedly finished and carried the canvasses in.
It was only after I had carefully laid them all out to dry that I really got to see them for the first time. The blue one was nice. The purple was rich and reassuring. The red and gold sparkled, and the pink sunset shone. But it was the black and rose-colored canvas that kept my eyes.
A golden aura poured from the words, shooting out to beam through the darkness. Deep within the black swirled the pink of hidden space, someplace safe to hide. There were the words.
Hinei makom iti. Behold, space is within Me… holding you inside.
Then I had to rush, for there were only several hours left until Yom Tov and much to be done.
Soon the sun was setting, and I still hadn’t showered. I grabbed a handful of safety pins, and whichever paintings came to hand, and desperately tacked them to the sukkah’s canvas walls. As late as it was, I focused with a grim determination. This one would go here, and this one here, quick… but this one- I grabbed the rose and black and gold as if my life depended on it- must go here. And I tacked it up on the wall facing the table, covering the yellow canvas with two stabs of the pins.
I dashed inside to ready myself for the coming chag.
I was exhausted. All the pressures, anxieties, fears and sadness of the past days finally dropped upon me. Now I was done, now I could think.
Now the chag was here. Would I be safe? I would only find out inside the sukkah.
I pulled open the canvas door and poked my head inside. The table was there. The tablecloth was spread. The lamp was on. Wow. It really was ready. Hard to believe.
And then I looked up, and there it was, rolling across my horizon. Rich rosy depths, peering from within the craggy blackness of the cave. Molten light pouring forth, searing out from the depths into the open. And the source of the light- the words- living within that space, reaching inside of me.
Hinei makom iti.
Here is a place with Me.
My eyes, exhausted and shaky and so very needy, stared at the words. All intent for deep meaning was gone. All that they saw, in that moment, was the simple statement-
Here, right here, is a place, next to Me.
The dim glow of the table light illuminated the colors with the half-light of cloaked mystery. The words beckoned me, bold and strong from their half-hidden place within. Come, come within… climb through the darkness, into the rosy glow beyond. Here is all that is good, all that is real, all that is safe.
For here… is Me. And with Me, is a place… for you.
The gold seemed to shimmer in rich dimension, shooting out of the cave to conceal and illuminate the truth. The letters danced, motionless, calling their message just by being. Half concealed, half revealed, enticing, yet sure and everlasting.
Here I am… Here, right here, on your wall, encircling this sukkah, holding you within. There is place within Me, place for you, My child, a place that is very safe, where there is no fear, no sadness, and nothing can harm you. Come, My child, and sit in my dwelling, for here…
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