I lost my voice.
I am not sure where it went or why it went but I am certain I lost it months ago. It came back periodically and then disappeared as quickly as it returned. It made a brief appearance after my trip to Poland and Hungary. And then disappeared again. I looked everywhere: In rooms, on planes, in classes, and in cars, but I did not find it. I looked in keyboards, journals, and fountain pens, but I did not find it in them either. My voice was lost. I started fearing that it would not return.
I did not stop looking for it. Sometimes I would just stop searching for it actively and wait for its return. Other times, I would actively search for it - sitting in front of the blank screen or the blank page - trying to will the words out individually, hoping to form coherent sentences and ideas. In the end, though, I would produce only half thoughts and partial sentences. I would put the pen down or push the keyboard away and wait some more. I was looking in places, many, many places, but in none of them did I find my voice.
I stopped seeking my voice outside, in places and things. Instead, I looked inside, in my soul, and it was there that I rediscovered my voice. It is finally coming back. I don't know why it left me or why I let it go but now that I have found it again, the words are flowing as are the ideas - complete thoughts and sentences. They are burning brighter than they have in a long, long time. They will begin shining outward soon.
In the darkness of this heavy winter, the winter of the soul, a small flame burns, igniting words, ideas, spirits and energy. Tonight, I will join with my family in lighting the external representation of that Miracle of light, a light kindled when we as a people were embattled, one that burned bright with hope: hope for the future, for our families, for our people and for ourselves. As I remember the Miracle our ancestors experienced, I too will mark the Miracle of the voice, the one the Divine gives us. It does, at times, disappear but now I feel it making a miraculous return.
With Praise to God who Created the first Light, Who Commands us to kindle these Lights of Miracles, I use my recovered voice to wish you all a Joyous, Bright, and Inspiring Hanukkah.