Martin Storrow is a resident of Moishe House West LA and an accomplished singer/songwriter. Last month, he attended Moishe House’s Shavuot Retreat at Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA, where he and about 20 other Moishe House residents and community members spent the weekend learning, getting to know one another and celebrating Shabbat.
“In honor of Shavuot, let’s go around and and each share one thing we hope to harvest this weekend.”
We were sitting in a shaded amphitheater, surrounded by trees. Zvi, our facilitator, was engaging and warm. But I was having trouble paying attention. I was distracted by the sun, the birds, the breeze. Mostly, I was distracted by the 20 or so people in our group, who were all seated in a semi circle around the amphitheater. I found myself noticing little details I might not normally focus on: hints of accents in peoples’ voices, the stylistic differences between a Portland beard and an East Coast beard (they’re like two different dog breeds!). I was noticing a couple in a long-distance relationship who had each come from different parts of the country to be at the retreat together and were now in their own blissful world. I was noticing a girl with the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen.
“Presence,” I said, when the discussion came around to me. “I’d like to work on being present this weekend.”