A 15-second look at Chittenango Falls
It's a semi-autobiographical novel about an Afghan woman whose husband is killed by the Taliban. She moves to Denmark, where she must learn a new language – a language that, to her, sounds like bees buzzing.
That I began reading it on Thursday is significant. It was
Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement, a day when we connect with God to apologize for our sins over the past year. It is tradition to fast (food and liquid) from sundown to sundown. My take: food deprivation is an altered state that brings you closer to God.
If you've never done such a fast, here is a brief timeline of some physical consequences of a 24-hour fast (I can only speak from my experiences; some of you might have others you'd like to share in comments).
• Dehydration headaches
• General fatigue
• General difficulty focusing
• A sharp hunger pang about 16 hours in, that subsides quickly
• A return of all senses to normal
Take that last one with a grain of salt because, while it feels like you're running on normal, you are dehydrated and without nutrients, which means your body doesn't work quite the way you expect it to.
It's really the euphoria part that makes Yom Kippur my favorite holiday.
Everything sounds really loud – a bird flushed from the bushes sounds like a motorcycle. A fly buzzing around your table sounds like you have your head in a beehive.
Everything seems bigger and brighter. Visual depth doesn't matter. The autumn colors are vivid, and in very sharp contrast to the sky, be it blue or gray.
After services, I went to
I spent about five hours out there. It was a beautiful day, and the colors were at peak, so there were a lot of people viewing the falls.
I also went out on the Chips trail, which is an easy 0.85-mile hike, and didn't see another human for three hours.
It was amazing, from the miles of colors, to the sound of leaves underfoot, to the power of the water. I'm also looking forward to getting back out there sometime in winter, to see the ice buildup at the bottom.