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The Green Room

The producer of the new AIB series escorts me to the Green Room. I feel a little green.

“I just need to put some powder on your forehead,” she says.

“I’ve never done this before,” I tell her. “I’m actually a little nervous.”

Angela simply exudes calm.

“You know what really helps me? I visualize colors to affect my mood. Pink is a good one. It’s a happy color.”

She pauses and reconsiders.

“Or blue. Blue is soothing. Imagine yourself in a blue bubble. Then no one can see you.”

Angela’s tone is reassuring; her smile beatific. I look past her to the blue screen and imagine myself standing in front of it. I am invisible.

“Just talk to me,” the camera man offers generously from behind his square screen.

Another image comes to mind.

“You know what might help me? What if I imagine that you are sitting in the front row of the sanctuary in my synagogue? And the whole congregation is there, too.  There are a few hundred people in the room; it must be the High Holidays.”

“Sure, rabbi. Whatever works for you.”

As he ducks behind his camera, his smiling face recedes into the darkness.

“I will give you a count of five—the last two silently—and then you can start speaking whenever you are ready.”

Holding his left hand aloft, he ticks off the numbers on his fingers.

“Five, four, three.”

Forefinger. Thumb. He waves his open hand slightly. Then it, too, disappears from view.

I look directly at the camera and smile. I place my anxiety in a blue bubble and tether it to the screen behind me. It is invisible.

I imagine myself to be bright yellow. I am invincible.

* * * * * * *

My sermon on the third commandment airs on AIB Presents: The Ten Commandments during the week of February 6th.  Check your local cable guide for show times.

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