Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sacred

I was at a sacred song circle a few weeks ago.

It was a few nights after I had led one for women at my dear friend T's house. I needed to go to this other circle initially because I wanted to, eventually because I had to before I sunk into the abyss. I rode the bus and was having a panic attack. I felt dread and doom. It was the first wave of the coronavirus. I felt like there was no comfort in the world for the imminent death of everybody. I felt like a zombie. I had to go. I had to. I needed to drink from a well fast... I was desperate. I got there and had spoken to the man leading it, and felt courteous and sweet despite the dread inside. I was calm. I was so scared but I was calm. It was me and three men at the beginning, and we lit sage and candles and sang and played music in the dim room on carpets and pillows, and I drew into me strength from the great reservoir that we have available in our Jewish ancestry. Judaism is based on resilience and survival through thousands of years. And we are spiritual beings and can do that, we can draw from that great godly abundance. We can bring into ourselves the wisdom that surrounds us, even if we are not aware of what it is exactly. I drew from that. I said it as a mantra in my mind until it was tangible. Come to me, come, comfort, strength, courage, hope, I pulled it in with all my mental might. I had no faith, I felt helpless and small, but I drew hope into me as if it was my only option, I had no choice but to believe that there is hope, to believe even without believing. Hope, hope! I pulled it in. peacefulness, be within me, be within me. Until it was in me. Until I felt safer and more hopeful. Until the music resonated in those deep places of serenity and faith, trusting that it will be okay, it will be okay, it will be okay. Everything will be okay. And the harmonies danced in me, and the songs we sang over and over again escalated and resonated, echoed deeply, fully, in that dimly lit room.

I came out differently. I was alive again.


24 hours before my flight back to the US...

Fear... Creeps up in the darkness of the night, makes me feel naked of strength and resilience, vulnerable to the elements of unpredictability. I woke up this morning in the living room of my parents' home with a scary image on my mind. Of my mom in their home letting our a heart-wrenching cry, as if I had died in America. I experienced a milisecond of that image upon awakening, and then forgot about it until tonight. It came back to me, and this time lingered longer, because it was added to the already-deep anxiety and fear about leaving my family.

In a sense, I'm back in the loops I was at the beginning of my trip: Should I leave? Should I go? What is right? Am I leaving just out of spite? (I have excuses why it's better for me to be afar.) But that is so silly, to distance reconciliation just so that I will be fine leaving. I am convincing myself of something, but maybe it is not even right. Maybe if I tried living here it could be good. I imagine "what if I lived up north? And I'd come for this or that event or day and then drive back up to my home..." (because my brain tends to imagine what coulda woulda been). But I am also so excited. I feel the excitement now of returning to D. I don't write about him and I keep the excitement of our relationship to myself (and to him) but sometimes I want to shout from the rooftops how lucky I am. Instead I send him long text message monologues full of ardor and emotion, or tell him about it in person. I don't talk to my friends or family much about him. With my friends because I don't want to make them feel bad (even though they say they are truly happy for me), and with my family because they aren't that interested in hearing about my life out of Israel and because I have some guilt and feelings of abandonment every time I enter a partnership with someone.

I want to write out all my fears. Unravel them. They are deep and real. Unraveling them lightens them a bit. Makes them manageable. Makes them seem what they are: part of the story. Just another twist in the plot. Wow, I can feel as I watch my story unfold. That is so fascinating, I can say. We each have a fascinating story, and if only we could see them as such and tell them with pride, and believe that whatever we do in them and whatever happens in them is good.

If I've decided to do this thing that I'm doing, you know, of moving away from my family and living in another country, and putting a beautiful place and a partnership and a creative community above religious ideology and being physically close to family, then that's what's happening, folks, and that is what is good. There may be no purpose in seeing things any other way.

Okay, so I've unraveled a bit. It feels better. I'm expanding a bit into abundance.

Then the coronavirus issue. I'm not too concerned, but I think maybe I should be? Who knows. Like, having Nemo walk through the airports on her fours tomorrow night and collecting particles of viruses, that can't be good, right? So how much should I go out of my way to find some annoying solution, like buying a cart to put her in, or making little rubber gloves for her paws...? I have such difficulty deciding and processing even the littlest things it seems.

Look how interesting! I am writing a post now in a time of emotional distress. I've been wanting to write for a while in difficulty, and then sometimes in tremendous excitement, but only now, when I am 24 hours before my flight back to the US (god willing) the tension is finally enough to get me to sit down and write. It's liek I have no option but to write now. There is no other way to firmly unravel my unrest.

It's Purim, and it's a good way to end my visit here because the celebrations with my family feel fun, safe, cozy and nourishing. It's a blessing. Even though I am torn and my heart is partially broken, I am still blessed. I am blessed to have in my life who I have. I am blessed to have my little 9-month-old niece with her pudgy cheeks and little button nose and green eyes, who I love to pieces and miss when I'm away for even one day and don't know how I will survive without, when I'm across the world without watching her grow up.

But, again. Goodness, beauty, bountiful blessings. I should focus on the expansiveness of everything. How we are all connected. How I can be collaborative with the world while being here and there and everywhere. Being together with the wind that oversees and flows through everything, instead of feeling like a small human confined to a small space and time. Abundance of space. Abundance of giving. Abundance of receiving. Abundance of sacredness and wholeness and loving.




Sunday, March 08, 2020

Micro


I've been wanting to write for a while. I always want to and I never end up writing. Why do I not? Writing makes me nauseous. I must do it anyway. I must! But I don't... But here. Grab the keyboard while I'm at it, shoot out some wordsywords. While my phone is dead, while I feel isolated (even though I'm not in quarantine) and overwhelmed in such a way that my brain feels like it is starting to assume that there is no more, and I stare. It's what happens when I am anxious or overwhelmed. I focus on things. Like when drunk, and you see the person's lips moving very vividly and maybe in slow-motion, but you do not really process what they are saying. I stare at the mirror in the elevator. I look at myself from up close. Micro vision. That's what I see when I'm anxious. I sit in the bathroom and stare closely at the wall. The pattern on my leggings becomes some sort of full reality. The folds of the blanket take up the whole landscape. The old furniture becomes some soupy river surrounding me and swallowing me. I'm also exhausted, and maybe that's why everything is so strange. Haven't slept a full night in who knows how long...

I want to be home already.

And yet... I know that brokenness will follow me everywhere. But at least when I'm home I can hold it with some vigor and resilience.



My flight back to Seattle is this Wednesday night.

I've been working on getting boxes ready to ship over there with the stuff of mine that's been lingering around at my parents... I went down from around 18 boxes to 6. There are now 6 boxes that I must take to the post office tomorrow to send off by sea with an under-reliable postal service (because I can't afford private shipping companies and didn't do enough prior research), so hopefully my stuff will get there safely in six months or so (that's what they said they can guarantee)... There are many different frustrating components to this story: 1) I always wait until the last minute to do things; 2) I never fully research or ask enough questions about the bureaucratic matter at hand; 3) I always second-guess my decisions (and, well, I always end up needing to make quick decisions, because I don't do things far enough in advance...); 4) I have trouble deciding (and in this case, I have trouble deciding what to ship/what to bring in my suitcase/what to leave behind/what to throw out); 5) I get super frustrated about little things (like there's a certain thing I want to ship in the boxes that is too heavy, so I'll need to leave it here and take it next time I visit... It's a compilation of all my intellectual studies/classes I've taken in different post-high school programs, divided into categories, like Philosophy, Jewish History, Cultures and Languages, and so on. So I'm going to need to leave that behind... Not the end of the world, but my brain then harps on it as if that's the sole most important thing in my life and I can't live without it).

As D points out, I am experiencing the pre-flight anxiety that is typical for me, and if last time it was Nemo's vaccinations, this time it's the boxes, and it's normal. It reassures me to know that this is all internal and not objectively detrimental. We'll get through it. Hopefully we'll emerge on the other side with my boxes, though :)

And do realize that this time there are many additional levels that are pumping more anxiety through me... Coronavirus for one (and the fear that because of it I will be prevented from getting back home), and feeling disappointment at not having been fully functional these 2.5 months and not making the most of them, being upset with myself for spending so much time being depressed, and feeling a depletion of energy, an emptiness, about the tension and stress there was with this trip and the way it played out in a messy and unfulfilling way, feeling like I'm rolling through these last weeks in anxiety without being able to create mindful closure with anyone/anything.

Oh, my phone has full-on died and won't turn back on. It's been around 5 hours already, and still no phone. I'll sleep without a phone tonight. Maybe that's nice. I feel kind of lonely.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Great love

It's hard to leave one place for another
Or another for the one
And the mind plays games
I believe many minds of many people in society play
When they leave something that's deeply embedded in them
(Even if they deny it):
The mind searches for reasons that it's okay
It searches for blemishes in the place
It blocks out the true essential connection
In order to feel safe and confident and clean in the decision to go,
To not feel so confused or regretful.
But I don't want that.
I want my heart to be open
To receiving beauty everywhere
Even if it causes me sadness
Because through that tunnel of receiving beauty and receiving sadness
Is great love.



Sunday, November 24, 2019

Decaf Coffee

I haven't written a post in a while. When things get to an edge there is more eagerness to write. I seem to have lost the ability to write, which makes me feel frazzled, with loose ends fraying. The words are being repelled away when they try to approach me; it's a struggle to lure them in. The keyboard of the laptop is now a deeper tone than usual, which leads to a deeper ability to rest, in a sense. I try to push back against the tension I feel in waves of deep sounds, to smooth it over in firm strokes. It waddles up and I wave it down. That may be how it is, I am not sure. I am at an in-between time. There have been many stories and ideas respiring in my brain, but they have been lost, in a sense, although I also believe that they become part of whatever comes next. If I give myself a free hand to write, true words will eventually emerge and the stories will coincide. I don't usually grant myself that opportunity, but now the opportunity came to me, without room to decline, as I am at an edge, writing to smooth the tension into manageable side-thoughts. It needs to be done. I sit on the bed in the room in the house in which I live, and messy things are around me. This house belongs to my friends and I am being kindly hosted by them inside their space, and all my stuff is stuffed around me, and my Nemo is calmly asleep beside me. I think of fields at this time, and of the stories that were pouring out of me last night, oh and The Little Prince, and I'm a little hungry, and all sorts of secret and wondrous things and angled colors and inspirations that are hidden from the eye but dance in front of the brain in tangible motion, and of the people walking on the sidewalk in clumsy steps yesterday evening with their reflections charming bright winter lights into my reminiscent sentiment as I was sitting by the window of a coffeehouse. I was feeling free and I said, "I feel free," and I drank decaf coffee out of my own mug.

I had been singing that day, and now it was dark and I was sinking again into transition, into feeling free and wide-winged above the winds of change, in comfort. I am free everywhere.

I sing and I play music with the community and it is what births me into being. I'd rather be always content and joyful, but transitions and sorrow make it all the deeper, and the deeper it is the more it holds. And I feel free, and I feel sorrowful. Even though I've been free for many years, with time I experience it more frequently, and sometimes I even let my arms physically rise up into the air and bring a whiff of life into my heart.




Friday, September 13, 2019

Procession








"Okay, I'll start my book from this point," I say to myself when I buy ice cream at Trader Joe's on the corner to bring over to D's house. "This will be a good place to start." And the man at the register says "you can place that here. You don't have to freeze your hands." 

I say "Okay, I'll start my book from right here," when I wait at the Wild Oat vegan cafe and wonder if anyone will come to this meeting for action for the Amazon rainforest. (And people come, and we decide to try to put together a procession.) And I say, "I'll start now," at the procession itself, when we walk out into the street as rainforest creatures, and I feel blessed. And I feel how, after all, everything is about us as sentimental and sentient beings. Rainforests burn, but facts are meaningful only because of how we feel with them.

"Okay, I'll start it now then," I say when I walk fearlessly out of my therapist's office and I'm filled with courage

or after she says to me, "I'm astonished how you're not concerned with finances." And I smile because it's true, and it's a true blessing. He used to go crazy at how I didn't care enough about money. I never had much. I had just what I needed and I used what I had for good things. He always had more. And he would worry about it all the time, and I would worry about it never.

I say "I'll start it now," when I think about my belief about money.

I say "I'll start it now," when I have a name for my book - A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

and "I'll start it now," when I have a name for a certain realization about fear and ethics and how fear can hinder ethics.

And "now," when I think I'm some ethical queen
and "now," when I think I'm ethically mundane, just average, just driven by inertia.

And "now," when something makes me feel really bad and I want to cry myself out, and I know that as a passage in my book it will be beautiful anyway and will no longer be a burden but a fascination.

And the same with the ethical questions. Wow! How fascinating as an analysis and not as an existential threat.

I say "I'll start my book now," when I walk home from Chabad on Friday night and sing all the way home, because I'm feeling like it's in me, the sounds of eternity and love -
She'tolicheinu leshalom, vetatz'ideinu leshalom... Lead us in peace...
I say "I'll start now," when I'm with the precious children I work with.

I say "I'll write now," when I go over to D's house for the first time, and want to document every moment, just to remember, for later, for this book.

I say "okay, let me start it now," when we sit at the co-op and talk about things; I can't even remember what.

I say it when I feel the morning desert of Israel and the dense clean air of this forest city in me both at once!

"Okay, now, words, come forth." I say it when I land back in Israel for a visit. And I say it when I step off the plane back home here and smell the woods again.

I say "I'll write now," when inspiration ripples through me, because it is felt in me is such a vivid and lively way and is worth writing about. And "now," when I feel like I ought to really let myself write about myself in the third person in the way an artist like Cindy Sherman wasn't afraid to praise herself. Because I want to. I want to write about a fairy who comes to town and sings everyone into peace.

I say it when I am enveloped in fear, in sorrow. I say it when I am driven, when I'm being driven, or when I'm drawn, when I'm drawn to him. Or when I long, when I have this strong and beckoning sentiment of longing and yearning... When I feel Israel under my feet and Bellingham over my head.

When I'm feeling the immense beauty and blessing of community, of magic - I say it then. I say "I will start my book from this moment in time. This will be the first sentence."

I say it, but I don't do it. I don't write it. I want the words to be their own entities, to be summoned to my page, but I don't know how to draw them in. I want my hunger for them and my envisioning them to be enough for them to appear. I wait and I wait, as if they will come on their own accord, willingly flutter in like fairies of the greater worlds of lust and color, and curve and quiver, and rest on the page after they orgasm through the richness of Being, and help me express just how it feels to be so exquisitely excited about life, as I ride the bus or as I look out at Mt. Baker in the distance and I have eagerness and passion in me that accompany my every gaze of body into landscape, memory into presence, heart into time. 

But I don't start them. And they don't flutter in. I sit up at night while I'm sick and desperately need to sleep, and wonder where they are, those birthing words, because I'm feeling overwhelmed, and, OH!, how I want this book to be coming along (it's got poetry and images and maybe a blade of grass taped inside, and all sorts of words) while none of it has been written yet; the seed hasn't yet even fertilized this powerful world, there is not yet the sperm for the baby I want to birth; just the magnificent soul of fantasy. Oh, it's all been written in the air. But not on the page. All the arbitrarity, and the raw vulnerability ("a soul without skin"), and the beauty and the bizareness! And the adventures, and all the new things I'm learning about myself, and all the old streets of Jerusalem, and the conversations I've had among them in cafes, feeling like philosophers of the 18th century discussing their ideas... And the love and the longing and the nomadism. It's all there in its depth, in its entirety, in its flickering street-lightness, in its delicate connectivism, but it's really not anywhere yet other than in my beautifully chaotic and undisciplined mind.

So should I start from right here - sitting in bed, in this room in my friend's house, where I'm temporarily living, arching over the screen, hours after I was supposed to fall asleep because of this sore throat and exhaustion I've been feeling the past couple of days, wanting to sleep but being compelled to write? Should I start from here, from the physical pain I feel upon staying awake? It will be felt.    The spine burning.    The eyes stinging.    The stomach churning.    The heart yearning.

The sweet freedom sojourning!



So I get up the next morning, and I take the bus to the co-op, and I say, "I am starting now. I am."


Monday, September 02, 2019

Well well

Well, after the initial shock I got to work, and now the rhino is his cousin who DOES live in the Amazon rainforest - the tapir!



Post from a few days later:

I was going to post this on facebook, but will post it here instead:

I'm driven to do things in public for causes that are important, but actually running and sustaining projects from start to finish on my own is OUTSIDE of my comfort zone. 

Issue #1 that rises: My default expectation is that people will put me down and think I'm ridiculous (even though in reality I am always BLESSED with such positive feedback in all the things I do, so this fear makes no sense really, but here it is). Issue #2 is that I lose motivation along the way, and do not know how to effectively organize events, with all that they entail, including not knowing how to organize my time in a way that will get things done on time, and also lacking the confidence to make phone calls, and not even knowing what a "press release" is, even though I should be sending one. Issue #3 is that I don't like working alone. I like sharing the responsibilities. I don't like aloneness of the psyche in general. I think solidarity and togetherness is always a better way to go. And if I'm working alone, I at least need human contact, I need close friends to be physically next to me while I work. (And thank god that has been happening, and I have many loving people who are been around and with me, and some of them are helping on many different levels with this event, and I am SO grateful for all the togetherness and community there is in bringing this vision to reality, although I'd be grateful for some more help too.) One good thing I've learned about myself, though, too, is that lately I've been exhibiting a higher capacity than I used to for bouncing back up after falling. There have been already at least three incidents in the past five days that have made me feel like I can't do this, but after a short initial shock and emotional difficulty, I have been able to rise up and decide how I'm moving forth from there. (So it's nice to discover good things about myself too...)

All in all, I will be very astonished with myself if this event turns out to be a success, or turns out to BE at all. But, like most things I do, I often get to the end and don't feel proud. It's more like "oh, okay, I'm here. Now what?" So I doubt I will feel accomplished.

But I am hoping that this workshop and event that we're organizing will cultivate community and creativity around an issue that is important. I hope (as I always do in all the child education I do) that the children under my care today, are going to be more compassionate and caring adults of tomorrow. That is my hope. I hope this will also be an example for children that they have the power, as individuals and as a community, to transform the world into a better place, by using their talents.

(Although, while going through this process myself, and realizing what emotional turmoil I have put myself into by taking this initiative, I am realizing how much EASIER it is to not do things like this, to not take upon oneself the gruesome task of turning a vision into a reality, so I really cannot urge other people to do that, but on the other hand - maybe it's good to go out of your comfort zone every so often and do "ridiculous" things. Life is so fascinating. I allow myself to go through turmoil, for the sake of fully experiencing the waves of this craziness that is life.)




GOD!

Now I am feeling so despairing... There are no rhinos in the Amazon! Someone just pointed it out to me. It didn't occur to me at all! And it's on the flyer! I sent the flyer out already to all the public schools in the city, and I already posted on many facbeook pages/groups, but I HAVE to change it. I'm doing a disservice by keeping the rhino there. I'm trying to educate people about the rainforest, and am teaching wrong information by making people think there are rhinos in the amazon... I am so discouraged. Doing public things is SO fucking emotionally draining.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Anarcy

I'm feeling the sweet breeze of anarchy, or liberation, as I plan this Procession of the Rainforest Species and sit in The Wild Oat (vegan cafe and restaurant) to further develop our vision. I want children and adults to be inspired to action through the he(art)s!


 A wonderful girl drawing a rainforest bird for our poster


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Burden

... So that wonderfully creative woman I was writing about, is feeling burdened by our huge vision, and is not able to go through with this. She called me right as I was about to print some flyers and right after I opened the event page on facebook for this, and right as I was about to write to different friends with kids to publicize the event. We're four days before the first event (of the prepping) is supposed ot happen. We were zooming into it in full gear, and now it is halted. I held back tears for a while. Then I also let them out at some point. I felt a certain emptiness, aloneness. I am now sitting on my bed alone, having to carry the burden of deciding how to proceed from here. I need to make a decision alone. How fucking crazy.

I know I said I want to suffer a little bit, to feel lonely sometimes, but I didn't mean this kind of suffering. Although, I guess I didn't understand the scope of the word "suffering." Because if I truly wanted to welcome suffering, I'd know that suffering is not the stuff that's easy to deal with - because that wouldn't be suffering, it'd be some sweet tangy pain, which is fine. But this here, even though I say "this isn't what I meant", this is exactly what I would have meant, and now it's up to me to rise above it. I take some time, a few hours, and I decide to rise.

The beautiful flyer I worked on till late last night (with rainforest drawings children drew specifically for this cause), I love it, and don't know what to do now.

This is a good opportunity to truly rise above despair. God. Fuck. Pull myself through. I can fucking do it. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Synchronicity

So one funny thing is that that creative woman I was writing about who had the idea of the Procession of the Rainforest Species... 

Well, just this week my good friend whose house I'm living in (with whom I do all sorts of creative and spiritual projects, mainly with our Jewish Renewal group) befriended a new woman, who my friend described as being very artistic and free-thinking and feminist, and also Jewish, and apparently she became interested in our Jewish Renewal services, and my friend and her family were over by this woman's house on the weekend, and my friend had scheduled to have that woman and her daughters over today for lunch, because their daughters learn together in the same school... So all this was something I knew about some woman that my friend told me about, and then into our meeting yesterday at the vegan cafe comes a woman I don't know, with a smile and a sun hat, and introduces herself and says some things about herself that rung a bell from what my friend told me about that new friend of hers, and I said, "wait a minute! You just met my friend!"

So the funny thing is, we're now working on this community environmental project together for the rainforests, and today she and her daughters were here for lunch, and it's so funny how collaborations have brought us all together in this funny synchronicity of feminine energy and power! (I mean, out of all the people in our city, this specific woman who is so sweet and just days earlier became close with my good friend, happened to read about the meeting on our city's Extinction Rebellion FB page - which I asked them to share - and came to the meeting and now is organizing this big amazing event with me!) 

Also funny tidbit: at the meeting were two other friends from our Jewish Renewal group too. It was like she was getting to meet the community even though she wasn't able to come to our service last week. It was just such funny and sweet coincidences!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Hmm

I don't think I actually enjoy sitting here in this room that doesn't belong to me. It's pretty good, with all things considered, and I'm relatively quite comfortable. And most of the time I'm feeling happy and uplifted and empowered, and the outside natural world has been really beautiful in my eyes in the past few days. But really, this temporary thing -- it's good it's only temporary. But what long term thing do I even want? I know that when I get back to Israel one of the first things I want to do it take a permaculture course. It's long overdue for me to be doing that. So finally I will not push it off any longer. And then I want to get involved with a sustainable community that grows their own food. I want to dig my hands into the soil. Can I live in there, though? Well, no, I can't live in the soil. So what will my life look like when my hands are outside of the soil, when I'm up from my knees and going back inside to shower and live a life? I wonder... Who will be there with me? What kind of love adventures will I have? Who will I eventually have a child with? Will I live with the man who fathers my child, or will he impregnate me and then I'll be on my way to somewhere else? Will I stay in Israel, or will I find myself in a peace-seeking community in Portugal, or in India, or in Germany? Will I be back in Bellingham? Where will my "life" be? What will my child be like? What will that birth be like? Will I even live to experience all these, or will something kill me, like a disease or a car accident, or a terrorist attack? Since it's hard for me to envision my future, it's scarily easier to imagine that I will die before it happens. That's a scary thought actually. I'm still so very scared of death. I should dedicate more time to learning how to deal with that fear, so that the thought of death won't bother me so much. I guess maybe it's the night time, and the loneliness, that are making me think of this again... Even though I've got so many friends and talk to so many dear people throughout the day. The yellow light above me hanging from the ceiling is annoyingly dim, and my back hurts from sitting so long arched over this goddamn screen.

No photo this time.



The meeting

So let me tell you how it went...

This morning I woke up and felt I was on a mission. But I was tense. I summarized information onto a word doc which I printed (although my computer crashed a few times and I had to go sit outside to calm down from the stress), and made a sign on a white board my friend gave me. I had told her yesterday that if I'm feeling courageous I might just go around town with it. And in fact I left the house today feeling courageous, with a conviction. Not in the sense that I, Miriam, am a courageous being, or have courageous ideas, but in the sense of believing that I was impersonating a role that needed to be filled. I was merely an intermediary for a task that needed to be done. It helped me hold up the sign with my head held high. My mind felt like it was being replaced for a moment with someone who was doing something public. So that's how I walked to the bus stop and got on the bus (and someone nodded and waved to me in agreement and gave me the Peace sign with her fingers), and got off the bus and walked to the vegan cafe. There, there were already two activists who I know but didn't know they'd be coming (what a nice surprise!), and they shared their ideas with me. Then they had to go, and three more people came - two I knew about and one new one. And this new woman is a very VERY creative woman, and the creative ideas were just pouring out of her, it was quite incredible. She is an artist, and she views the world from eyes of a creator. And we (well, she) came up with a wonderful idea: A Procession of Rainforest Species (with costumes and all). She shared her vision in inspiring words, about the sacredness and importance of playfulness, of emergent creativity, of letting children lead, of our inner spirituality, of community and of rituals, as a force that is not less strong than the authorities we think rule the world. So we will turn the idea of a protest into the idea of a vibrant and colorful procession, which will at once raise awareness, drive to action and help people feel the rainforests and make their connections with them, and also be fun, community-building, family-friendly, and allow personal creativity.

I went home feeling inspired. But now, a few hours later, I'm feeling a little down, a little depleted, even lonely. Now the work continues, with a specific task, which is great and exciting, but I'm being a little discouraged and doubtful, because some people are suggesting that the problems in the rainforest may not be as bad as we think, or that it is necessary to log, or to mine, or to grow livestock, or whatever it is, and I think that maybe all my activism is actually unnecessary. (This is very possible! Maybe my opinions on things are all wrong. Maybe it's silly to even be vegan. I'm not being facetious - I'm stating what could very well actually be true, and I have no idea because my vision is so slim and so micro-based.) It makes me doubt myself, and as it is I'm never sure if I'm right. I feel like I need to be more confident, though, in order to keep up the enthusiasm. I'm glad I'm not working on this project alone (and the meeting I alone organized led to this collaboration, so that was a good outcome), though I still feel alone, because I'm sitting here alone in my room. My problem is that I don't know enough. I'm not smart enough. My brain doesn't store enough information. I know empathy, I know pain, I know suffering, I know compassion, I know love. That's it. Those are my tools. That's what I use. It's not enough. It's something. I can't have it all. Should I be satisfied, or really attempt to broaden my brain's abilities? I feel wrong saying "it is what it is", but how hard should I try to change?

How do I move myself out of loneliness for a while? How do I discipline myself to get the flyer going, without someone to bounce all my ideas off of? It's a new reality for me, being in a room alone, trying to get my portion of a project done alone. I'm used to saying everything out loud. This is a new experience for me to discover. And it's happening as I sit on the mattress on the floor in the room I'm temporarily living in, with Nemo on the mattress too, in my friend's home. 

Earlier I was feeling like I really did not want to sit alone with my enthusiasm and overwhelmingness, and I took the bus to a friend's house. She gave me food and ice cream and chocolate fudge, and then she drove me home when I wanted to go back home (because I need to work on the flyer, right?).

Anyway, that's the story. The meeting, which I was quite unsure about, ended up being quite fruitful and exciting, and now we'll start working toward our procession, which will combine ritual, indigenous sacredness, social activism, playfulness and creativity.





Sunday, August 25, 2019

Activism

What am I getting myself into?

I have this passion to change things that are unjust and destructive in the world. And now, with the crisis in the Amazon rainforest, I've decided I need to take action. And the path to that action was not clear to me. What do I actually think should be done to make an effective impact? I have no idea. So I decided I should gather people. So I connected with some people and opened a facebook group. I told my friends about it, I shared it on facebook. I was thinking of trying to organize some sort of protest, but decided that instead, I should start by organizing a planning meeting, to brainstorm ideas for action. So I decided on a place (the only vegan cafe in town) and a time, and I started posting it around - among my friends, to people and organizations I heard of in town who are active (after reading around and seeing that the other groups and organizations weren't doing anything specific for this cause). And I hung a small sign at the Community Food Co-op. And then I opened a facebook event for it - someone asked if there's an event page and I debated it for a moment, and since I'm the only one organizing this I had no one to ask but myself, and myself said "well, sure, why not?" So I opened an event, but then the grim truth sparked in front of my eyes very clearly: very few people responded. 

And then I sit and look at myself, this little tiny being that's climbing out of her skin to do something that's a few sizes big on her, and I wonder what the hell I'm doing, and why I couldn't just be like everyone else who says "oh, what a shame about the forests" and then goes on with their business?

What will I even say tomorrow (if people show up)? How will I facilitate this meeting? I need information, I need data, knowledge, WISDOM! 

Take it easy, Miriam. You don't need to change the world tomorrow, and it's fine if you don't have all the information down, and it's also fine if no one comes. It's by no means worse than if you hadn't done anything. It's definitely better, in any case. Even if you find yourself sitting there alone with a cup of coffee contemplating life.

I know I'll feel ashamed. This whole thing feels shameful to me. The not knowing enough, the not being persuasive enough, the attempt to get people involved and realizing that no one knows me and most people don't care about what I'm trying to do. Being human is sometimes truly shameful.

I have so much support from beloved friends, though. They are pushing me on. I feel like this is a holy mission. Like every action we do in the world to make the world better is a holy mission. Sometimes it's hard to believe that small things have an impact and I'm honestly not sure they do. (It seems like only huge campaigns that noticeably change the world are significant.) But I guess it's a calling from within, and I can't really sit idly by as my soul stirs.

So I get up from my spot and I try to gather people. I'm just this little being who's so fortunate and has beloved people around her, and then beyond that circle of love I do what I can. I don't know how to do more. So this'll have to do for now.

I'll let y'all know how it goes. Wish me luck!


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Amazon Rainforest is Ablaze

*Thoughts of the perplexed, helpless human*

Every minute, millions of trees and animals are being consumed by fire in the Amazon Rainforest. Those forests are a major source of oxygen and biodiversity for our planet, the lungs of the planet, and they are dying at a record rate.

Who in this world of 7.5 billion people has the power to change things? 

It is so hard to imagine that corporations can really be causing such devastation in the world. 

How does this process work? How do billionaires slowly cause destruction, and how does the process of destruction happen? 

How does a decision (like the decision to cut part of a forest to grow livestock) actually cause a chain reaction and end in the world almost becoming uninhabitable? 

Where does this start and end? 

How can a simple little human with a relatively small carbon footprint influence people in power to be more conscious of the environment - and how does/can that consciousness even be realized? 

What does a world of 7.5 billion caring people look like?

I feel like I want to just ignore the fact that millions of trees and animals are dying by the minute, and go on to my own business, but how can I? 
I feel the flames coiling through the Earth. 
I can't rest until I know that sufficient efforts are being done to stop this. 

That Bolsonaro man in Brazil, he is just like Trump, they don't care at all.

How come we little humans have the capacity to care, but the inability to do anything?


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Last


Our last day together in our beautiful home and as a couple, cleaning and clearing







Wednesday, August 14, 2019

sad


...and a little sad




free


I    f e e l    f   r   e   e




Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Morally sound

I want to be morally sound... There is a certain peacefulness to knowing you are doing the right things, that you are being an ethical being. When I know I am truthful and caring and not abandoning anyone I care for and that I'm being attentive and mindful, I feel morally sound.

But I sometimes do not feel morally sound, even though those things seem in place (or, I feel like I am abandoning myself but do not know why or how), and I have things nudging at my heart, but I cannot clearly say that those things are justified, and I don't know how to quiet the discomfort. (I usually equate a nudge at the heart to ethical misalignment, but I want to question that assumption.) It seems that ethical discomfort is a part of me, maybe a part of us as humans. I want to learn more deeply about this nudge, about my "obsession" with being ethical, and about the different things that peck at my heart, where they come from, and if they are always telling me the same things. Sometimes I will listen to that nudge and believe that it is the ultimate truth, but at other times I become uncomfortable because while I still have this inclination to believe it is the ultimate truth, it is a nudge I don't want to listen to or don't see reason to listen to. So what are these things I call ethics? Are those "nudges" even about ethics, or about something else? Is the highest ground here ultimately what my heart wants, and ethics just follow along? And I am talking about personal ethics here, because on a large scale of things, like I wrote, I am not transgressing any universal ethics. It is just me against myself, feeling guilty about certain things and wondering if they are signifying the truth, or just some learned response to things or Jewish guilt. Let's explore this deeper. 
~More insights to come~

I felt so free about leaving Tal, and well to a certain degree I still do, because truly I am free! The world is my and Nemo's oyster! I felt so morally sound at exploring this new life, and we've been toward this road for a while and I've had quite a long time to process everything, and then (as if saying "hey, don't feel too free") something else nudged me and tries to make me believe I am unethical. Because there is someone else I am connecting with, deeply and emotionally, which is something I have always craved, but I feel I ought to be sulking in pain and not feeling any love, as if sadness is the only ethical continuation to this story. As if I am only righteous if I can tell people "I am now alone and suffering for a while." I feel that one ought to feel a certain amount of pain alongside joy in life and I feel guilty when I cannot delve deep enough into pain, when I cannot sufficiently suffer, when I cannot tell people I am suffering. How strange! But it plays a big part in me.

Oh, it is so liberating to finally feel able to write these things down! Fuck. Self-expression is beautiful. It doesn't solve everything (or anything) but it makes everything more beautiful. 






__

-Later-

I am in my new temporary space. Tal and I have ended things so peacefully, so lovingly. I appreciate him very much and the 3.5 years he's given me. We've had a long time to process and go through our emotions together toward this ending, and when Tal dropped me and Nemo off with all my stuff at my friend's house, we hugged and kissed and said thank you from the bottoms of our hearts into the other's blue eyes. Earlier we went out to our regular Asian restaurant, and I told him about these feelings. And later he wrote to me, "I don't want you to feel guilty. You don't deserve it."

That melts me into tears.

__

Moving out

I was writing all sorts of things... I decided to stop forgetting about the little ideas that tickle my mind as beautiful, and to write them down. So now they're written down, each in a different notebook, with no lines connecting them other than them all happening to me. So what do I do with them? How do I turn little ribbons of color into a story? Like nectarine juice sliding down my hand as I take a bite.

It's hard for me to write because I feel that not everything is as aesthetically organized as I'd like, and that makes me feel ashamed and guilty. I often have this image of myself as a hero in my story, with some high level of ethics, but I've been finding myself believing that above ethics, I just do what the heart wants, and ethics find a way to come along. Kind of a paradigm shift which I'd like to write about sometime. Doesn't have to do with moving out, but just something I've been thinking about. I've been also thinking about self-pride vs. humility, love, and other things that are worth putting into words.

So I will eventually write. Actually, more than I want to write, I want to make a video, a movie really. I have so much video footage of our time in Bellingham, and of our last few weeks together especially, and it's a good amount of raw material to make something nice. It's just that it requires time, patience and perseverance, which are generally my weak points. Oh, it also requires me starting to actually pay for my Adobe software. I can't complain. It's about time they chase me down and make me buy the things legally. So that's going to have to happen before I do any more videos...

Today Nemo and I are moving out of this beloved, sweet, charming, peaceful and safe home.







Monday, July 15, 2019

The toxicity of anxiety and indecisiveness

Hey you know what? I have made a decision. I have made one and I am standing to it - despite outer convictions. When I talk to people about it, I risk putting myself in that vulnerable place of being moved (or thrown) into indecisiveness again by what they say, even if that is not their intention. But this time - whew! Something has changed! I am no longer who I always was, a feather in the wind - I have made a decision and decided to stand strong with it. I let the anxieties that would have floored me just brush over me, I look them in the eye, sometimes write them down, and then walk past them. I am no longer in an existential whirlwind of indecisiveness. That is such a toxic and debilitating place to be. 

That's not to say that indecisiveness doesn't visit me sometimes. It does. Sometimes softly, sometimes like a punch in the stomach. "What am I doing?" my heart sometimes suddenly aches or dreads, especially when it's dark out and the circle of this relationship encloses me inside. But I have chosen to let the indecisiveness be only a small part of my ration of decision, I have chosen for it to not dictate the outcome.

And that's not to say that I have answers, or know that this way will lead to a specifically wanted outcome, or that this relationship is worth breaking (because everything about it "works" so why the hell would I want to leave a fully functioning relationship? But I do). I do not have answers, and precisely because of my inability to answer these questions that have been lingering and gnawing at me in discontent (at the core level of the heart, as a "nudge") for a long time, I am choosing this other path. I feel that there is something outside of this relationship that I have a need to fully experience and understand, without which I will not be able to be whole. I feel that there is a life I need to pursue. It's just stronger than reason. I believe it's worth pursuing, despite the pain.

There is pain, oh, sometimes I raise my hands up and want to let my voice out to the sky, to the trees: Help me! Give me the knowledge! And then I settle back into my place of small assurances, of little beautiful things that give me courage and comfort. I don't hold all the knowledge possible for these specific questions, and I can only work with the skills that I have. I am only human, I should not be bound down by the belief that my decisions are the epitome of everything, or that there is a "right" or "wrong" path and that if only I was smart enough I'd be able to figure out which is which. No; there is no right and wrong, there is only the question of which adventure I want to undertake, which adventure will give me emotional richness and the ability to expand my heart.

Sometimes my confidence wavers, sometimes it's more whole. Usually it's a sort of abstract cloud that hovers around me, which I can reach and land in for some time, into which I can expand. A sort of amorphic bubble, sort of like how Happiness is also amorphic and intangible, but something I can usually rely on.