Saturday, December 02, 2017

Israel



ISRAEL

I looked out the aircraft windows toward the back wings, and they started distancing from me. The airplane seemed to be lengthening itself as the wings became smaller and smaller, and soon I realized my part of the plane was falling, and I could feel it now in my body too, falling fast through thin air. I thought of looking out my window to see more clearly, but the fear kept me bogged down in place, facing the back of my seat. I was quite aware we might die. Every instant of consciousness I wondered if there would be a next, and if there wasn’t – what it would feel like.

Then I woke up, curled up with my head toward the back of the seat, lying on my folded jackets. I rose with a start, and the man sitting next to me asked if I need to get out. I said, no. And I added, I just had a nightmare that the plane was falling.

I remembered my open palms under the shower faucet earlier that day, and those moments of watching them and the water pour around them; this is a form of meditation for me.

This was similar to the micro-staring I did in the kitchen, when my father came to sit down for dinner and I closely observed my fork as it speared the food and rose from the plate into my mouth, to let the meal happen without feeling a burden of discomfort.

The water came gushing through the tips of my body, around the creases and lines of my ten fingers. This will be my last time here, I knew. My parents are moving. And so I breathed. I breathed as I stared.

I said goodbye to my room. I sat in it with the Russian tradition (sitting with hands on lap, eyes shut, then opening eyes, clapping hands on lap, and getting up and leaving), and then I came back in and looked around again; this time I photographed the room. I looked around and didn’t know how to properly bid farewell. I thought there must be some sort of way to find closure through a precise summary of an idea, a thought, or a process that has happened throughout my life here, and couldn’t conjure a satisfying notion. But one came to mind: I have grown to be a fairly good person, so thank you, room, for being mine for so many years.

And I walked out again.

And back in.

I had one last idea: to touch the walls. I touch things to make clear contact with reality. So here, I walked around the four walls of the room and touched them, and touched the furniture (because maybe my hands will remember the exact look of the room more than my visual memory) and then stood in the doorway and gestured a namaste thank you, and threw a kiss, and even kissed the mezuzah. And then I shut the light, and left, and didn’t go back.

Being in that home is always a mixed experience for me: sliding so effortlessly into a place of connection to it, and on the downside - sliding too easily into the place of being a child. I don’t want to be in that place, I have grown. Something there pulls me back into my sticky and nauseating parts of childhood, and that’s what I try to avoid. I was there for two weeks, and that was enough. Although words must be said about the upsides, too, so as not to take it all for granted. When I am in the home alone, or just with my mother, I feel safe. The kitchen is abundant in good food. I like my old room. It’s a sort of shrine of my life. I love sitting in my room, with all of my stuff and remembering Me.

My stuff is still there, mostly in boxes, so that my parents can lug it all with them to their next house, carrying the life creations of a vulnerable daughter who wanted to get away but couldn't find a better place for her things...

I realize that it was a good choice to live far away for now. I need to live with people who don’t pull me back into my disarray. 

I missed Tal and Nemo a lot over the past two weeks, and now I’m on my way home to them.

_______


Jerusalem was crowded, and its over-population streaming through the streets seemed to me in a sad and narrow-minded state of being. I even went so far as wondering how much a population can suck charity and wellness from governments without broadening their own selves by themselves. How awful of a notion, I reprimanded myself. But I couldn’t help thinking it…

I reunited with 11 dear friends at restaurants, street corners and their homes, sharing stories of being, and photographing each friend with the 1970’s Pentax SLR camera, with a 35 mm black-and-white roll of film I bought at the photo store in downtown Jerusalem at my first stop there. Two days before my flight back home, I finished the roll of film and went to my old photography school to develop the film. In the dark room, I pry open the film canister, unroll the film and roll it onto the wheel that then goes into the little Jobo tank, which I seal tightly. Then I go out into the light, fill the Jobo with developer, roll it around for ten minutes, then wash it out and then fill it with fixer, also for ten minutes, then wash it out for 20 minutes, and then open the lid, and slowly pull out the roll of film, revealing to me the product of my handiwork! I then scan the images digitally to the computer, and then leave the school and walk downtown, excited with my success in doing something I love.

I flew to Israel initially for a close friend’s wedding, which was a lot of fun. I got to wear a red dress which my sister sewed for me (the color scheme for close family and friends of the bride was red) and spend the day of the wedding with other red-dressed friends in the bride’s home, hanging around excitedly, eating pancakes and chatting while watching the bride have her hair and make-up done. At the wedding itself I danced like crazy, for hours. There were many old friends there, and fun music, and that’s a perfect setting for dancing my feet off :)

The fourth plane touched ground. 48 hours had passed since I left my parent’s home at 4 am for the airport. I was tired and hungry, and landed into cold and rainy Seattle. 

Being in Israel was strange but also free-spiriting.








Tuesday, November 14, 2017




כל העולם כולו 
גשר צר מאוד 
והעיקר 
לא לפחד, לא לפחד כלל

The whole entire world
Is a very narrow bridge,
And the main thing
Is to recall
Have no fear,
Have no fear at all





Just in case


This probably sounds pretty awful, but as always before a flight oversees, I'm scared, and think I should write a brief bundle of requests in the case of death: 

(1) Nemo
I want the best for Nemo. My heart is connected to hers, I have immense compassion and empathy toward her, and I want her to live with someone who will love her and pamper her and take care of her. It is up to the people mentioned hereinafter to decide with whom and where she will live, but Tal's opinion shall have the most weight and he shall be the first to decide if he will take upon himself the responsibility of being Nemo's owner, or if he will give that responsibility to someone else, and according to the following guidelines: Nemo shall live either with Tal, or with my parents, or with Dena, or with Gilad, or with someone who truly loves her whom I have forgotten (all of the above are not listed in order of preference, but just in random order). If she is to be flying back to Israel, she is not to be sent in a crate in the baggage compartment, but rather together with a person she knows and loves, who will get permission from the airline to do so. Nemo has flown with me in the past and is capable of lying at her caretaker's feet for the entirety of the flight (though she does need long walks outdoors on the day of the flight prior to the flight). If no airline is willing to allow her to travel on-board with her caretaker, I do beg that a special request is made, or a public outcry is made if necessary, to allow her to fly on-board with her caretaker. If need be, her caretaker will do what I did and get her registered with them as their "emotional support pet."
Nemo shall be treated with positive reinforcements, with love and with care, for the rest of her life.

(2) My stuff
I'd like for people who have an interest, a belief and a compassion for me, for sentiment, for feminism and for unbridled honesty, to go through my physical belongings and things in my parents' house and in other places where I might have things, such as all the papers with stories and poems and drawings and photos and ideas of mine, and decide what to do with them. On another note, I have started compiling blog posts from this blog for a book, on Google Drive. I have saved too many posts in that document and it needs to be edited more. Plus, I only got up to year 2011 I think.

(3) Me
You may mourn, but not too long. I do not want anyone to live in agony and sorrow, especially not the people I love. A person's death is sad or even tragic, but life must go on, remembering the deceased but also finding other sources of light. While our body may die, our consciousness still lives in the minds, energies, and particles of love in every being, animal and plant in the world. Our consciousness morphs and blends into all other ideas and thoughts inside all other creatures, contributing its own unique decrees and colors. My life was full of wondrous times with amazingly loving, talented and unique people. My life also had a lot of fear and remorse, but that is because I was always trying to find truth and love through pain and longing. I have lived with compassion, and if there is one legacy I'd leave, I'd want it to be the lifelong striving for compassion.
I've tried to write a lot throughout my life, and despite my many many words (some of which were published on this blog but many also not) I've never, in all my 27 years, been able to write one full explanation of my being. It is a lifelong process. I have tried my best, I wrote and lived honestly and genuinely, and I hope I have made people's (and animals') lives better.
Please please please try to love. Everyone and everything, of every color and every race and every species. Every sentient being is worthy of protection, space and companionship. Please do your best to give that to everyone who has a beating heart.





Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pleasure


This is not the "positive space" (the important material for the story to be shared), but in order to find that positive space, I need to carve out the "negative space." So here is the negative space, the stories which are non-stories; side notes which I'm chiseling through, to help guide me toward the important substance that will be eventually worth sharing:

__________


She takes off, and me after her, following in the footsteps of her long dress and her unscreened livelihood, into the forest. We climb through tree paths with our feet clenching soggy earth, the smell of autumn surrounding us. The trees are so tall that when you look up it looks as if their tips are embracing each other. We tiptoe around the trees and make long whooshy "wow" sounds, like lovers of mother nature, and then we sit on a log, facing where the sun sometimes shines through. A man walks by and roars a mischief in our direction, and as he walks off the leaves tremble and shake off the vibrations of his voice until they calm back into silence. The leaves trickle through the air as they soar down slowly and daintily from the trees onto the ground. Sometimes you can't tell if it's the leaves pattering, or if forest elves are conversing. Who knows, really, what lives in there, inside these mossy dense forests!

On our way back from the forest a young man passed us by. "Good day, sir!" she said toward him. "Good day, ladies!" he replied. When we passed him I said to her, "don't you just want to hug people like that, and say - thank you so much for being nice!"?

___________


We flip through files; old papers full of meaning and people who have died. The ideas in them are rich like soil that has simmered for decades. Her house is full of enchanted stories. Her carpets are mossy, and her old cat meows. She is a 1960's hippie fairy living in a little apartment in 2017. She laughs with a sigh, she smiles and she aches. She is an artist, a thinker, a sentimentalist. Ah, sentimentalists... Their piles and piles and papers and colors do not seem odd to me. I want to embrace them just as much as they do, perhaps. I want their stories to come alive and give meaning to mine. I never know how to thank them enough for just being who they are.

___________


When I take a walk with Nemo we walk through a path at the end of our block, and the damp leaves and trees of fall are wondrous. My heart rejoices and takes deep breaths that are not dependent on anything, and are not followed or pre-iterated by anything.

But I do often wonder - when will I stop telling myself who I am, what I love, and that I am breathing a breath so fine... and will breath like a wolf, without knowing who I am, and maybe figuring it out anew from every breath onward... And not knowing that I love the forest when I go into it, and not knowing in advance (on every level of cognition) that I will or should be wowed by it... Not telling myself to shut my eyes and smell so that the camera external to me will catch me in that kind of Hollywood loveliness. Not telling myself anything, but just purely feeling and being, like an infant, if the forest can cradle me without me writing these odd words on a World Wide Web later on in the passage of time through the cracks of those age-old tree trunks and through my incorrigible bodily self...

But still, it was a breath so fine... of those maples turning yellow...

___________


"Can you tell us a story?"
"I can't tell stories."

But let me try to write some, and we'll see how I do.

Like the time I returned to my Jerusalem first-floor apartment in October 2014 with Nemo on the far end of the leash and my bleeding hand on the other, with a cut too deep for me to look at clearly without fainting. I gently took off Nemo's leash, I lay on the couch in the sunlit room across the long back window-doors. I called the person still married to me whose voice was still the proteins of my consciousness, who would be home to help only in a few hours, told him I'd call S, the person not married to me, who was working nearby and with a looser schedule, and I called S, who soon came over to this home of mine, hugged me at the door, and helped me bandage my hand. He was my new love which I was easily morphing into after the long-processed termination of the love with the man still living with me. This love would last a while, would consist of lovely things like sharing precious time in a small and very clean hotel-like one-room apartment with large windows through which we watched rain and snow, sharing that space with many dogs, with meals of pasta-and-mushroom-cream-sauce, oatmeal with soy milk, and salads cut in the plastic salad-cutting machine, a life of AR protests and activism together, coming over by bus to his place after art school or walking over with Nemo the 25-minute walk from our place to his, snuggling and drinking hot chocolate. I would later sadly break his heart over the telephone one night, leaving him probably wondering why he didn't end it earlier and why he kept believing I'd be content. That night I'd take myself and my beloved Nemo, get on a bus to Be'er Sheva and land in a dear friend's house to cry all night long and sleep in her bed.

Or the time in the winter, at the turn of 2008 and 2009, I was out on a 5-day desert Survival Week with a group of 28 other young people ("mechina"), where we trudged up mountains and down slopes, and had no cell phones until we finished, at which point I saw missing calls from Gilad's mother and a voice message from her which I didn't listen to, because (my heart started racing) - maybe it's to inform me that Gilad was killed in the army, or that something else horrible happened, so instead called Gilad himself, who finally answered and gravely replied that he'll tell me about it later when he sees me, and this was all on a Friday afternoon, when I was about to go back home to my parent's house for Shabbat, and there were only a few hours left before Shabbat, but I hurried home, took the world's fastest shower, brushed through some of the hair dropping out after a week of being in a ponytail out there, which continued falling out hours later, too, pulled on some clothes and drove as fast as I could to his house 45 kilometers away, just to make it there at sunset. I was with his warmness, I was at home with him, we were safe now, whatever it was that happened. Gilad told me he was miserable, he had become so desperate in the army that he ran away... He walked out of the base, down to the highway and hitch hiked to his counselor's house, where he slept that night.

____________


There is no physical pain in my life, in any of my decisions, or in any of my future endeavors. But I often suffer from the notion of how things are or how things will be. I suffer for things that aren't, for things that won't, for things unknown. I suffer and yet my body is content and free. How can one understand this paradox and free oneself from suffering, truly? And how come it is so hard to understand what it is the heart wants, and if the heart needs to be replaced or rather readjusted. Because readjusting can happen, if only we were not too afraid we would miss our misgivings. We can decide to be happy - but how scary and treacherous it is to leave behind our long-loved and deeply-deciphered friends called agony and regret.

Sadness and agony are so much more concrete than happiness. They have so many more reasons and explanations, while happiness is so swift, so abstract, like a cloud which holds no real content but whose presence you are glad to be granted for however long it will stay.

The being has not landed inside itself again. At some point in time it shattered into an echo of itself, and especially flying over the Atlantic to a new land has left the mind scurrying behind, pleading to be placed back into itself, to overlap the experience.

___________


"You can't buy groceries with the ideas in your head," Tal mentioned when we had this really deep and long conversation going from hanging on a tightrope to leaping into the water. I was sitting on a step, he was standing, we spoke for a while and got deep into the truth of our beings. Truth: I live in my ideas. I am full of inspiration, imagination and thoughts that are always colliding, coinciding, subsiding and gliding in colorful streams and spurts.

____________

I hate not having any money. I'd like to buy chocolate, organic oats in bulk, strawberries, and presents for all the people I love.

I also hate not having enough diligence to finish all the great things I've started over the past 27 years: stories, songs, artwork, ideas, sentences.

____________


What I love most, though, are these things:
Our little home
Nemo
Tal
Watching TV
Drawing
Playing guitar

These things give me immeasurable pleasure and contentment, and I am very grateful to be free of physical pain and suffering...



מוֹדָה אֲנִי לְפָנֶֽיכם, מֶֽלֶךְ חַי ושכינה קַיימת, שֶׁהֶֽחֱזַֽרְתם בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְחֶמְלָה. 
רַבָּה אֱמֽוּנָתכם





Friday, November 03, 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Change


Change is so swift, so unpredictable.
While we scuffle through our treasures of misery,
Trying to understand the folds of pain along our seams,
Above us clouds change, waves enamel our being
And when we pause from our monumental search
We see that life has already changed.





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

געגוע




אני 


בנויה
מגעגוע
העבר 
ההווה
והעתיד
כל הקיום
כולם בגעגוע








Friday, September 29, 2017


I'm in this place and time in life where I'm befriending people older than me by three-four-five decades. That's because there aren't very many young people in the Jewish community here. These new encounters are a blessing. They are enriching my life. I am invited into the homes, lives and insights of real and authentic people. I am in awe. I am connecting to their frequency and their wisdom. I am developing the elated feeling that my own story is so much richer than I previously thought.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Insight on nonviolence



A lot of flusteration and mind-looping, mental back-flips and agony bring an abundance of insights, which create an inspiring enthusiasm, as they flash into my mind at random times and at difference stages of thought-depths and -processes.

One of those insights hold the story of anger and remorse:


I am impulsive yet restrained, patient and nonviolent (I'll write more about vulnerability, helplessness and nonviolence another time) and intentionally as well as naturally refrain from any violent or aggressive actions. But approximately once every 365 days I lose my highly-appreciated patience and I am consumed by a sudden wrath. (It seems sudden, but when I unravel the preliminary circumstances I find the causes, and I understand them.) I am swallowed into it for a few hours, and at first - before I get outdoors alone and start walkingwalkingwalking fastfastfast to calm myself - my body is so overwhelmed with an immense energy of anger that strikes out from inside me through my hands, and I impulsively push Nemo away strongly when she does something that frustrates me. I push her and I walk out and I walk for hours until I calm down, all the while thinking about how tired I am, how I may just go put myself head-down in the lake and fall asleep (but I also think that I won't because Nemo needs me), how I may like to walk into the street and be hit by a car because if I'm in the ER I won't feel as embarrassed and ashamed by so many things that Little Miriam painfully carries with her, and I keep walking and walking and walking, and eventually it starts to subside, and then comes the realization of the aftermaths of my angry actions and the sorrow of having hurt or frightened Nemo on my way out of the house, my true true love, who I never ever want to hurt of frighten for even one millisecond, who loves me unconditionally, and whose connection to me I can never take advantage of by being aggressive toward her in any way. When I frighten Nemo (and myself) I feel awful about it. As the years go by the energy of anger in me becomes more and more scarce and my ability to control it becomes more and more apparent and easy, and the forces of wrath hardly ever consume me, thank goddess, maybe only once a year, maybe less...

And then I think of a few possibilities of the virtue of compassion: 

PERHAPS
The reason I cannot tolerate using force over helpless beings, that I am "allergic" to and toxically fearful of anger and physical power (and my own anger and physical power) and that I stay away from it like from a black hole is because of the deep fear and shame I have resided in during my childhood years as a helpless being at the hands and mercy of someone physically stronger, and in this sense my nonviolence may actually not be a virtue or a moral principle that resulted in pure decision and that I can be proud of, but rather just my inclination because of trauma (which I then easily follow with an ideology of nonviolence). And in this sense, being an "ethics snob", as I sometimes feel I am, or "ethics snobbiness" in general among humans, may be void of meaning, and our ethics may be only a result of our life circumstances, which we then excuse with rationale. And even when people praise my ethics, or claim "you are a good person", I cannot claim that to my advantage, because I have not intentionally decided to be a good person instead of a bad one, but rather it's just the way I have to be, it's the way I naturally am, I really have no choice... I just am who I am, for the better or the worse. 

AND/OR it all resulted in my childhood but I did actively decide to never use violence

AND/OR
not wanting to hurt vulnerable beings is a natural instinct, and my nonviolence is cultivated through belief in that ideology and through strengthening that instinct, and a person who systematically hurts others must have - knowingly or unknowingly - altered or destroyed the part of the brain of compassion that doesn't allow you to be at peace with hurting others. I feel that people who hurt vulnerable beings and don't feel bad about it - or don't actively work on themselves to reverse their malice and their sin against humanity - are a) bad people, and b) must have unwired something basic in their brains and are ultimately messed up humans whom I cannot and will not understand or tolerate. 


And aside from my own pain of having scared my wonderful little beloved Nemo (even for just one millisecond and even if she doesn't remember it), I am overwhelmingly saddened by the pain caused to so many vulnerable beings across the globe, human and nonhuman animals alike, and I myself can almost not tolerate the knowledge that in myself I hold the power of destruction and violence. It scares me that I have the potential of being as awful as those who have hurt me. And it has become my mission in life to promote nonviolence and to do all in my current power to protect helpless beings instead of hurting them.

It's Rosh Hashanah tomorrow. The Hebrew New Year. This is a time of repentance.
I pray that everyone will have the courage to stop violence wherever it occurs and to promote nonviolence and compassion wherever it is needed.


Sunday, September 17, 2017



I'm really feeling a lot of gratitude at this moment
 and I want to preserve that.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017