Saturday, August 11, 2018

Bus

I sit on the bus as it chugs down a street. The thumpety thumps are lulling at this nighttime setting, but my brain is "overwhelmed," which is the word I give it when emotions situate in my stomach and lurk there is spiral movements waiting to spawn out as colorful streamers constituting everything that I am in one full blow. I sit and peer across from me, at the other passengers. The only way to interpret the savage yearning in me at this time is to state to myself that I feel like I want a baby to hold in my arms, as if a small being toward which I'd pour my compassion would slow my thoughts and calm me down, set me apart from worrying about my output in the world.

I think about the beginning of the story I will write. It holds in it a rapture of all the emotions in that spinning swirl. The bus turns corners and rides toward the downtown bus station of Bellingham. I am overwhelmed and embarrassed by my messy appearance in the world (I want it to be organized; I want all the words I say to people to make perfect sense, but they inevitably don't), and I stretch out the word "embarrassed" in my head so that it is looong and twisty, and the sounds reach out to every negotiable being, pleading for serenity of the senses.

Eembaaa-rrrassss-ed
Each letter is like an arm, clinging on to a mother: "Please."




Overwhelming

Yesterday, on my way home from someplace where a large number of people congregated for a special meal, I felt overwhelmed.
Overwhelmingness is an emotion I am well acquainted with.
This time I was overwhelmed because of some of the conversations I had. I get frustrated when I feel like I don't express myself in a perfect way, or when I feel awkward, because I feel awkward sometimes, or when I learn, like last night, that more people than I expected read my posts (read me) and enjoy them, and that's overwhelming in a whole other way, in the same way that discovering music I should've discovered ages ago makes me overwhelmed, or the same way that coming up with a brilliant idea makes me overwhelmed - and it can bug me for hours or days, chewing at my heart (it's like my mind can't properly regulate the emotions). So on the way home, walking up the hill, I made up a song for me to meditate on:

It's alright, 
You gave what you gave
You got what you got
No one expects you to be perfect
If you gave a smile, that's enough for today.



Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Being

I wrote in a previous post (or maybe the post was only in my head) that letting my little world pass through the barrier from private to public makes me feel so vulnerable and ashamed. But it's shameful not only because I'm un-knowledgeable or scared I'll be seen as naive, but also because, at the core, I have this aching - albeit quiet - suspicion that it's fake, that all of my outward dispositions are fake, that my wistful hope and urging for peace and for unity and for compassion is just a safeguard, a shield, a "wait-wait-wait don't hurt me" kind of shield, just something to give me the space and time and love I need. (Well, in that case, it is still real. But this doesn't yet convince me.)

This is not to say that I do not believe in these things. They must be some part of me (inherent or not), and around them I create an ideology ("it's important to be compassionate," "we should work toward peace," etc.). When I am quiet and listen to myself, I hear truthful and authentic compassion toward the world (the narrator knows I really do want people to be caring, to be patient, to be kind, I want "enemies" to connect, and I have a firm belief that they can), and my actions in the world are of compassion and reflect this sense of myself that I hold so dearly and proudly. 

And yet still I feel like I must be faking something (especially when these things enter the realm of the public world. When they are in me, I am nourished by them, I am consoled and warmed and utterly inspired by them, but once I utter these ideas in public, I suddenly feel ashamed, fake, small, wrong). These traits of nonviolence and kindness are all-encompassing, and yet this doesn't make me believe they are the real ME, but just that it is perhaps a successful and well-rounded mask that makes sense for my earthly being. 

So I think about the level of being that I am imagining, underneath it all, that which I feel is the true essence. What is it? If it does not truly Love All, then what does it? 

It has no compassion, nor aggression. It is just the core; it is an entity that has no opinions. 

It seems to me that that very deep and fundamental level (the soul, consciousness) is the one I want to reveal when I am listening for truth beyond the visible one. (Not that I want that unbiased truth to become my life, but still it is interesting to be aware of its existence.)

There is another possible explanation for my sense of fakeness: When I was younger, I was not really listened to, and my opinions did not matter much. My inclination to love flowers and rainbows was not taken seriously. Love for such things was maybe even ridiculed - seen as "girly" and "stupid" (naive, not productive, too emotional). Why would a person think the whole world could be at peace?

(I have been close to the thought that maybe it's true; maybe there can be no peace. But no! Of course I didn't take that thought seriously, are you kidding? I will not succumb! I will not succumb to this hopelessness toward potential fruitful human connection and sacred individualism which can, without a doubt, make the world better.)

I'm reminded that the vision and inspiration I have now of a connection to the feminine entity of sacredness and nurturing in the world and in nature are not something I grew up with in an outwardly visible way. I don't actually know the source of their implantation in me. I may have been around in the sixties as a hippie, or as a flower, or as a chord from Joan Baez' guitar, or it is possible that my ancestors had this feminine-spiritual side in them and I just not aware of it. My PTSD and my ancestral soul both have arms in all sorts of places I don't see.

I am who I am.




Monday, August 06, 2018

Book

My book will be a place for sentiment, nostalgia, longing, pain and brokenness.
It will also be a place for growth, beauty, action and love.
Music.
That's the only thing I can't put in my book.
How can I turn music into words?








Photos from 2011-2013

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Compassion

I've been wanting to write about compassion, because the emotion has been encapsulating me, breezing through and around me, being an integral part of my understanding and accepting of the world. But I haven't yet, specifically because the vastness of it makes it hard to minimize into words. I am an emotional being and an empathic one. My eyes well up with tears from slight changes of wind in another person's demeanor, from authentic plights of children, from pain of myself and of others, from unintentional pain or fright I cause others. The raw openness of my heart and my desire to give everyone in the world a valid space for love, makes me feel ashamed (in a world where heartiness, sentiment and unconditional love are seen as naive), but also I feel that maybe there is something in this capacity that is worth sharing, worth spreading, despite my lack of knowledge, despite my lack of memory of factual information about the world around me. And that raw openness and empathy also make me detest violence (or came as a result of it), which I unfortunately see abundantly around me in the general world of adults (online and in real life), and make me want to try to give the world another perspective: A message of being kind and patient. Don't rush. Don't rush children. Lend them a hand - not a command. I am always learning so much about children through working with them and through working with myself who is an unhealed child, and I come face-to-face with those tears in my eyes so often, and I often want to just outright reach in and pull out my ecstatic and tear-stricken heart and spread it horizontally through the landscapes of humanism, and listen, help, encourage, and compensate for the lack of these crucial assets in the scale of the general world.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hey :)
How is it possible that my last post (just a single photo) has had 27 views? That's almost creepy, since I hardly have any followers.
Who are you?
Introduce yourself!
I don't know if to be excited or scared.
Have a good and peaceful day, whoever you are, dear reader. <3 p="">

Friday, July 06, 2018

Jerusalem in my olden days

You know what's so crazy and beautiful at the same time? The way I love the aesthetics of "dati-light"* or "datlash"* couples. The way I once was. I got to be that. It was so cool to be that (maybe it still is), in the Jerusalem scene. In Tel Aviv it's being a hipster; In Jerusalem it's being a married couple, she with a pashmina** wrapped around her head with her hair flowing out behind it, he with his Shoresh sandals (Israeli-made sandals) (it's the ideas that these physical things symbolize and hold). It's what I always wanted - in all honesty - since I was young. I did have a good few years embodying that image. We were a prototype. I still miss it sometimes. Jerusalem. The colorful mitpachot**. The carefreeness of people who are literally Earth-bound and rooted, the lack of fear, the feeling of "owning" and of "belonging" - not of possessions but of culture. Really BEING the culture. BEING the grassroots aesthetic. Being free, feminist, outspoken, being a social activist, and at the same time loving and knowing the ancestry, the religious nuances, the rabbinic restrictions, the battles, the warmth.
It was my city. It's really what I was for many many years.
I just want to give that part of me some space, some expression. I felt it was all so beautiful. I think I finally realize that it was the lifestyle that I miss. The things I did, the ideas I embodied until around 2013.
I don't know if I can or should ever go back to that. My life is so different now.







___

Everything mentioned here should not be taken as facts or as researched information and does not intend to offend anyone. To the contrary: I love it all so much.

*"dati-light" refers to a certain type of Israeli lightly-religious culture, which, if I were to try to define it, is characterized by growing up dati-leumi (modern-Orthodox) and then leaning toward the left, becoming more open and less "halachically" strict (less religiously strict), while still holding on to the rich religious roots and their cultural manifestations.

*"datlash" is an acronym (in Hebrew) for people who were once religious but then became not religious. These kinds of people are somewhat similar in culture and in dress to the previous category, just that they are less (or not at all) adherent to religious law, but still do understand and resemble the religious world's culture in certain ways and may feel right at home with religious people, know their songs, their traditions, etc.

I will also note that there are certain people who grow up religious and then leave religious life, like in the last category, but do not fall under the last category, because they do not hold on to any religious affiliation, connection or resemblance. Then they would usually fit under the category of "chiloni" (secular).

Of course, there are many variations to all of these, but these are strong and prominent contemporary cultural categories, as far as I can tell through my eyes, through my life in Jerusalem for many years.

**"mitpachat" is a scarf that married religious Jewish women traditionally wear to cover their hair (and "pashmina" is a thicker scarf, usually from the Far East or of that kind of style). Women who are not strict with Jewish law but still appreciate the heritage and the intention, may wear scarves tied around their head, but with all their hair loose in back of it (kind of like a thick headband). This is an iconic image of married "dati-light" women. It's how I used to wear my hair for some of the time that I was married.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Water



___

I like looking through old facebook photos: The rhythm of my fingers clicking the right arrow and my eyes watching the screen, synchronise with the short seconds it takes to reminisce. The light is out - Tal is trying to sleep, cuddle-less, while I sit and spy through the legendary old me. It excites me to put myself in those shoes. I once was. I was so pretty. I love myself, as if I'm watching someone else, well, because main characters are always in the camera's scope; never is the character the camera itself or behind the camera. I want to take myself everywhere, but I want to watch me, not BE me. I love this life that is told through these photos of a hippie. Complex. And genuine. I've done so much. And yet here I am, in agony-of-sorts inside the realm of the mind. I've made it to 28 and a half, though. This means I have always had hope.

___

This past Shabbat I helped lead the monthly service at Shir Hashalom - the Jewish Renewal "chavurah" here in Bellingham. In this week's Torah portion Miriam the Prophetess and Priestess (sister of Moses and Aaron) dies, and immediately thereafter there is no water for the Israelites who are traveling through the hot Middle-eastern desert (believed to be circa 1,400 BCE). It is told that a well called Miriam's Well had followed them on their journey and provided sustenance. Miriam's life was full of water-themed stories. (One of the central stories is that she led the Israelites in song and dance through the parted Sea of Reeds when they left slavery in Egypt.) The water that nourished the people was attributed to her. She dies, and there is no longer water. The people long for her guidance, her creative and joyful guidance. They despair in their thirst.
As feeling a strong connection to Water myself, and connecting to my namesake, I decided that we'd let ideas of the element of Water lead us in this past Saturday's service, through meditations, chants, songs, dances, rituals and prayers (Hebrew and otherwise). It was a meaningful experience that I won't attempt to describe here, but I just wanted to share with y'all this old Native American song. We sang it, we danced to it. I felt truly led by the beauty, force and sacredness of Water. I felt that the spiritual side of me is strong, is waiting for its time to come through. I get a glimpse of it at our prayer services, especially when I get to sound through my vocal chords niggunim and songs, but for some reason then go home and cannot implement the same kind of spirituality and love (strong waters) in my own personal life. I feel that this duality is hypocritical in a way.
(I know that I can't be a leader - not just yet, in any case - since I haven't got any findings to my own merit; if I have goodness in me, it was gifted to me at birth and is deterministic, and I have not worked toward it or practiced it, nor found any solutions to my many questions and agonies. And I feel that a leader can only lead if she has found something or reached something that is a possible finding or reaching for others, too, and is not only born talents. I need to solve the duality in me and find my own serenity and a life that suits me before I can truly lead - despite people saying I did a great job leading the service, and one friend even asking if I've ever considered being a rabbi.)
I want to let the Wild Woman, the Water Prophetess in me to fly freely to the realms of godliness and creativity, not just once a month, and not just with people outside of my home. In any case, I am so grateful for it, for that opportunity to connect with others and to be part of such nurturing and deep groups of people. Everyone needs to belong to something.
The river is flowing
Flowing and growing
The river is flowing
Back to the sea
Mother Earth carry me
Your child I will always be
Mother Earth carry me
Back to the sea

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I want to be inspired and to be inspiring, like a heartbeat of an old song in a dimly-lit bar.
I am a being of inspiration. I feel beauty and it overflows my senses. I want to create from that place of deep insight and volcanic soul-streaming.






Friday, June 08, 2018

Tabs

I'm a taboholic. I collect tabs in my web browser. I save videos and articles open for later viewing. They all seem so interesting and important, so I don't close them. I keep them all open.
And then - the unexplicably terrible thing happens -- My computer crashes. I restart. I open Chrome. And there is NO option of restoring the tabs. They are lost. It is all lost.
It's a little nice to have a fresh start like that every so often, but I still do wonder what I had there and what I missed by not finishing to read/watch it all.
Hmph.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Kindergarten at Kesher


Sunday was my last day teaching kindergarten for the year. We were in one of our circles that we often sit in (that I gather the kids into in a sing-songy pleasant voice I learned from Waldorf-education teachers), I was delivering my words of closure and love, right before I taught them a Goodbye song, and the children spontaneously got up one by one to hug me, until they were all surrounding me and on top of me and I couldn't help but cry. I know that they loved me this year, and that their parents loved me. I love these children so much, and there were a few specific moments this year that were really moving. Like Friday night before the last class. The kids were going to be leading some songs at the Friday Night Shabbat service at the synagogue, and a few minutes before the service started we gathered on the bimah to review some of the songs one last time. In one song they needed to all look at me and follow my lead, because the cantorial soloist with her guitar was singing harmony, and the kiddos needed to focus on staying on tune with me. As we sang (and their soft high voices ribboned through the air), I moved my eyes from one to the other, watching their sweet eyes and faces as they sang. I nearly choked on tears.


This is their handprints tree hanging on the wall (I painted the bare tree and they added the greenery)




And this is our classroom, which started out white and empty, and to which I (and the kids) added all the extra elements to make it be a calm and welcoming space, when we moved into in in the middle of the year. You can't really see in the video, but there's peach-colored fabric hanging like a canopy or a curtain from the ceiling, which adds a really nurturing feeling.

Monday, June 04, 2018

בחילת קיום Nausea of Existence







I cry soup-bowls of tears
I hear peaaa souuuup in the rustles of the trees when I take Nemo out for her night walk, and my eyes are puffy. I missed dinner there, and I don't eat anything at all for dinner at home. It was as if I was paralyzed in my self-pity. I hate myself for it and it makes me so ashamed. In any case, Tal is arranging a trip for us out east to the Cascades, and wanted me to help organize but my mind is so absent, and he arranges everything. All that's left for me to do is take some clothes into a milk crate and bring it out to the minivan. We go on the trip and I'm so grateful, because I love traveling with Tal and Nemo.

May 26, 2018, nighttime near Leavenworth, WA, in the minivan 
Ocean of emotion has swept over me in the past few weeks. It's hard to resurrect turmoil, especially when it seems (for a while, at least) like it's over. But the gush of frustration and overwhelming sense of Loss or Lost-ness have prompted me to have to find reason, consolation and benefits. And in any case, understandings and revelations have dawned on me in the past 24 hours, slowly adding more clarity to the picture with each new one, and they are interesting enough to be worth pursuing in writing. 
Many times, hard emotions can feel lighter when I write about them, as if once the burden is told to the world as a well-written story, it becomes fascination instead of personal suffering. But it seems like the utter helplessness and regret I felt yesterday may have surpassed that level, and were so hard to bear that even written expression can't ease them. Will write more tomorrow. 
___________ 

May 27, 2018, in same spot as last night (back here for the night) 
I say to myself, "it would be nice to get home tomorrow in the afternoon and not night, so that we'll be able to relax before work on Tuesday," but then I revise that, asking myself: Is there really a difference if you get to rest or not? In the end it's all the same (in the end you'll have to wake up on Tuesday and go to work anyway...). And this is part of the sense of worthlessness and meaninglessness or despair disconnectedness, or fear, or anxiety, or I-don't-yet-know-what, that is my life, as me, inside of me, through my eyes.
I am kind of always tense, but at the same time there is no place I want to get to or be at that I can think will make me feel at east inside myself, at ease with ideas of time passing, of past-present-future as being linear and relevant, of goals-actions-sense of fulfillment. I sometimes call it cognitive dissonance, or claustrophobia in the self, or maybe (probably) there is something more that I am missing, some pieces of understanding that haven't yet dawned on me.  
Yes, there are beautiful things around me, but something doesn't enter through the veil behind my eyes into my timeless soul and godful existence. Or maybe all humans in fact feel this fear, and maybe only few stop to notice it. Maybe incessant work for some is a way to not notice the utter meaninglessness and emptiness of life as humans. 
Even writing - which in a sense is my saving grace, my refuge, my meaning - seems sometimes meaningless, because it feels like publishing a book would possibly be for the sake of recognition, which is just a continuation of the problem (just a deeper delve into the thirsty search for external meaning) and not a sustainable solution.  
I do love writing. A book wouldn't be just for the sake of recognition, but the fact that I use the thought of publishing a book as a way to ward off a sense of social shame or unworthiness, makes me believe it is also as shallow as the problem.
(The end of this idea was more elaborated in my mind when I started the sentence, but often my mind blanks as I go along and I lose the thought...) 
I want to mention that despite cognitive dissonance or inability to be here, the richness of the past grant me a belly-full of inspiration and excitement when it comes to mind. I want to incorporate it in my writing - bring in stories of my life with Gilad, all those great and pure memories of love, family, friends and closeness that seem joyous in my mind, images of nighttime bus rides, familiar sounds, city streets...

________________


I feel so free when traveling in the car with Tal and Nemo, whizzing along roads with sunshine fluttering through the trees, a vast sky spread out in front of us, and wind singing to our open eyes.

I realize about the shame, on the way home. Shame which breeds anger. Anger and shame - Those are the two, I conclude. The two cores of belly-churning sizzling.
I pour out the shame.
I stomach it through my windpipe and I say, "I want to retell the conversation I had with Elkah, about the night when I missed the bus and missed the dinner." I retell it all. I retell about the paralysis, about the unearthed need for someone to urge me to do things I need to do because of my inability to get up and do them at the will of myself. About the difference in our mindsets - his of scarcity, mine of abundance. About the anger I feel. I feel so much anger, so much shame! "Even from you!," I say to Tal. "I do. I feel like puking all of life."

He says, "I think everyone feels that way -- (that makes me so angry; I say, "what you're saying makes me angry!") -- everyone feels nauseated from life. The essence of life is Suffering."

I had a dream that I forgot what our home looked like, while I was in it. I was in it, but couldn't recall it! It was so scary! (It's a heightened depiction of how my brain works when I am awake.) I called Tal's name, to help me remember, but he said, "I can help you in half an hour." Then I woke up.
I forget things. My brain is a machine that shows vague and blurry pictures of the now.
I don't know why.
My brain is falling apart.
I must have come all the way here, I think, to fall apart, the way that animals find a distant and secluded place to die.

I say, after a long silence, "I feel that there is one thing to do to fight off the suffering... It is Creating Things. Which I don't know if you have a need for (but I'm sure you'd benefit from it too) and which I have a terrible aching need for but some reason can't find a way to do enough of it."










Friday, May 25, 2018

end

At the end of the day I'm torn. I want to write; night is my time to write. But I am so tired! My eyes are heavy and start to shut. The words try to quickly scurry out of my eyelids before they close! Hurry up... They are trying to ooze through the small crevices of awakenness, like little streams of lava, relieving the volcano into the ocean of clarity before the volcano is closed for the night, leaving the writhing and raving boils inside itself to rest until they stir again tomorrow.
I'm thirsty and
I really wish I had more time in the day to myself.
I working most days now to make money to be able to eat and have a roof over my head, while my heart is empty of passion and creation, which are the fire under my bones that ignite me, and when they are absent I am so empty.
And I am nauseous from tiredness but trying to squeeze in as much essence before I succumb to sleep, and here it is, pulling me pullojg nme ipgkp[djf and im so tireddd sooo tired my head can't stay upright fdhdg;fug;n lkdniekw

help



Friday, May 18, 2018

A Book, Imagination, Forgetfulness, and Springtime

I say to her, "Please tell me when there are poetry-reading events (in Bellingham). I need more inspiration. I want to write a book..."
"Oh," she replies. "You're married. It's good you have someone who can support you. While you write a book, you need time, you need to dedicate a lot of time."
I think she misunderstands me.
I quickly correct her: "He doesn't support me. We both work and both use our own earnings accordingly."
I think to myself later -- How tempting that sounds, to have someone support you and to be able to dedicate all your time to channeling your creativity into fruitful conclusions. It takes me so LONG. I do need so much TIME in order to write. I can't just get home from work and start writing.
But let not that idea that she raised get too deep into my head, for that kind of situation is likely never to happen.
And how spoiled am I, to even raise this idea. Why do I feel I might possibly have such a privilege? I don't reckon it is right to assume so, or to believe I deserve it. I am myself and therefore I need to work to make money for myself. That is the way it is and should be. But still... Imagining a world in which artists can have all the time they want to CREATE... OH, it's such a beautiful thought...

I am so tired... Nauseous, actually, from tiredness, and my eyes are heavy. I know that if I were to go to bed I'd snuggle up under the covers and doze off... But the need to write! I thought I'd get to write, last week, yesterday, this afternoon, and somehow time just whizzes by and who am I? What is that tree that is swaying (or that flower that is blooming, or the person who is walking), that takes up all my brain's bandwidth and leaves no room for the ideas that lie beyond it? My brain is clouded. I know it. It blanks things out. My memory is sometimes hazy. I am one-track minded. The springtime beauty takes up all the space, leaves no room for calculations, estimations, short-term memories and preparations. That is why I need to schedule a time to write my TO DO LIST.

I need to schedule a time to create my TO DO LIST, because without dedicating time to make the list, the things that need to go on the list are no more than little fleeting clouds. And on that list will go things like DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO LIVE IN BELLINGHAM NEXT YEAR and WRITE BACK TO THAT EMAIL and READ THE BOOKS YOU TOOK FROM THE LIBRARY (The Qur'an and some others) and COME UP WITH IDEAS FOR GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY AND DOING GOOD.

I wish I'd read more books. It's so hard for me to sit and read books.
It seems like a paradox to me; with my love for writing, how come I cannot read?

Alas! The tiredness will overcome in just a moment.

I also say to her, in regard to a different topic, "THERE is always an imagination, because when you get THERE you are still HERE. There is no THERE, as you are always you. That's a sad realization."
She quotes something: "Don't forget that when you get there, you will find yourself there, too."











Tuesday, May 08, 2018

May 8, 2018 ~Updated



May 8, 2018

I'm sitting in my backyard listening to music on Spotify.

As the plane takes off over the palm trees of south Florida I ponder the best way for me to write the book I will write. In present tense? I don't like writing retrospectively because emotions change so quickly, that what was is no longer important. But in writing I want to make all the emotions important, and therefore the most accurate tense to be writing in is the present.

__

I sit in my seat twiddling my thumbs: Should I go or should I not? I sweat and measure my options. The shuttle bus will get to the Seattle airport soon and I will miss my opportunity to add the little tidbits I thought of in response to the man's queries. (And Heaven knows that I am a chronic regretter and can eat my heart for days if I don't let those additional ideas out.) My body almost budges and then I am compelled by a fear or two, and I stay put. This can go on for hours. I have notebooks full of these experiences from younger years: I was somewhere, I noticed someone interesting, I wanted to go over and talk, but fear stopped me and I never did. I remember a specific evening while in the army, which I wrote about at the time, in which I had a few hours out of uniform, and roamed around Jerusalem, eager to say something to any of those interesting people I saw around me. Some were old with white bears, some were young philosophers (in my imagination). I wanted someone to hold me with their words, and I love hearing others peoples' stories. I imagined myself going over and saying "Hi, you look interesting..." But, oh, me! I couldn't. I stayed put. Every Single Time. Years upon years. Even when my legs started moving in the direction, my heart raced me back into place, and I stayed silent amongst these brilliant human creatures crossing my paths. So many of them around me!

This time I say to myself, "have I grown or NOT?"

This time I push myself up. I walk back through the bus to where the man is sitting.

I say, "I was thinking more about your question..." (about the Israeli economy.)

He smiles, nods, and quickly removes his belongings from the seat next to him so I can sit down.

He later asks me if I consider myself an anti-Capitalist. I say I don't know enough about Capitalism to determine that, but I am an Individualist. (He jokes and says, "I've never met any Jews who are Individualists." I think at first that he saying that for real, but he is joking. Jews are known to be Individualists.) I had never used that term before, but I like it. It's true to what I feel.

I'm an Individualist in the sense that I believe we as individuals should be given the freedom and the incentive to do what is right for us and to not have our needs be trampled on for the sake of a larger cause. For there is no larger cause than the wellbeing of the individual (and the obliteration of suffering from the individual).

I think of this idea again when I am walking by a pond in Whatcom Falls Park and people are fishing. In my mind's eye, what I see is people making a hobby out of causing suffering to sentient beings. Why not do something else with your time, like painting, or picnicking, or playing golf? In my head is the age-old statement, "...but people have been fishing forever...." Yes, I will reply. But in the very act are individual fish who are being hurt and separated from their families/packs. So if we have the option of doing something that does not cause suffering to individuals, at this present moment in time (despite what our ancestors have done for hundreds of thousands of years), why not do that instead? I never think in the general, but rather in the personal, and that is why I care so much about each individual fish (and each animal whose life is forsaken and not taken into consideration in almost every industry in the modern world). I cannot tolerate suffering caused to the individual. And the individual consciousness of each of us is really all there is and all that matters.

__

I cook lots of thoughts in my brain, but what do I DO?

I am asked what I DO.

I realize that my ancestors have worked hard to make a living and raise a family. I sit here with the privilege of being in a safe and comfortable home with a safe and comfortable and loving partner. I have the privilege of sitting in my warmth and reminiscing and ruminating, and being unsatisfied. I have the privilege of having a mind full of wonders and eyes that see beauty and hands that cook food and write and caress, and I have the privilege of knowing that I have passion and potential that have not yet come to fruition.

I feel that if I, too, shall find something to work hard on, maybe it should be a book. That is really all there is that I can possibly find a direction in. Every other of my passions is now scattered, not centered enough. But the writing, well, the writing is everything to me.

Someone asks what animal I'd be, if I were one. I say a goat. Goats always look so absent-minded, and yet they are still friendly and cute that you just want to pet them and protect them.


Friday, April 06, 2018

Believing in the Good Will

Restorative Justice and Nonviolent Communication are two philosophies of the same root, based on the belief in the fundamental good-will of humans that underlies all bad intent and violence, and in the ability to find peace and reconciliation through soul-searching and kindness.
I wish governments, police, armies, child-educators, and human society as a whole, would learn and implement these ideas, instead of the ones that are common in our society, of punishment, revenge and physical power and superiority as a way to try to right wrongs.
I believe that when people get to the core of their most fundamental needs (and are helped to understand those needs), it will be found that their needs do not contradict the needs of others and do not require inflicting violence on others. No violence is needed for a person to have what she truly needs. All violence, hatred and racism stem from unfulfilled needs.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Bulk


One of my joys here is buying in bulk, with bags/jars I bring from home. I appreciate buying things this way because this way we reduce the amount of disposable containers we use (plastic containers whose sole purpose is to carry the product from the factory to one's home, and then be thrown out into a landfill), thus in general reducing the demand for containered products, and also because some of the bulk items that are available here are organic and/or local, which are environmentally favorable, too.
I try to get what I can in bulk. Some things that can be bought in bulk, though, we found to be not efficient, like buying soybeans for soy milk, because the process is long and the outcome is not as yummy as I'd like. Some things, though, I do go out of my way to get in bulk, like coconut oil, which is sold in bulk in only one store, so I go there with my jar just for that, and fill up however much I need. Most of our bulk we get at either WinCo or the Community Food Co-Op (Tal at WinCo, I at the Co-Op). WinCo is an employee-owned supermarket chain, and the Community Food Co-Op is my favorite because of their ethics of sustainability and environment.

Here is a list of things we buy in bulk:

Vegetables
Fruits (we regularly buy bananas and apples. All other fruits are too expensive)
Flour (Varying between whole wheat, white and gluten-free)
Sugar 
Himalayan Salt
Pasta
Rice
Lentils
Beans
Split Peas
Quinoa
Oats
Granola
Chocolate Chips (we used to not get them, but then at some point needed some for a recipe, and then, well, I kind of got addicted. I have a sweet-tooth!)
Olive oil (we get small amounts of the oils, as we use them sparingly)
Canola Oil
Coconut Oil
Nuts

(Body Soap
Shampoo
Laundry Soap)

Things we (still) buy in containers/bags:

Peanut Butter
Jam
Soy Milk / Almond Milk
Bread
Coconut Cream
Tofu (tofu we can actually now get in bulk but I haven't done it yet)
Toilet Paper
The Occasional Clif Bar
Nemo's Dog Food




Monday, April 02, 2018

מִרְיָם


מִרְיָם

פעם ניסיתי למצוא משמעות לשם שלי.

היה איזה מילון - לא זוכרת כבר איזה - שלימד אותי ש"מִרְ" זה טיפה, ומכאן השם שלי - מִרְיָם - התפתח להיות "טיפה בים", "sea-drop". ובכן, אני מאוד מחוברת למים ולדימוי של מים, ואוהבת את האלמנט הזה בתוך השם שלי.

ופתאום, כאשר שמעתי מישהי משחזרת את סיפור יציאת מצרים בשבוע שעבר, נבזק בי חיבור בין משמעות השם הזה לבין המִרְיָם המקורית, מִרְיָם המקראית, הנביאה, שכל חייה היו רקומים בסיפורי מים.

מִרְיָם הובילה את עם ישראל בשירה ובריקודים במעבר ים סוף. "וַתִּקַּח מִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה אֲחוֹת אַהֲרֹן אֶת-הַתֹּף בְּיָדָהּ, וַתֵּצֶאןָ כָל-הַנָּשִׁים אַחֲרֶיהָ בְּתֻפִּים וּבִמְחֹלֹת. וַתַּעַן לָהֶם מִרְיָם: שִׁירוּ לַ-ה' כִּי-גָאֹה גָּאָה, סוּס וְרֹכְבוֹ רָמָה בַיָּם"

היא הובילה אותם דרך הים, דרך הכוח האדיר הזה שהוא המים, שבדרך נס (על-פי הסיפור) נבקע לשניים.

בילדותה, היא ליוותה את משה לאורך היאור כאשר הוא הונח בתיבה ביאור על-ידי אמו יוכבד. "וַתֵּתַצַּב אֲחֹתוֹ, מֵרָחֹק, לְדֵעָה, מַה-יֵּעָשֶׂה לוֹ... וַתֹּאמֶר אֲחֹתוֹ, אֶל-בַּת-פַּרְעֹה, הַאֵלֵךְ וְקָרָאתִי לָךְ אִשָּׁה מֵינֶקֶת, מִן הָעִבְרִיֹּת; וְתֵינִק לָךְ, אֶת-הַיָּלֶד. וַתֹּאמֶר-לָהּ בַּת-פַּרְעֹה, לֵכִי; וַתֵּלֶךְ, הָעַלְמָה, וַתִּקְרָא, אֶת-אֵם הַיָּלֶד".

ובהמשך, יש את סיפור באר מִרְיָם. הבאר הזה, על-פי המסורת, הוא באר מים שליווה את בני ישראל לאורך נדודיהם במדבר. על-פי הרב ויקיפדיה: "לבאר זו מיוחסות תכונות פלאיות רבות, והיא התקיימה בזכותה של מרים". ולבסוף, על-פי המסורת, המים מהבאר נגנזו בים כינרת.

ומפרש רבי עובדיה מברטנורא: "ופי הבאר - בארה של מרים שהייתה הולכת עם ישראל במדבר בכל המסעות. ויש אומרים, שפתחה פיה ואמרה שירה, שנאמר (במדבר כ"א) עלי באר - ענו לה."

"רבי יוסי ברבי יהודה אומר: שלשה פרנסים טובים עמדו לישראל, אלו הן: משה ואהרן ומרים; ושלש מתנות טובות ניתנו על ידם, ואלו הן: באר וענן ומן. באר - בזכות מרים..."

מִרְיָם גילמה את כוח המים, וכוח השירה.

מים ושירה. שירה ומים.

____


בהגדה שקראנו בליל הסדר הראשון הייתה פסקה על מנהג (שלא הכרתי קודם לכן) של "כוס מרים". מניחים כוס במרכז השולחן - דומה לכוס של אליהו הנביא - כוס של מרים הנביאה, ובה מים. ההגדה הוסיפה וכתבה, "יש משפחות הנוהגות להעביר את הכוס וכל משתתף מוסיף מהמים שלו לכוס מרים ומשתף ברכה או תקווה של חירות." 

____


בליל הסדר השני, הוזמנו למשפחה אחרת. הבית שלהם מואר ומעוטר בצבעים שליווים ובפריטי אמנות נעימים לעין וללב. ההימצאות בתוך הבית - ובחברת בני הבית - היא חוויה של התרפקות. במהלך הסדר, סיפרתי על הגילוי שלי מהערב הקודם אודות כוס מרים. הגילוי ריגש אותי כי הוא המשיך את מטאפורת המים-החיים הקשורים בשם ובחיים של מרים. המארחת - אישה קשובה ואדיבה עם עיניים בורקות, מיד קמה ממקומה וניגשה למלא כוס מים. היא הניחה אותה במרכז השולחן. אחר כך, רעיון הריטואל המקודש הזה זרם לתוך עשייה. בהתלבטות קלה אם ומה לומר, ואם בקול רם או בלב, המארחת הרימה את הכוס והתחילה. היא מזגה מעט ממימיה לתוך הכוס, עצמה עיניים ושיתפה בקול בחירויות שהיא מייחלת להם בעולם הזה. היא מסרה למי שישב לצידה, והוא בתורו מזג מעט מים, ואמר מילים יפות מתוך ליבו, והעביר הלאה...

What is one to do?


December 2017:
Alright, I'm in the world.
I made it through childhood. 
I made it to the start of the phase in which you
Interpret childhood and
Heal wounds.

What is one to do in life?






The cliches of yesterday are the profound insights of today

November 4, 2017:
In the shower I try to set my thoughts straights - or at least link similar thoughts with their like, grouped in categories, and those categories into separate levels of realization of the self, and those levels are lacking only the right words to be turned into a profound thesis of being. Some insights sound banal when I play them back to myself (they appear in my mind in flashing clumps and then are played back in words). These ideas are actually nothing more than possibilities, possible explanations of myself. I thought I was at a good pace and place of self-realization at ages 18, 19 and 20, when I felt I was transcending out of my cocoon and through my pains into true independent self, but realize now that that was only the beginning, the introduction, into finding ME - and that despite my adherence to the new and refining insights of then - I am surprised to find myself as a self needing - yet again - new revision.

And beyond - or instead - of talking about the thoughts on the self, I yearn to get to the core of the ideas themselves, to the raw and odd truths of my being, which I am only hinting toward but am not yet immersed in. I don't yet know how, but it seems that all my writing since 2006 (and before that) have been leading toward the full and underlying thoughts and cognitions, a body of work with insights in eloquent words, which will hopefully come forth out of me in the near future.


Lying


February 7, 2018:

When I was sixteen, and just started writing on my blog, I often used the metaphor of a "volcano" to describe how I felt with all the inspiration that was stored in me and had no seeable way out.

I feel the same way now, at twenty-eight. I am full of so much inspiration and joy, that I really feel I could explode. What happens is that I just cry. I cry because there is so much greatness and kindness in people. People love me and I love people. I have seen with my own two eyes and heard with my own two ears and felt with my own heart the genuine giving of others. I have witnessed beauty. I feel so grateful and so lucky, to have the capacity to hold so much joy inside a self which takes up so little space in the physical world but so much space in the cosmos of the spirit.

The most magical part of all the giving I have received from others is that it breeds more giving. Kindness builds kindness. Peace cultivates peace. I have been blessed, and I wish to be an intermediary of goodness: To get goodness, and to pass it on, to spread it around, to share it with everyone. To very literally help the world become a better and safer place.

(I also feel kind of embarrassed to express all of these feelings - and may delete the post tomorrow - because I am afraid I am standing on the tightrope between being naively genuine in my gratitude and between seeming vain. Ever since I was young, and despite being honest and rawly-open-hearted, I've always had this voice telling me I am lying or I am vain, and that underlying it all is my desire for attention. So I worry. I have this nature of getting really excited and really enthusiastic, and then writing about it, but then deleting it later on because I don't want to seem like I am drawing too much attention.)


Sunday, April 01, 2018

Real Shame


The real shame arises in the morning.
I once told myself, "never write at night. Wait for the morning, when the emotions are more balanced."
But how can I, when the inspiration is overflowing?
I don't wait - I never really do.
But then with the first opening of my eyelids in the morning, shame shoots back at me, into my stomach. Nausea. Regret. As if, all that inspiration that was colliding and kaleidoscoping through the venture of the night, all become little enemies I've amplified around my world. Little capsules of vulnerability and naked exposure, into my raw heart.

Real Words

The real words come at night, when everything is dark, when emotions ooze like lava out from the heart. Inspiration must be treated with the utmost respect, I say, and the light from the screen illuminates just the veins on the backs of my hands and the tip of my nose and eyes, and my breathing is under my arched back as I sit on my bed and Tal's hand is warmly at my side.

The real words are those which are, in their essence, a portrayal of what I feel or of what I felt. But how can words - letters - coincide with emotions, so colorful and vibrant and bubbling in a speed that the angleture of letters cannot reach?

How can inspiration - which is boundless and still bounded inside the mind - be reminisced into little black-on-white stick-figures of a language?

Hang-man of a real live emotion that is on the stake. 

And then the man goes home and the emotion is let down from the high rank of inclusiveness, and it all shimmers back down into its lulled version of plain genuine calmness.
A distilled passion.

The real words come at night, so full of treasures and potential, so radiant and ready to let myself be whatever it is my mind's eye sees. All the Miriams.

All that water that I anchored into my little space of realizations and revelations.

All that earth, that damp earth and words my feet have collected and co-lected.

All the songs, ahhh the songs, and the notes and the thoughts and the fonts and the wants - all of them,
Thank you, my loves.

Thank you.


The main question is pestering me with the largeness of all that I encounter.
The writing is what gives credibility to the emotional processes my brain goes through.
But oftentimes the overwhlemingness of human interaction subsides by the time I get home and I am at a loss for words because I forgot what it was like. So why not just let the experience be what it was, and move on? Well, because I want to analyze it. Because otherwise, it all feels void of meaning. And because it was so precious, and because I love the act of creating words.


Time in Bellingham



I walk through downtown Bellingham. Last week I told Shir that our recorded conversations are like podcasts. Maybe on "human cognition through the eyes and open hearts of two females wondering where time went". Shir records a message and sends it to me, and she talks as she ponders her emotions, and I hear it and record something back to her, in the days to follow, expressing my own cognitive realizations and revelations, and then a few days later she gets back to me...

I walk through downtown. The university campus is close to downtown, and on Friday nights students horde the buses and the streets with their hormones and lively vibes. I like being amongst it, being pattered with that energy. I have that, too, to an extent. Oh, thank heavens! I have that too. I have no children, and this allows me to be downtown in the first place. It is after I have been at Chabad, celebrating Shabbat dinner with about 25 students and the rabbi and his wife and their 4 little children. I feel so grateful when I am there - being surrounded by such genuine and kind people! Having the privilege of meeting these people - not all of them on a deep level, but even to share the same space with them - makes me rejoice at the goodness I have encountered. And sometimes we even get to sing together. And I marvel at the opportunity to sound through my vocal chords melodies that I love. And I marvel at how different tunes of being have brought me to encounters with different melodies of inspiration. There was once a love that I had that I want to write a memoir about. There was once I love that I still have, and there is now a love that I once had, and one that I am yet to have. All loves that were and that are and that are on the verge of being cultivated, become intertwined in the nostalgic night in Bellingham.

Sometimes songs remind me of many things, and--

I cry. I hold my heart so it won't disintegrate into tears--

__


The tears that welled up are still the star-blood of my body, weeks later, as we drive home through the familiar streets of Bellingham, after the light through the large windows elated the tides of the Miriams (that which I am and that which I was inspired into connecting to), and the Passover Seder, and the talking inside liberating whiffs of unechoed air... I say, "we found the one place in the whole United States that is just right for me. I feel that the frequency of my energies has found the right energetic receptors here, like I am on the same waves of inspiration with others; their words and actions inspire and excite me. I like them and they like me. I find myself crying from joy so often."

Coincidences and stories are the little tree-paths and mysterious hide-outs full of deep bursting foliage.

"I wish I knew how to write about them. How to tell about my experiences in a way that would be just as exciting as when they happened."

__

After inspiration, there is a method for dealing with it. It is not good to express it all, because then I am emptied of it. Although I do have a need to write it. So I must restrain myself. But it is not good to express none of it at all - because then it explodes and implodes inside me like a volcano locked inside the boundaries of a body. And inspiration is so immense. It must be treated with the utmost respect.







Dissecting

I want to work harder into the way of dissecting the lack of movement in me, as it rolls by nonchalantly and leaves me with half-words and little soft ideas that don't care if they are or are not, under the hot shower or while I'm eating something tasty, or as I sit and type type type. But what is truly there - what is the measure of distance between myself and time I am experiencing? How can I get closer to the essense of my self, passing through realms of socially-conventional oblivion? How can I be intentionally moving into a place of being, as all is passive?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Kindness


I believe I am a kind person, but reading books on kindness, like "The Power of Kindness" by Piero Ferrucci, expands my scope of kindness. It broadens my realization of just how significant it is to make kindness be a way of life. To be patient, empathetic and attentive, toward myself and toward others. To give people space and safety. To appreciate people - and to remind them of my appreciation of them. To be generous with my thoughts, ideas and skills. To share them. To be genuine and sincere. This involves having faith that my true inner self can safely be shown in the world. It's having faith in humanity. It's being vulnerable, and thus allowing and accepting the vulnerabilities of others, and that of the world itself. It is realizing that life becomes richer when you focus on those you love and on what you love, with a full heart. Not running around, but focusing. Focusing on what is now. Focusing on unity and connection. Being kind means greeting a grumpy person with a smile, or replying with patience to an annoying customer. It means feeling that the world is literally becoming a better place with each good intention and positive reinforcement, or even with each speck of beauty that the world unfolds in front of us. It is appreciating the little things, and being grateful. It means not pretending to know more than we do, and always striving to learn more. It means that working toward spreading tolerance and compassion overrides proving to be "right" (and perhaps finding that there is no definite "right"), and it means always leaving room for reconciliation. Kindness means saying Good Morning and Good Night, and not forgetting an old friend's birthday.

















Photo I photographed in Prague, 2014