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



Thursday, March 15, 2018

Nonviolent Anarchy



Emma Goldman on Wikipedia
Anarcho-Pacifism on Wikipedia (nonviolent anarchy)


Just putting it out there, so that you can learn together with me about some radical political movements and ideas. I looked up the latter after reading about the former and wondering if there's a nonviolent form of anarchy - which I personally am more attracted to. I'm wondering if I've always believed in some sort of anarchy without knowing it.

Noam Chomsky on Wikipedia




Guitar

I feel like there's a lot I'd write if I knew how to write.

Well, I'm improving on the guitar, and playing and singing brings me a lot of joy. I'm thankful for the ability to do those two things. I'm taking guitar lessons with the talented cantor of the synagogue. We're doing it with a barter system, where I babysit her children sometimes and she teaches me guitar other times.

Just another of the blessings of Bellingham.

Oh, and Springtime is finally starting!


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Waldorf Education - Every parent should consider this


(Copied from a facebook post I wrote:)

"...to provide an education that enables children to become free human beings, and to help children to incarnate their 'unfolding spiritual identity', carried from the preceding spiritual existence, as beings of body, soul, and spirit in this lifetime." (From the Wikipedia page, about the holistic philosophy of Waldorf.)
________
I would like to share my impressions from my visit in all the classrooms at a Waldorf school this past week.
(In Israel Waldorf education is called Anthroposophic אנתרופוסופי, but it is essentially the same.)
In each classroom that I entered, I saw teachers talking quietly to attentive children. The classrooms are spacious, lit, and furnished with natural wood materials. The lower grades have high ceilings, large windows, pastel-colored window curtains, and handkerchiefs hanging over wooden structures against one of the walls which is their free-play area. In one fairy-land (that's how it made me feel) that I entered, the children were in a circle, chanting or playing a game led by the teacher, who sat with them in the circle and led the game in a soft voice. Another of the younger grades was sitting around a table, eating soup and bread they had baked the day before. The teacher was sitting at the head of the table, holding a fairy doll, telling a story or chanting a prayer before the food, again - is such a patient and lulling voice. No urgency. No anger. One child was not at the table, he was in the kitchen area, not wanting to participate. The teachers did not scold him (as would most likely happen in a regular school).
In another room, young children were in transition - from outdoors to indoors - getting their indoor clothing on again, comfy clothes. Transitions are a part of the routine. There is a lot of patience for transition. There is no need to hurry.
Another class was in the movement room, having their Eurythmy movement lesson, while their movements corresponded with a story the dancer-teacher was telling.
In the older grades the students were sitting behind pretty light-wooden desks, with each child's name written by her/him on the front of the desk. On the walls of the classrooms (instead of the regular brightly-colored posters in regular schools) was artwork by the students and teachers made out of natural materials. When I entered one of the classrooms, one of the students was in the middle of telling about some beautiful nature she saw on a family trip in Utah.
I don't know if I am able to really capture the gist of it in these words. My impression was that I had entered a safe and gentle space where children can be creative and can learn from teachers who sing songs and tell stories, from teachers who listen as well as talk, who don't try to squeeze a thousand words a minute in order to transfer as much information to kids as possible. (From teachers who are actually fairies perhaps?)
Every child knows the routine and structure.
Free playtime and imagination are sacred.
Kindness and gentleness are the way.
To read more about Waldorf education:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education
*On another occasion I was at that same school for a weekly assembly, each week led by a different grade, for the whole school and for parents (and friends, like me).
The way that assemblies work in this school is that every adult and student who enters the hall takes a chair for herself from the stacked chairs outside, and when the assembly is over everyone returns her chair to the stack. I thought this was genius. So simple and so sensical. Instead of having a third party come and set up chairs ahead of time, you have every person take responsibility for herself.



Sunday, February 25, 2018

Time, 2




How do different people perceive time?

Do some people fill their time with as much action as possible
So as not to waste one moment?
While others do nothing - 
so as not to waste one moment?

Do some ponder how to be in a constant state of presence
While others are in a constant state of future - 
And is there a difference between those two?
(And do some people not ponder one or the other - and if so, what do they ponder?)

Future is just a lengthened presence, after all. There is no future, essentially.
(That seems so sad to me, but becomes more and more apparent to me as I grow up.)

I personally catch myself choreographing and narrating most moments of my bodily configuration in the world, as they happen.

But moments of happiness, for me, are those moments in which I simply AM without too strict or tense of a choreography and narration - a moment of "AHA, THIS IS A MOMENT OF HAPPINESS."

It happens often - Oh, thank Goddess for that! I am so grateful for that!
And those moments of joy, or contentment, or pure presence, give me hope that not all of TIME will be noticed by me. That sometimes I will let it go without feeling the need to wonder about it.

I don't like wondering about it. Better to not know that soon everyone will die and that there's nothing to make our lives "larger" than what they are.

There is a lot of beauty in the world. If you take a moment to notice it.


And how do you perceive time?
What do you want to accomplish in life - and are you already doing it?
How often do you have moments that bring you sheer joy, and do you believe it is possible to increase the moments of joy?





























Thursday, February 22, 2018

Time

I kind of figured out that I need a lot of home-time throughout the week, a lot of time in my safe places, to resonate with my thoughts, to write, to read, to drink coffee, to stretch out (physically and emotionally), and that therefore I really do not soundly take upon myself full-time jobs. I work at part-time jobs because it allows me the freedom to get the home-time I need, hence to be free of anxiety involved in spending too many hours out of the house which has been a part of my life in the past. I am currently looking for more jobs just because I really do not have enough money to fly and visit my grandfathers in other states or let-alone to visit my family and friends overseas, but I am a little anxious about this endeavor, and hoping I can commit to only one month, just until I have enough money for those flights I need.

Only lately I've become exposed to the phenomenon of many people - artists and others - who work part-time for reasons similar to mine. I have never met anyone in the past who has posed this idea as a way they conduct their work schedule on purpose, and so I kind of felt at odd with working part-time when everyone around me knows that a full-time job is the "right" way to go.

But now I realize other people work part-time as well - especially here in Bellingham, where living is affordable compared to other places. Not because they have children they need to tend to, but because they want time for themselves. 

Ahhh

But this does raise another question to me: If I am spending quality time at home for my thoughts and art, why am I wasting so much time on facebook? Why am I not creating much art? What is still stopping me from going all-out and coloring my life with more creation? This is a good question, and I tend on pondering it for the next while, and on working on implementing more of the ideas in my head...

And the question above that, encompassing that one, is: What is the best way to live out my life, with the frightening realization that I am stuck in my body, with the scariness of realizing that life is just one?





September 27, 2017:

I suffer when I work in jobs I don't love and when I don't have an adequate amount of hours per day to be in my home. I suffer because I'm scared of authority and strict rules and need my home space and a warm accepting environment in order to feel safe. I find jobs whose goals I believe in and that suit my passions (so I usually go for challenging educational jobs and not secretarial work or the like - even though the latter actually may be mentally easier for me), and I only continue when the person in charge of me is kind and not overbearing. I cannot tolerate being in a work environment whose rules I don't fully understand, and if I continue in such a job I dread going to it every day. I stay away from that dread by finding small jobs I love. I don't run after money. I don't really like money, and well I don't really think about money, because I spend much of my existence in the realm of the mind and the creative thoughts (but as Tal says, you can't buy groceries with the ideas in your head.) I live a relatively simple life so I don't need much money. And ultimately, I don't suffer in the present in order to save money for the future.

But then, after all, I am saddened by the fact that I do not have enough money to do the things my heart calls for, like buy art supplies for my art, a guitar to play beautiful songs on, organic food to support sustainable agriculture, supplies to make nice birthday presents for all the people I love, and a flight back from Israel when I fly there this winter. And eventually, in the next few years, to open the bakery of my dreams. To donate money. To help build more normal animal shelters in Israel. To support Israeli-Palestinian and other interfaith organizations. 

Some people know how to work hard. It just was never part of me. It takes me a few hours to conjure the strength to work hard, then I can work hard for a few hours, and then I need to rest and be in a quiet safe space for another few. This means I'm not one of those people that gets up at 6 am, jumps out of bed and leaves to work for 8 or 9 hours. I get up and need my time to get my bearings together, to sit quietly at home in order to not be scared of the world around me and in order to settle, stream through and develop the thoughts in my mind.

Jobs that work for me are jobs that are not too far from home, that are only a few hours a day, and that I have full confidence in, or jobs I can do at home on the computer, like editing, translating and graphic design.

What's the point of this post? Maybe just to shed light on an understanding that becomes clearer and clearer to me with time. The situation is a combination of my never acquiring the skill of diligence (Which maybe could have been taught in elementary and high school but never was), plus my need to be in a safe space with peers and not with overbearing adults.

So all in all, I'd like to just surround myself in hominess and beauty and create thoughts and images, and not have to actually go to work.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Love




I love my dog. 
When I put my head right up to hers
there is no distance between my heart and her sweetness
and I find serenity in the closeness to her.
I listen to her heartbeat 
and watch her breathe, And pet her fur, 
as each strand of fur comes out so miraculously from her skin 
and covers and warms her body. Her body goes loose with trust 
when she is sleeping, and her four sweet paws lay calmly 
on the blanket, with those little soft cushions at the bottoms of them. 
And her little black nosey
And her floppy ears
And those little dreadlocks of fur between her eyes
Going in every-which direction
But she doesn't care.
I love her so much. It is possibly the most unconditional 
and compassionate love that I have for any living being. 
I don't want anything bad to ever happen to her.
I want her to always feel safe and content.






Thursday, February 15, 2018

Patriarchy


Some thoughts

War / sexual assault / conquer / power / patriarchy / masculine governance and rule

Sarah Sanders was asked about Trump's idea of having a military parade in a press briefing at the White House this past week, and she replied that Trump is exploring ways to show pride, support and honor for the military, "the people who have served and sacrificed, to allow us the freedoms we have."

I wonder. Is this age-old notion true? Are wars and fallen soldiers in fact the sole impelors of the freedoms we have, as conservatives believe? Or have there been/can there be more sustainable and humane ways in play to cultivate peace between nations and to grant freedoms to people? Why do we continue to praise war, and to conduct war (and then praise the fallen soldiers who have died in the name of the holy war we sent them off to)? Or - a better question is - why are we still ruled by patriarchal power-thirsty people? Why are we still ruled by men? When will the feminine side have a say in national and international affairs? When will we overcome the poisonous patriarchy that still runs our countries?





Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Joy

I'm learning so much and it's joyfully overwhelming.
I haven't got a single way to write about all of it.
That's why I need to spend more time with my new friend C'elle, practicing writing, in that spot in the forest.
That's why I need to just start somewhere, right here, with the simple things:
I'm sitting in front of the computer screen, Tal is talking to his brother on the phone, Nemo is asleep on her favorite armchair, my knee is humming as it jumps up and down tensely because of the words flowing between my brain and the tips of my toes trying to find a way out.
I'm learning so much -- I'd love to share it all.

I drink coffee in the morning and joy fills me.
I walk along the streets of Bellingham and joy fills me.

Moments of inspiration are amorphic, untouchable,
So delicate, so encompassing,
So full and so joyful,
And their vastness makes them almost illusive
Makes them unholdable
Unwritable

Except for the little end-tails
The exclamation marks at the end
The aftertaste of a sweet dream.

I feel the touchable things around me
And that's all I can possibly write about:

The coffee, the streets, the outline of an experience larger than the sum of its components,
full of exploration, illumination, realization, love.






Tuesday, January 30, 2018



The posts that I write reflect specific emotions I felt at the specific time of writing the post. Often I later reread posts and don't relate to the feelings, the wording, or the significance of the posts in general. In all the years of writing on my blog, I have essentially believed that by writing down different parts of me, eventually I'd get a whole picture. That never seems to formulate, though, since there is always more to tell, there are always many more emotions, speculations and understandings that I did not write down. Sometimes it seems that the better part of me is still in my head, even after spilling hundreds of thousands of words out in this virtual intimate diary. I wonder if the beauty, wonder, self-admiration and attempts of self-discovery and self-redemption ever pervade. I wonder if I am and always will be my number-one fan, and you know what, I guess that's fine.



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Beautiful Things



I had an incredible birthday, abundant with the lovingkindness of the people I've met here in Bellingham. Without knowing what to do with all the gratitude, I made a little video with snippets of beautiful things I've videoed in the past two years, including me making my first steps on guitar about a year ago:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJRLjWRTfaY

Cards and gifts from the sweet kindergartners I teach

















Saturday, January 06, 2018

Here and There


"The thing about dreams is that when I look at the dream - when I aspire to be somewhere - I am an observer. But then when I get there, it's me there. I just walked -- from here to there," and I get up from the wooden chair behind the small round table and walk to the side of the room. "I'm still here. It's still me."
I sit back down. I jot down the idea on the napkin in front of me. The napkin also has musical notes and my friend's name, and two spectrums, to try to understand if "connection" (closeness, intimacy, feeling good with someone) and "dependence" (the inability to see yourself without someone, the need of the person in order to feel good) are two separate issues or if one is the extreme of the other, in relationships.
The warm tea arrives.
Halitatea, it's called. The name of the tea house.
In the center of Jerusalem.

"I say 'wow, that life looks amazing'. But when I get there, it's literally me there. I really cannot escape myself. And in that sense, there is no 'over there'. There is no dream - once I enter it, it is life, it is me, still struggling, still functioning from behind two eyes. Jealousy of other people's lives or of dream-lives (or even just the desire to be somewhere else) derives from the notion that this will not always be the case. That I will in fact be able to go 'over there' without bringing myself with me."



I'm feeling so much gratitude.

Friday, January 05, 2018

A meditation




MEDITATION


I sit comfortably


I relax my muscles,


Starting from the tip of my head


Until the tip of my toes


I relax my jaw muscles


The muscles between my eyebrows


My shoulders


My knees


I sit with my back straight, so that my chest and neck are open


My legs are folded


I take deep breaths


When words come through my mind


To tell me what I'm doing


Or to fill me with dread or other emotions


I intentionally wash them away


I wash away the words


With the river of my being


The current keeps going, flowing


I watch my emotions as they come and go


I watch them, I am not them.


They come and go, they wash away


The river keeps going


I breath


In


Out


I listen to my breath


I listen to the sounds around me


I breath


With each inhale I welcome the air into my stomach


I bring oxygen and energy into every part of me


With each exhale I gently let the air out


I listen


I breath


Words and thoughts are streams in the current


I don't let them linger


I don't struggle, either


I let everything loose


I breath.



Thursday, December 28, 2017

(Almost) Twenty Eight




-"You're only twenty eight..."
-"I'm already twenty eight. When I was fourteen I wrote a 150-page book, and I thought 'if I'm writing this book at age 14, I'll surely do great things in the near future, like publish at least a few books...' And now I'm double the age, and haven't done anything! Some people do amazing things, and I know I could too."
-"Most people don't do earth-shattering things by age twenty eight... Society is always telling us to do more, but we don't need to."
-"I could've been a fruitful me, if I was given the tools to realize my abilities. I studied in the school system for twelve years, throughout which I was not given any tools for self-improvement or the skills needed to bring into action the ideas in my head. Schools need to be more hands-on. They need to be more based on experimentation, on doing things, on just doing and learning how to do, instead of memorizing information and doing tests. Dry knowledge like math equations and WWII-era history fill a certain intellectual need, but my passion for creativity has always been stagnant alongside that and has never gotten a chance to grow. When I was younger, that was alright, because I always felt that the little commas and semicolons of art and creativity that I was able to produce might eventually become something, and that in the future I'd acquire the tools to connect it all, so it was all fascinating. But now those little commas are still all that come forth; a short video, a little drawing, a short text, and nothing becomes of them, nothing connects them. I have never in my life completed a long-term creative project. Never in my whole life. I don't know how. Even if I tried right now, I wouldn't know how. When I entered art school, I thought 'finally now I'll be able to express what's in my head.' But that didn't happen, and I finished art school with nothing that I really loved. I realize I just don't have the tools to bring anything into action. I often sit and look at my mind and think 'it's all in there; the beautiful words for a great novel are in there.' But how do I put those words together? The potential is in me. I feel it. Everything it takes to do the greatest things is already in me. My brain is a jumble just like it was ten and twenty years ago. It's a jumble that's always desperately searching for expression. My passion for creativity is a never-soluble issue, it's always bursting and it's always there. I never found the right receptors for my thoughts. I don't think it's just Western-society's urge of 'success and fulfillment' that's making me feel less than satisfied and detached, but rather it's my own intuition, which knows - and always knew - that I have the ability, but I need the tools and the inspiration. Still today, at twenty eight, I sit in a chair with my brain in my hand and don't fucking know what to do."



Thursday, December 21, 2017

One year ago (facebook reminded me)


Copied from what I wrote on facebook:
One year ago I saw a video from Syria of a man telling the camera he may not live through the attacks on his city, and it didn't feel ethical to sit idly while these things were happening. I messaged my friend Shir and asked, "do you want to arrange a protest of solidarity with me in the center of Jerusalem?"
That's how it started. We found another female friend - Roni - to organize it with us. Within two days, I got the police permit for it, we started publicizing it on facebook and making signs, and it ended up being the first and largest protest in Jerusalem last year in support of Aleppo which was under attack.
I went into it not knowing many facts about the politics behind the occurences; my brain doesn't process politics in a sustainable way. My only asset was and always is empathy and compassion toward those who suffer. I know that many people (including myself) often see this as a setback, and acting without knowing the backstory may in theory cause more damage. But it was so important to me that I did it anyway.
After we did it, though, I thought: What next? What do we do from here?
I wasn't supported in some of my immediate circles, and in addition, I really didn't know what further to do for the suffering people in Aleppo, and just as I had risen quickly into it, I also disappeared swiftly from the public arena on this issue. I wondered what the importance of a sporadic one-time action was. I wondered what the importance of my own place in that action was - if I so quickly left it because of outer convictions. I never felt like I finished my job there, I kind of just left it all open. I could've gone up to the border with Syria to continue protesting, I could have done other things, but I stopped.
And until today I'm not sure what to think about it. But this photo does make me feel that it was right to stand there with that sign, even if I didn't know what to say to all the people who came to the protest we organized, or didn't know what to say to myself, or didn't really know how a small human being, who doesn't have much capacity for dry knowledge, can help end violence in the world.

Photo by 
Tamar Herzberg-Shoseyov