Friday, February 15, 2019

Yeah

Easier to write to someone. Who's the someone? I won't tell you. Maybe I don't even know. In any case, this is for you. Because writing to someone is an incentive to write.

How am I to combine the things I write? I write here, and there, in all these notebooks, little tidbits trudged in snow-laden paths; ideas charm my mind as I awake in the morning and I try to jot them down in my bedside Morning Pages notebook - which has actually broadened its use and now holds writings from other times as well. Oftentimes I am inspired by Etti Hillesum. That is, when I read from her diaries from 1941. In a way, she wrote the way and the words I would want to write, if I was a little more sophisticated and intellectual. She was maybe just a more intelligent version of me, maybe a type four (Enneagram), too. Indeed introspective and nonjudgmental in her self-inquiry (or liberal in her lack of constraint to dogmatic rules, but loyal only to her own truths), which, like I said, is like me, just she did it in a wiser and more systematic and clear way. And actually - she didn't know her diaries would be turned into a book so maybe she didn't even try to make them sound perfect. (She didn't know she'd be sent on one of those trains too, and toss her last diary entry from the train, in which she wrote "we left the camp singing", and later be killed by the Nazis, at the age of 29.) And there is a secret and a virtue to writing in her style, whether or not you'll die, writing really what it is that is held inside, without trying to make it pretty. One of my problems with my self-expression is that I am aware of the human tendency for aesthetics, even in our words and opinions. And therefore I do not fully trust that my opinions are the truth. They surely are not.

When I was searching last week for a candle to light in memory if Ori through the boxes in the corner behind the coats, I found an oil painting I made back in Israel. It is framed in a black frame, too large on the sides, so the edges of the paper are visible. I don't remember if I framed it back in Israel or brought it frameless and found that odd frame here. In any case, I pulled it out of that box, and decided to place it diagonally on my bedside table, and now I get to look at it when I am going to bed or waking up. It is a painting of a leafy stalk I had found and  placed inside my red mug, back in the large living room on HaTibonim street. 

Later I felt kind of overwhelmed, after all the emotions, sadness, stagnancy, also movement and inspiration (sometimes physical movement, like when Tal put Arik Berman music on and I roamed and danced around the room, with my notebook open on the kitchen counter, and occasionally landed back in front of it and took the pen to my hands and wrote a few words out of the inspiration from his music, then kept on moving).

The next morning I do things "properly". I eat a properly healthy breakfast, and do things in a slow-motion kind of Zen way, which makes me feel fake, like I am in a movie, doing it for the camera. In reality, I am clumsy, and that feels more authentic, because I don't need to put any thought into it.

Arik Berman wrote that music during a roadtrip in the US. He videographed himself and wrote music, and then made music videos out of the footage, and it made me envy that simple ability to take what you do and turn it into art (sometimes he uses the simplest ideas and words, no fancy trills of ideas), and it makes me want to revisit the things I wrote and videographed on our own long roadtrip (vanliving). I feel that the little home we are living in right now is also part of our life on the road, it's like a little vessel on wheels, because we came to it on wheels and will leave it for wheels, and in it we are still rolling, still in the midst of out travels, physically, emotionally, spiritually, whatever.

Friend, I miss you.

Yeah. 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Israeli Palestinian Conflict

I go back and forth. I am too tired to elaborate now, but want to write that through my vision, there is no way to solve the Israeli Palestinian conflict but by diving right into the conflict itself and into Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. I see no other way, no other way. Personal dialogue is the only way a human can actively invest in making life better for all humans. Two state solution, one state solution, jumping into the ocean and forgetting about it -- whichever way the government chooses to go, there will be only benefit from inter-sectional dialogue. I do intend on writing in depth about Ori Ansbacher, a wonderfully creative and good- and sincere-hearted young woman who was brutally attacked and murdered by a Palestinian man outside of Ein Yael in Jerusalem last week. I do want to write about a long email I labored on and sent out so some friends about my sorrow, my strong bid for peace, my ambivalence, my understanding of Palestinian suffering together with my knowledge of Palestinian violence toward Israelis, and also - above all - my knowledge that I myself do not carry the objective truth (which is actually why I sent it to only four friends as of now). And this is important to me now, too, and feels strong in me now, after we watched videos telling the stories of Palestinians in the Palestinian territories. Some Israeli people have a strong opinion that certain politicians or political parties are completely ignorant, and I hold a different opinion and feel that each and every party and person is telling a truth, from their point of view, and I am humble toward all those points of view (although I may want to find a better word because I don't believe I am actually humble), and in a sense I agree with each one, depending on which point I feel right to emphasize at the time, for each party merely emphasizes a different side of the same truth. And therefore I feel this urge in me again to engage in dialogue. Sometimes I want to separate myself from this terrible Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because it is too hard, complex, nuanced, unsolvable. But then again I go back to the place of wanting to dive into human bridging, and the virtue, strength and importance of that, or even just the subtle fact that that is really all there is for me to do.


Friday, February 01, 2019

Bus




I tell Alyssa, the mother of the girls I am nannying, that I'm reading a book called The True Secret of Writing (which my friend Jay gave me on my birthday), and that it's giving me inspiration and some structure for ideas (although it does lack some spiritual depth and style, in my opinion). I say this because under my hand is a sheet of paper and a pen, and I was writing as she walked in. I tell her that once I let something I write out into the world, I feel both ashamed and empty of meaning afterward (she understands), and that this will be a serious issue I'll have to figure out, if I am to write a whole book. I say this as we are in the kitchen, after I put Cara to bed for her nap, and Lucy is watching The Cat in the Hat on TV. Alyssa is home briefly in the middle of my time there, before going out again for errands.


When she comes home again later, it is after the girls and I have played outside and read stories, and I leave those two beloved little silly gooses who wave goodbye and give me hugs, and I walk to the bus stop.


I stand at the bus stop alongside the traffic-ridden street, visually following the road as it winds back down Lakeway Drive, and I fixate my eyes on the spot where the cars start coming into view, where the pairs of headlight eyes twinkle into sight, one after the other. It reminds me of something, but I can't recall exactly what. Something that has to do with my grandparents, or with airports; a certain anticipation, in any case. My eyes stare at it, watching the lights pop forward, one, two, three, four... a humdrum rhythm. It's so cold out. I zip my jacket all the way up, but even with my scarf and hat my neck and face are snappingly cold. The cars zipping past cast a strong wind. I notice this only when there is a pause in the vehicle flow and the wind stands still and isn't nearly as freezing.


Finally the bus comes. I had told myself a few minutes earlier, at the estimated arrival time of the bus, that I envisioned it would arrive within two to five minutes (I know it is always a little later than scheduled, especially at this hour), and that that is the amount of time I would be willing to hold on to this meditative state. Beyond that, some threshold would be reached from which on it would be harder to be at complete ease with the logic of the bus's lateness.


Oh, the warmth in the bus. I love sitting in the warm buses at night when it's frosty cold outside. Buses at night remind me of those times I tried to envision in my writing in Alyssa's kitchen, when I tried to take the book's idea and write my story of love. It reminds me of riding late night buses to go visit cherished loved ones, back in the days. That is what I wrote about. Those are part of my love story, definitely. There were a lot of bus rides, all encamped in a sense of warmth and safety... Those small things, stretches of time and place, are part of the story, part of the essence, not just a necessity or a constraint.


We trot along, and I get off right past the lake, in which the shimmering lights from across the way are reflected. As I walk toward home I have this immense gratefulness in my gut, a welcome and strong sense of abundance, and a strong desire to write.


I get so excited from imagining all the food we have! The pineapple, apples, oranges, grapefruits, the dried pasta, rice, lentils, beans, chickpeas, the onions, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, garlic, mushrooms! So many wonderful products of the earth, raw materials from which to make a delicious meal, what a richness! It fills my heart.









Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Writing


The shades are half-open and the bright sunlight is illuminating the room this day. I hold myself near me when I talk of nauseating hardships, and then release my arms when verbalizing lighter and more aerated ideas, like my writing.

"I wonder," I say, "what the evolutionary purpose of [Enneagram] Type Four is. I mean, why would a person need to have others know of their uniqueness and individuality?"

"Well, maybe it's what moves them forward... What would the world be like without art?" she offers.

I say, "I did want to talk to you about my writing today. Because I have this sense that whenever I let my words out in public, they lose their meaning. It's like when they are in me they are this bubble of fascination, but once I let them go, they are depleted of all significance."

"The actual idea you wrote about?"

"Well, that, and everything in me and outside me as well. As if everything in the world loses some of its meaning."

"Why do you think that is?"

"Well, perhaps - possibly - I expect those who will receive my words to find them interesting, and to hold them in a certain way that will keep the delicate meaningfulness of them. But somehow I come to realize that all the receivers in the world are just little humans like me, and so a certain expectation is disappointed."

I go on. "I find this hard, especially since I want to write a book. Yesterday I had this sudden frightening thought that maybe writing a book isn't what I am supposed to do. But I have this big eager part in me that wants to be told, that has to be told to the world, but I don't know what, I don't know how, even though writing has been my passion forever. I don't even know how to start writing a book. I tried to sit down yesterday and start writing. I managed to write a few sentences and that's it. What do I even really want to say?"

"Well then," she says. "There is the answer to your question: That is the reason you have a need to share what's in you. If you didn't have that need, you'd maybe just forget about it. But you shouldn't. And you won't. It will come out eventually."

(View from the bus stop near our home, of Lake Whatcom)


Monday, January 28, 2019

Comfort


I remembered a text I wrote and posted on this blog in December of 2017. I wrote (in Hebrew) that with the time difference between here and Israel, in the evening, I can roam in my imagination to all the ones I've ever loved in Israel and kiss them on the forehead, and wish them well, because only softened by sleep, can such a gesture happen.

And the other night I felt a strong desire to add:

If you have ever loved me in your life, and I you,
Please allow yourself my offer:
That when you cannot sleep, or in times of emotional turmoil, you may imagine me
Stroking you, listening to your pain with no judgment, helping you fall asleep. Rest in my spiritual arms from across the globe of space and time. I truly love you and want you to be happy, and this sentiment is strong in me. So I offer this to you, that you may confide in me and find comfort in me, if it will let your head rest, that my heart is still (always) open, and take this offer to heart, for I am truthful about it, and it is the least I can do to share of the love I feel for All.

(Stream of water on the road to Mt. Baker)


My Birthday / Community

I have this problem... Words bubble up in my head, but when I sit down to write them I get physically nauseous.

In any case, I came home at night last week after my Sacred Song Circle, and I was utterly overwhelmed. I could have just called it a night with that simple realization, and gone to sleep, but no - of course not - I must stay up and write about it, decipher it, analyze it, get to the bottom of it - what is it? - why am I so overwhelmed by it?

And then slowly, over the next hours and days (exhausted from a lack of sleep and still having to go to work every day for a few hours, etc.), I search myself for insight, and it descends on me. I listen closely to what my mind thinks the core problem is, which happens while I shower or wash dishes or sit in silence, or tap tap tap at the computer, and I understand it better by writing little segments of realizations, at different times, to different friends, and I feel that each time I am escalating on the scale of preciseness.

So, there is a psychological complex, a sort of social superiority complex, by which I know something I am doing is liked by others (or I am aware of a change I am making in the world outside of my self), and that alters my perception of what I am doing. I want to stay sincere to the personal pleasure and meaning and inspiration it gives (like singing) while I am also aware that others receive inspiration from it, and so I worry that I am by no consent of my own possibly modifying it for their pleasure, or that I am overdoing it and not being sincere anymore.

This happens to me not only when I lead a song circle (although then it is especially amplified) but also when I sing in the street, or put up a sign in public, or make a public statement, or convince someone in the world of something of my beliefs. (Usually, I want to back down when I notice that my voice is in public - even though I want it to be heard. I want to say: Wait, wait, don't trust me - because I don't trust me - go do the research yourself and then find your own conclusion. With singing it is slightly different, though, because it does not involve claiming to know something about the physical reality and structure of the world - which I really have no idea about, but just allowing an emotional channel to open, and I perhaps have firmer trust and belief in this aspect of life.)

And also, this complex, whose umbrella term I usually call social overwhelmingness, entails in it a strangeness with appreciation: appreciating thank yous toward me but also feeling wary or later overwhelmed, because I am scared to know (to be aware of) what the limits of love are (afraid, ultimately, of my capability of actually being a bad person, which is a general complex I have maybe due to violence I have endured), or when it becomes "too much" to allow myself to accept (I don't want to turn the positive feedback into something I depend on, I don't want to want it too much, to let the desire for gratification run loose...), or what I have to do to not let them regret it or to not let them down, or when acceptance of gratitude turns into self-love - and what are the acceptable limits of self-love, anyway? (Can I think I am awesome in certain things, without seeming arrogant?) Or should there be a continuation, a reciprocation? Essentially the question is: where in my mind do I store thank yous? Do I accept them, put them on a shelf in my brain and and move on?

I admit it. I want people to know that I am unique and special, and I want to be recognized as such.

I also want to sincerely and selflessly share my few gifts with the world.

How do these two desires fit together? That is maybe the essence of my contemplation.

When others thank me sincerely, I don't reject it or become cynical (as some people I know do, and then out of discomfort they either reject it or shoot back an immediate response without actually accepting it). I think it is important to accept it fully, it nourishes and enriches the heart.

I appreciate each of the people around me so much. If not for their presence, their personality, their spirit, I would not have this vessel, this community, in which to love and be loved. If not for them, there would be no spiritual escalation for me, either.

(Song Circle for my birthday - faces of friends blurred for their privacy)


Monday, January 21, 2019

One Mission Statement


I sometimes feel overwhelmed because I feel I have a unique mission to do in the world, but don't know how to realize it. Sometimes it's a matter of trying to scheme out a plan, but this causes stress, amid the great weight of the mission vs. the great smallness of me.

One of these missions (I don't like the word mission because it sounds to me like Christian Missionaries, and in fact my type of mission is fundamentally nonreligious, but I can't think of a better word) is advocating a channel for open communication between parents and kids (especially in religious homes - of any religion), relating specifically to the body and to the child's needs, while also not shaming the child for any bodily function. This is super important to me.

I take myself as an extreme case - I have experienced sexual trauma caused by an adult and sexual trauma caused by a sexual dysfunction in my childhood - and I say to myself "if a child is like that, is there an open channel through which she can talk to her parents about it?" (I did not. I want others to have one.)

I sincerely believe that I have been lucky to be able to live through my sufferings and still become a vibrant, cognizant, functioning and creative person (despite and with PTSD, etc.) but that there are surely children who would not have made it this way. Maybe due to my personality or to other influences in my life, I always had hope and a rich internal creative world, which both helped me grow. But I am sure that some children's cases would end in depression or suicide. I am not saying this to gloat. I am saying this because it is SO important to me to not let children be stuck in the same kind of emotional prison that I was stuck in.

In certain families I see (from near or from afar, or not physically at all), I don't visibly see such a channel. It could be that families do have these discussions in private, but I do not know, and it makes me scared, and makes me want to make sure all parents in the world know how important it is. In certain families there is also more secrecy around private body parts, and it seems to me that a child is left to either ignore, or worse - dislike, her private body parts.

It is so important for me to raise awareness on this issue..

How should I do it?
I do not know.
It worries me, it overwhelms me.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Insight





I am excited! I have been the receiver of insight, wisdom and modular beauty that I'm constantly seeking, about myself and about the awesomeness of being. That is what makes me excited and motivated in life!

I have a lot to share, many unearthed schemes waiting to formulate into something precious, and that makes me slightly overwhelmed. It bubbles in my heart. It makes the tips of my fingers tingle with anticipation.



More about Type Four


I also took a *free* online Enneagram test to see how reliable the free ones are (because I want to recommend to my siblings to take it), and I got the same answer. Each place defines the Four a bit differently, and I identify with what it says here, too.

I am wondering what evolutionary purpose this type of personality has. Why does it exist? It seems so specific, and yet it is one of the nine types of all humans, according to the Enneagram philosophy. I am wondering also if there are certain types that more people have than other types. Let's check that out... Oh, it seems that 4 is rarer than some of the others. But still. What makes sense about this type? And how does this correspond to other personality tests, like the one with the four letter combinations?

The video of the woman I mentioned in the previous post is here.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Creative Self, the Creative Energy



The creative self, the creative energy... Oh, I get nauseous sometimes when I sit down to write, even though I am being summoned to it!!! 

Type 4... Enneagram Personality Type 4. Are you familiar with what I am talking about? It is a philosophy/science about inborn personality types. There are nine types. I was recommended to do this personality test by my therapist, and I did it. I am primarily a type 4 (after which come a combination of other types, too). Type Four, according to the Enneagram Institute website, is called the Individualist. It is someone who's main concern is Being Unique. They are often creative and/or artistic, are deep examiners of their own internal state and emotions, are very emotional (but very aware of their emotions), feel unique and different, and want the world to know that.

I found a Youtube video of a woman in Europe who is herself a Type Four, and describes what that means to her, after a lot of research. Much of what she says is true for me too. These things have been known to me, but the way she articulates them is much more concise and organized than I ever did, which makes me excited, because I am always on a search for more poignant and profound connections and webs with which to mesh self-truths together.

What it interesting and new to me is the thought that these personality traits are possibly inborn. I was actually born this way: unique, wanting to prove my uniqueness, deeply emotional (having a full vibrant array of emotions, and not being afraid to look straight in their eyes) and having a creative tendency.

The Enneagram has a chart, like a circle, with all nine types on it, and essentially the placement of each type relates to those on either side of it. Type Four (the Individualist) is in between Type Three (the Achiever) and Type Five (the Investigator). So we should understand a bit about those to get a better look at Type Four, she explains.

The Achiever's main goal is achieving, getting things done, doing great things in a disciplined manner, proving their achievements to the world. The Investigator's main goal is to investigate the world and learn more about it, be innovative and insightful, and they want to be capable and useful in the world. In between these is Type 4: Like the Investigator, wants to learn and know what IS and be truthful to what IS, and like the Achiever, wants to prove themself to the world. And thus we have Type Four: learning and searching, and wanting to show the world what they find through themself and their own self-inspection, self-expression and creation.

Cindy Sherman is also a Type Four - and I figured that we have that type of thing in common, when I learned about her in art school. She made herself be the art. 

The desire to be seen as special by others, the woman in the video says, may cause you to become (or to feel) fake. I like to believe that even though I do want attention from others, I do also use my sincere abilities to do so. I do not claim to know to do something I do not. I use the skills I have, what is rightfully there, to prove or to show or to express the discoveries I make about myself and about the world. (I want people to think I am nice, but I am also truthfully nice.)

It is true, and I think I wrote a post about this somewhere else but may not have posted it, that I am always aware of how I might be perceived by others (I am always looking at myself as if I am the subject of my camera lens). And thus, I am always concerned that what I am doing is only done to be seen by others, and I often am frustrated that I cannot be free of this thought. Meaning, I do what I truly want, and I often want to rid myself of any type of concern about what others think, so that I will stop worrying whether this specific movement is done just to be judged.) Do you get what I'm saying? I'm not explaining it really well (I will write more about this another time), but I only have 15 minutes left today to write this post, because I have to go to work, which is something I don't like doing even though I like my work, because I want to stay and write freely, I want anarchal time management, so that I can be fully fully free to create at my own pace. It's what I NEED! But here we have it, 15 minutes, so I will leave this mess here, and publish it anyway, because I want to. 

I am happy I discovered the Type Four thing. It is giving me more insight about myself.

And thus: a blog post. Because, well, of course. That is what it's always been: I make a discovery, and I have to share it.

Waldorf Education


I love the Waldorf (a.k.a אנתרופוסופי) Education philosophy and practice. It is the type of education that resonates with me deeply and that I feel realizes the inherent creative, spiritual and compassionate side of each human. I've been lucky enough to have been able to visit the classrooms at the local Waldorf school, and this week I got to read a short article about how it started, with Rudolf Steiner 100 years ago right after WWI, and it has inspired me even more... "Is there a way to educate children so that they will become human beings who will not make war, who will be able to live in peace?"


Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Same Shapes / Hugging That Which Exists

I meant to add to my previous note "... Unless there is another solution for taking care of Nemo which I have not thought of, but which you are sure will be good for Nemo."

In any case, as of this moment, I am alive and well.

I am a little overwhelmed because of the things I'm trying to fit into a two-week visit. Friends and friendship are the essence of my life's content. And here, too. Generally I try to not overschedule myself, because I like having time to breath and contemplate after human interactions, but here, it seems I've been away from the country for so long, and have so many dear friends to get together with, to share energy space with, that I do not have the luxury of scheduling only one meeting a day. Sometimes I feel bad because I need to leave quickly from one friend to get to another, and this sounds kind of paradoxical and missing the point, but I do in fact gain a lot of emotional matter from each meeting, so despite having to leave someone to get to the next one, I do appreciate not missing any of the important souls who enamor my life with color. They are each a grassroots prototype of something awesome that I relate to. They represent lives that I love being immersed in, and each in her own way is going through a certain path, but all alike are going through these separate paths alongside the same landscape: the semi-desert trees, the mediterranean heat, and some with the Israeli-nomadic-rooted type of culture illuminating their journey. Some lay out my favorite (Israeli) food: toasted bread, tahini, avocado, vegetables with a tad of olive oil and salt, in handmade ceramic bowls.

Ahh.... A breath of air... A hug. I photograph each one with my digital camera, and also with black-and-white 35 mm film in the Pentax camera, which I will develop at the beginning of next week.

I talk a lot and become ever more aware of the constraints of my mind. This happens because sometimes, when I try to explain my current mind-situation, I end with "...I don't know...", and it is true. I really don't know. I am not able to make logical schemes. Sometimes, though, I say things that make sense to me, and my friend says something that make sense to me, and somehow it is the fitting of another missing puzzle piece of heart-voices escalating through the landscape. I paint with water-colors with one dear friend (who used to be my sister-in-law) and her 3-year-old son (who is kind of like a nephew). I write "לחבק את היש" (To hug the "is"/ To hug that which exists) and my friend likes the way I color the page, with swirling brush strokes. I reluctantly explain why I feel I am not creative enough. "I only know how to draw the same shapes. I'm not creative in figuring out how to draw new shapes." And then I realize, and add, "the same is with my mental ability, with my speech, with my expression in the world: I only know how to draw the same shapes."










Monday, November 19, 2018

As I customarily do before I fly overseas, I am again writing some instructions in case something happens to me that will cause me to no longer be alive or functioning.


First of all, if I die, I accept that sadness and longing are an integral part of the separation. I do ask of you (each one of you, dear family and friends), though, that after you allow time for grieving and pain, please rise from them and keep on living life to the fullest, being productive and happy, conquering the beauties of human ability.
I know I often say that I have not done enough yet and that I am not doing what I feel I should be/can be doing, but I also do feel that as of now, I have shared enough words in the world to form a pretty good picture of who I am and who I was, and that really no more words are needed. I am young, but I have said a lot. And also, despite my complaining, in this life right now in beautiful Bellingham, I live with Tal and Nemo, and they make my life so warm and pleasant. I am so grateful to be living in this sweet home with them and to get to spend so much quality time with them. Thank you, Tal.
These are a few things I did want to get done in my life:
Build a normal (good) dog shelter in the Beit Shemesh area and/or other areas, where the dog shelters are abysmal. The dogs would have comfortable areas, and the staff would be well-trained and well-caring, around the clock. I also want to create the community/sustainable cafe-art gallery-guest rooms-traveler hub. I also want to make an art exhibit with my art. I also want to travel around the world and volunteer with children. I also want to write a book. I also want to feel whole.

Nemo is my dearest. I know she loves me, and I love her too. I want to go on my travels knowing that if, God forbid, something happens to me, she will be taken care of in the best possible way. I do not want the responsibility of taking care of her to fall on Tal, unless he full-heartedly wants to. But he shall not feel bad about not wanting to, because I want him to be a free man who uses his talents and does the things he loves. So (unless Tal full-heartedly want to take care of her) Nemo should be brought back to Israel on a flight with someone who loves her. If she must be put in a crate she should be trained well to like her crate ahead of time, and to have things in it that make her comfortable, and the airline must be a trustworthy one for regulating temperature, etc. In Israel she should be taken in by someone who loves her. People who come to mind might be Gilad, Samuel, Dena (although Dena has another dog, but I do want to state that I know it is possible to train Nemo to befriend other dogs, by starting them off in a neutral area and slowly getting them closer, rewarding with treats, etc.), or other people who know me and know Nemo and feel they can do a good job being loving toward her, giving her hugs and kisses and compassion and a warm and safe place for the rest of her life.

Tal, please live on. Please conquer your mountaintops. I love you, we had a really unique and special time together. Cherish that and take that and keep on striding forward :)

I have many things, mostly in Israel. Now, while alive and active, I am hoping that the people who will go through my stuff will be people who appreciate who I am and hold no awkwardness toward my being; people who appreciate art - the sloppy, internal, colorful and exerpted kind.
I love everyone. Every one. Everyone's inner compassion. That is what I see in the world around me, and that is what allows me to live without much anger.
I encourage all of humanity to use their compassion to its fullest. To be patient and attentive, and above all - honest, sincere, authentic, true. Ah, what a blessing.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Meaning


There are things that are meaningful and inspiring, if I let them exist without repressing them with thoughts of "nothing really matters." If I manage to quiet that voice, I can give wings to inspiring moments. Let them soar, let them lift me, as if they are a real thing even for just a moment, and don't negate them, I say. Even if there are substantial philosophical levels of existence and intellect in which they don't matter, in the course of this little life, they do.



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October

End of October:
Nemo was very ill. Sometimes I hugged her and held her for hours, and other times I stared at her and cried and cried because I didn't know if she'd even return to being her regular self, and I felt so alone in the pain, in the darkness. 
And finally, after some days, Nemo's eyes became lively again and her body jumps and runs again, and I am the happiest mama ever, enjoying and appreciating every little movement, as if life is actually built up of these tiny milliseconds of joy, in which there is no concept of fulfillment but only heartfelt compassion. 

October came and went like a hush, like a migraine, like a sob, like a leaf falling from a tree effortlessly; time passes like a river, and in it I wake and I sleep and I tire and I toil emptiness, and also an abundance of warmth. I tread water through the book I haven't written, through the thoughts I haven't poetized.

I walk around and my eyes are heavy and I know I must be doing something wrong inside this scrutinous beauty of a life. I wonder what will make me feel healthy and good, vibrant, alive, inspired. What is it that I want, I ask myself as I flurry from one pose to another (although the question is somewhat blurry) - standing in the kitchen, then sitting in the chair, again on facebook, again staring at a screen, again and again, I need to get things done, what am I doing. I think of all the things I wish were different and the thoughts make me squirm because they are too hard to hold. 

I wish we hadn't accidentally make the cooked apples too sweet for the kids on Sunday;

Thoughts like this (each week it is something different that I did wrong) are like a knife into my equilibrium, making me squirm and turn in my bed. How silly of a thing! And how painful is my reaction to it. I go on facebook on my phone to distract me because the thoughts are too hard to bear, until my eyes sting, and when I put my phone down and am called back to it but don't want to be addicted to it anymore, Tal says "just focus on your breath", and this is so hard, but sometimes I manage, I close my eyes and I breathe, until I start thinking peaceful thoughts, and I fall asleep peacefully, without my phone, and I dream pleasant dreams.

I wake up in the morning and I have so much I need to do I haven't gotten done, so when I wake, after the initial moments of grace before remembering what I am, I remember again and I get a stomach ache. And then I push myself up and out of bed, and finally toward the bus stop and I run and run and run because always something makes me late, and then I sometimes miss the bus by 30 seconds, as I am at the corner crossing toward it and it slips away from the bus stop, and then I need to order a cab, or I make it to the bus, sweating, and need to strip off my layers of jackets as I fumble to find my bus pass, and I go to one of my jobs, which I am relatively good at, and then I come home. 

And one moment, one day, through my blur of an existence, I make tea in my kitchen, and I suddenly feel enwrapped in gratefulness for hot water; tea! Oh, glorious tea! How wondrous is this moment; just a pocket of time in which there is only the glory of Tea. I make it and I feel so joyous.

I sit back down with my tea. And my eyes are heavy. Every night I remember all the things I need to do and haven't yet done but which I am just not able to do. I do things slowly and I am always stressed because I'm always about to be late (and something is always about to leave me), and I sit idly and humble and tumble in my little cocoon and pet Nemo, and other than that do nothing that brings me what I need, unless what I need is the sleek passing of time and the humble recognition of the things around me (is that all there is, perhaps, despite the passion in me?), and I let my time go through me by reading posts on facebook, and I gain just a momentary satisfaction in my idleness but a general chronic spiritual and emotional pain.

And I always want to write (which is my true saving grace, purpose, calling), but am always too tired when I finally sit down to do so. Writing fills me with meaning, with joy. It requires time, though, and a full stomach and a quenched thirst - but I am always hungry and always thirsty and always tired, and my back is always arched, so my writing is always tense and is always like air in the middle of a swallow, but it's here nonetheless, because I can't live without letting my fingers prance across the keyboard and give me little bursts of truth.

For a moment I feel free, as I am walking somewhere one of these days. I slide through time in the shape of an avenue of tall orange trees swaying on my right and on my left, and between them is an open blue and chilly sky. I feel free for just a moment in time. 

Is all I want really just time and inspiration to do art and to write? And if so, what's holding me back? I should be able to do it. I don't set time for myself to write, like normal writers do. I write in between tiredness and sleep. And I write in fragments, in little passages, little sighs, innuendos. My system does not know how to do longer things. After years of this struggle, I refuse to call it Laziness. It is deeper and more sore. I am lacking a skill that is needed to assemble a dream and then to sit in it.

At night I am so grateful and warm to be sleeping next to Tal. It brings me serenity and contentment. And under the blanket of warmth, in words that reassure and calm me, I say to him, "I don't know what to do with my life. I am not willing to call this my life. If I were to die now, I'd feel that I didn't fulfill my calling."

I do worry that I will die. Of course. And now even more than usual: I am flying next month and that always draws a certain level of anxiety. Not terrible, but a little bit. I hate leaving Nemo; that is the hardest part. We both have separation anxiety; that is my conclusion. But I also decide that it is a good lesson for me to be temporarily separated from this deep earthly connection. 

Nemo is now better. She is sleeping restfully next to me; her sweet face is at ease, she feels safe. Hallelujah. Glory! My sweet little girl! All I want is for her to feel safe.

My eyes are so heavy, I have a headache. I can barely write, even though I want to. 
The top of my spine is hurting because I am crouching over the screen. I don't have a proper desk or a proper chair, or a proper mind, or a proper plan.

I am what I am.

Goodnight.





_____

Nov 4


I find new insights as Tal and I delve into another deepening conversation about the differences between us. These discussions (any discussion that allows analysis of my Human Experience) give me life.

I was so confined. I was in a corner. Literally - the corner of the kitchen, and I didn't know where to move. Right? Left? "Help me. I literally don't know what to do." When frustration and fear collide, I become stuck, sometimes in a very physical way. 

So we started a discussion. And slowly my body found its way to a chair, with a pen in hand, scribbling little tidbits as we spoke, freeing me.

Analyzing the Self frees me.

I do realize that this vast amount of time my Self needs in order to process and to think and to feel fulfilled, is a true necessity. The ghost of an expected "regular" job always tagged along behind me, telling me I was lazy for only wanting part time jobs so I could sit at home and think and write. But I realize it is deeper than that, and I refuse to insult myself by thinking I am terminally and chronically lazy. I have a lot to process, a lot to channel into insight. I am never done processing. And that processing itself produces the inspiration! The overwhelmingness, when recognized, given space and made into an art form, turns into an inspiration and a motivation, which ultimately gives my life meaning! The grasping onto the lush and rich and painful and lovely past and present, and turning it into an insight, gives me profound liveliness. 

That needs my attention and time. When I work, I am doing things that are important to me and that I am good at (and in which I make money to have food and a home and to fly to Israel, and which contribute to the community too, which are all important things) but still they interfere with the fundamental core of what I truly need - time to think and to create ideas and inspiration (which is a means and an end, perhaps) at my own pace and time, with myself and/or with other people, freely. (A balance is made, and that is important.)

This struggle of creation is a hard struggle in itself, and one of my main obstacles is not having an art partner to bounce thoughts, ideas and inspiration off of. I have inspiring communities, but these are not daily immersed interactions; I sing myself down the street, I hum niggunim and I move my arms around catching onto little sparks of inspiration from the air, but ultimately I am alone in it, and that causes a restriction, a sense of inability, a debilitating frustration and sadness, which is an unnecessary burden on top of all the other inevitable hardships of life.

(I have briefly written in the past about the desire for a shared consciousness with others, to fight the loneliness of the human experience, but I shall write more about this idea in depth another time.)

We just watched a documentary about Nietzsche, which inspired me to take this little moment in time, and remember it.


(Imaged: a sketch of myself from 2011)




___


Nov 2

Film photos and the glory of a rich past סרטי צילום מפעם, התרגשות מהזיכרון
_____
I am experiencing an overload of excitement. I forgot. In the past few weeks I've been feeling zoned out of myself, feeling that I am far from any type of physical creation in the world. I totally forgot that during my time in art school, between 2012 and 2015, I took hundreds of photos with my grandfather's 1970 Pentax 35 mm film camera and also with a medium-format (larger) camera, of people and places in my life, and the things that were Home to me (mainly around the area of Emek HaMatzleva in Jerusalem), and I developed those photos (the black&white ones in the school's darkroom, the color ones in an external lab), and scanned them, and they tell so many stories to me, and are blemished (I never retouch scanned film photos, so all the scratches stay on them), and are beautiful in my eyes, and I really want to share them somehow, maybe form them into an exhibit. I came across them because I am looking for a photo I took of a really unique old man from Jerusalem whose life story has been placed in my hands and I am (and have been for the past 4 years) working on editing the material I have to make a book about his life - and I will tell about him in another excited post which will come soon. For now, just two photos of mine, part of my own life story.


פתאום נזכרתי במאות הצילומים שצילמתי במצלמה האנלוגית, בין 2012 ו2015. צילומים מהאנשים ומהמקומות שהיו בשבילי בית, בעיקר באזור עמק המצלבה. פתאום גיליתי אותם, תוך כדי חיפוש של משהו אחר.




____

Oct 31

My fingers prance along the screen trying to type words as fast as the colors in my mind stream by and entangle in deep reels of inspiration. 

There is a barrier, though, that I am never able to pass; some kind of mind block that needs to be broken, somehow. I am a being full of amorphic stories, an artist whose art is only in her head, and I am waiting for the day when I will discover how to channel it out into the world of Real Things. I sit in my therapist's office and I look out the window at the yellow tree, and I tell her I don't know how to do anything, and another time, the bus leaves the station right as I am turning the corner toward it, and I run and run, and I seem to always be running but also sitting idly, fantasizing and basking in my lack of action, while letting a deep distaste and dissatisfaction rile up into my life. And other times I sit down to write and become nauseous and hungry and thirsty right away, and my back arches over the computer and the top of my spine hurts and my eyes become droopy under the weight of all there is for me to write. 

I have lately been accepting the notion of the possibility of bad things happening, more than ever before, and have somehow glided into a solemn place of acceptance (of a lack of possessiveness over the physical things and beings I am attached to) and also of faith (relaying certain worries on the Creation). I really do believe that I might die prematurely, in a terrorist attack or in some other way, and in a sense, in the hazy flow in which I'm living, I am okay with that and I am not worrying about it anymore, and am even imagining what people will say about me after my death. (There is something reassuring about this and sometimes it seems more appealing to die and let the good you be put on a pedestal than having to keep on living this hard life and reaching higher standards all the time - and this is a truth I noticed while I was waiting for a bus on a new road and cars were whizzing by and trees were sifting through time and my body was standing still and just thinking). 

But I do want to live, too, because I have a lot to do. And in this little flow of things, I find it hard to stop and grab on to a Plan, which will ultimately allow an easing of the gush of words trying to flow out of me; a soothing canal through which the lava will be able to stream into the ocean instead of bursting out of the volcano in uneven blurts; a leveling of dunes to form understandable paint strokes.


So my fingers do dance along the keyboard, on late nights, and type all sorts of words, which are essentially little innuendoes trying to figure out how to become in the real world what I am in me.






Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tired



I wanted to write a lot. 

For the past two weeks.

I'm tired. 

Always.

No time to write.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Self's Ethics vs. Political Ethics / Being Small in a Large and Impersonalized World







































I am thinking about human cognition, about the self, about self-doubt and self-dignity.

I saw a neighbor's door wide open this morning while they were at work, and their dog was at the door, barking away. I went over, yelled inside "is anyone home?!", and when no one answered, I closed the door, because if for some strange reason the door had opened, at least I didn't want their dog running away. Losing a dog is heartbreaking. Then I felt ashamed for having made a change in property that did not belong to me, and carried a heavy feeling with me for a while, as I left the house and walked to the bus stop and got on a bus, did my chores, and then rode on a bus home.

Information from Yuval Noah Harari, philosophy classes, and inspection of my own self, collided while riding home on the bus today, as I pondered beauty, essence, and my misfortune in not really knowing how the world runs but only knowing of my own will to do good, and sitting next to intellectually disabled human beings who were also riding the bus.

I compare my strange mind to theirs, and well, while the mentally disabled are not held responsible for their actions, the mentally "able" (which I guess I am considered) are. But knowing of my own wobbly mind, I wonder at once who is to say that the mentally "able" can have such a high level of reliability as to be held accountable for misjudgment and misbehavior (or good judgment and good behavior).

There are two separate issues here which I will discuss and which I tend to mix together here, even though they are essentially two different things, and maybe someday I will be intellectual enough to analyze each one separately: (1) Determinism, which I have discussed in other posts, the idea that I do not actually objectively choose or create my actions from a free-will point; and (2) my own system of ethics not necessarily corresponding with the political-external system of ethics, and this being a source of fear.

Sometimes I am so scared in this world, because ultimately I am alone in my own self. Others can sympathize with me, but if I do something "wrong" (or if I do something "right"), I am the sole bearer of the responsibility (and I am the sole one on the acclaimed pedestal of that good deed) and I will be sent to jail alone (or praised alone). But when I do an act in the world - be it trying to help others, or doing something without noticing I'm doing it, or losing track of when I am in time or being absent-minded, or even just when I am my own self, swimming in my own thoughts, values, ethics, and neurological patterns - I ultimately do things my way, and not in the way of a legal system. My way, meaning the way my mind understands reality, the way I feel will help the most at the moment, etc. And knowing that this little wobbly system of judgment is responsible for all it commands the body to do, and will ultimately be alone if it commits a crime in the big external world, is scary. Mainly because  I don't even know what constitutes a crime, because the system by which my mind creates action does not correspond to the external political justice system -- and this may be the main issue here. (And often I may believe that doing something is right, while it is technically illegal, like freeing animals from an abusive facility, for instance, and all I want is to do good, but I may end up in jail if I do it.)

(The psychoanalysis part of this, scars from childhood: I deeply fear scoldings, I doubt myself, and there is a big disconnect and disharmony between the experiences of Miriam as a conscious individual, and the external and sometimes patriarchal world that ultimately controlled much of my life.)

I often look to others to see what their opinions are (or to get information about the world), as if their opinions are more valid and fact-based than mine. But in essence, I assume that every human is just as feeble, lost and floating as any other (unless I am misinterpreting the world, and in fact others' minds are more straightforward and stable than mine). And in a moment, all the enlightenment, by which the Human is the height of all ethics, the conjugator of right and wrong, seems to be humbled.

A human who commits a "crime" - be it killing someone, stealing money, or even just letting their dog pee on the edge of someone's grass, like I do - can be potentially punished. If I were to be punished for the latter, I would feel so lost in this world. And is there really a difference between one crime and another?

The same forces that have me not committing significant crimes (the same thought-patterns which bring me to do or not to do an action), are perhaps the same arbitrary forces that urge someone to commit ones. The determinism that I sense is the underlying factor of my life's occurrences, is the same determinism and misfortune a human might experience when they are homeless and break into someone's home to find food. Perhaps even the same determinism that compels a person to kill. Just as I don't actually choose to do a certain act that seems "good", even though I feel like I am completely free-willingly choosing to do so (which is something I wrote about in a different post) but do it because that is just how my system rolls (in such a way that I am deterred from causing harm and try to cause safety and joy), another person might end up committing a crime. I feel that me not committing significant crimes (and me doing certain acts that seem "good") is random (or, is due to biological circuiting in the brain, upbringing, etc., but still not having to do with the consciousness of Miriam. The concsouness of Miriam does what it knows to do: Protect others from harm. But why? Is this an objective decision I made when I was born?)

(I feel like all the actions I do are not objectively chosen. The reason I do not hurt others is because I have it deeply embedded in me to be empathetic. This is due to many things, such as my genetics, my upbringing, my society, my sufferings and my joys, books I read, etc., but these ethics are (a) not something I can claim credit for, because even choosing which books to read, for example, were something that my inner self just did, without a conscious reason; (b) not having to do with any legal ethical systems that are outside of me. This thought actually leads me to the idea that perhaps a system of no laws (= anarchy) does not cause chaos and crime? But this is a deep philosophical question which should be placed aside for now, because it cannot be discussed without me thinking more deeply about it, and should not draw the ordinary responses of "of course it will cause chaos and crime" because I don't believe the answer is clear-cut.)

My conclusions for this may be three things: (1) Possibly "punishment" for crimes should be switched to Restorative Justice. And I am saying this now from the point of view of not being able to hold a human accountable for their actions (even though I do believe in Restorative Justice for other reasons too) - whether this is due to the idea of determinism, or to the idea that personal ethics do not correspond with public ethics (so here the two ideas come together). If a homeless person breaks into a home, instead of putting them in jail, maybe there is a less harsh solution so that they will refrain from doing it again in the future, and also will have all their needs met; (2) Maybe the Human Being is NOT the ultimate medium for justice and ethics, and just as I don't want to be held accountable for losing track of the date today, I don't want someone who stumbles into crime to be sitting in jail for something they didn't actively say "this is what I am going to do" about. Yes, things that can be dangerous to others should definitely be stopped and prevented. There needs to be a system to protect the public from violence, etc., but that is still different from the system of Punishment that we have today. I write this with a pinch of disagreement, because I do want certain people to be held accountable, like sex-assailants, but I shall analyze this another time; and

(3) referring to what I wrote about "going to jail alone": I wonder how the world would look if everyone took part in punishment for an individual. If I am part of a community, for instance, I take part in the joys and the sorrows of the community, and if one community member commits a crime, I can take part in bearing the pain of it, I mean physically and spiritually - a kind of unification, a kind of shared consciousness. I want to remember this idea, because I find it harmonious.

And just another thought on this: Me suggesting that the human is not the epitome of justice, can be a dangerous suggestion, because it alludes to the time when "God-given" commands were the rationale for judgment and punishment, and not much significance was given to the individuals' needs. What I would say, though, is that I am perhaps thinking of a world in which individuals' needs are the ONLY measure (similar to a "libertarian" opinion, maybe?). I really do believe in the importance of individual liberty and freedom, and accommodating the needs of a person as an entity who is searching for shelter, warmth and companionship is of fundamental (and sole) importance. (I have written about this in other posts.) This is the belief that a person can know what is good and right for themselves, and while it may be true that a person can be confused and not really know the world inside themself and around themself, and is kind of floating through existence, they still needs to be able to express what they need to survive in the best way. I am saying this because one of my biggest fears as a little floating female human is that my own needs will be trampled (as they have been in the past). It all stems from that, and that is the essence of all that I am writing:

(1) My mind and brain are messy
(2) My desire is to be safe

And, of course:
(3) I don't want anyone to yell at me; the underlying plea from the entire world.


___


And then everything changes.

I leave my house in the evening and walk over to the neighbors' house. They are home from work. I ask if anyone was home this morning, and tell them that I found their door open when they were at work, and that I closed it.

They were so grateful and so thankful. They said maybe it was the wind. And that it was so great that I closed the door so that the dog wouldn't leave.

And then I think - hey, maybe I do have good judgment in the end.
But you know - if they would have been disappointed or angry, I would have doubted myself from now until next year.

So who knows what's right in this world?