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 do want to get done:
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.

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, 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.

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? 




Sunday, September 30, 2018

Desert


I want to write and write and write 
without feeling that time is running out 
and that I should be doing something else. 
It's one of the only things my bodymind can willingly DO;
Most other tasks in life are heavy. 

There is a problem, though:
When a story is in me I feel overwhelmed
But after I finish writing it,
I feel emptied of it,
So empty.



Photo from 2008


***

I am sometimes reminded of all the lives. You know that one over there in that caravan (trailer) in the desert?

Odelia sends me a message.

She tells me that she's been waking up late in the mornings but that she prefers to wake up early.

I tell her that I rarely wake up early, but that when I do and smell the fresh air outside, it always reminds me of the mechina.

I imagine having my (future) cafe in the Arava desert and taking a day off and tremping in the sun to go visit her in her caravan in the Judean desert.

She will pour tahini into a bowl and then wipe the edge of the container with her fingers and lick them, and then she will cut tomatoes and onions into a hand-pottered bowl, and place them on the little round table.

That's where she lives now. But I love her mother's home, too. I realize at once that Tal does not share this whole culture with me, and may not even be aware of its existence, let alone tasted its warmth: Crevices of dirt; a kitchen full of jars of grains; books on an old wooden bookshelf; a language as mystical and worn as the floor tiles; simple food filled with warmth and unmeasured spices; a stucco home with old trees and a fire pit and a burial spot of a family dog; old maps and children's books and photos and third-hand-fourth-hand clothes in overflowing closets; rich stories of heritage, mourning, life; coarse human flow, harmonious dwelling; laughter-filled Shabbat dinners with some or all seven children (and their children), and whatever neighbors happen to swing by. Rooted.

I feel a gaping mass. I squirm because I'm overwhelmed.

Nemo pants in her sleep in the background and I am enfolded in too much inspiration.

At night I dream that I have a joyous rendezvous with people from old times. 




Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Abstract / Home





The words I want to write seem much more sparkling and clear when ornamenting my mind than they do when they become written words on the screen. The abstract and aesthetic emotions are converted into linguistics, and that process is of downsizing. And this is a tough reality because I do want to write a book. A book that will be composed of linguistics - not of colors in my brain. And therefore I must exercise my ability to enrich my language and upgrade it to be more closely linked to the shapeless words my imagination conjures. Oh, the depths and beauty my brain creates! The liquidy connections between people, time and place - the morphing together it does of different things - these are so sensical and sensual and yet so hard to describe in the same romantic light in which they appear in the mind! I know I daydream of places and people that I seem to miss, and by seeing images of people, I want to be close to them; perhaps I want to be like them - for a moment - for a while - to restart my life and be a different me, with a different life. To be younger, that's for sure. To have another shot at my twenties. Watching other people's lives, in their own words or in the images that facebook brings me, cultivates in me jealousy and longing both at once. But what is the essence? The longing? I have always been a longing creature. Longing for things that only became things from afar, perhaps. Things that at the time were just lost and jagged moments like this one right now in front of my screen. But nonetheless I want them. I want to feel meaning, and I lean over the screen, looking for it, stacking sadness and jealousy and longing and lust for life, looking around me, and through these emotions seeing all that lies inside this home, inside this life...




It's not just that, though. It goes deeper. It's like waiting for your loving partner to come home, or like being in a warm snuggly gathering space with friends, while it's raining outside, for instance. So like that, just many times more. Because I've been so lucky as to have three loving partners in the past, whose warmth I still await in a sense, and I've had numerous occasions of gathering with friends, and whether it rained or not I don't even remember, but for the sake of aesthetics and imagery we can pretend it always rains out and that we are always snuggly warm inside, right? So that's it. It's a million hugs waiting outside the door. In fact, outside the door of time. Because in reality they are from a different time-frame. But in the mind, all times are one.

Isn't that so?



And still -- I am so grateful, to be here with Tal.



Sunday, September 16, 2018

loving our home / H O M E

I love our little home.
We're back in it after four weeks on the road, traveling around Washington, Oregon and California. When we're on the road we sleep in the minivan. We have it set up in such a way that our stuff is in milk-crates underneath plywood and a memory-foam mattress. It's very comfortable for us. Nemo has her bed in the space between our bed and the front two seats. All three of us love being on the road. And now I'm loving being here, in our cozy fresh-wood-smelling little studio home. It's rainy out, and that makes it even more cozy. It feels a little bit like a hotel. Wait till tomorrow, though... Tomorrow I start working. :)

Change of subject: Sometimes as I lie down to go to sleep at night, I fear that I will die at night. And one of the many concerns that rise is that I will not get a chance to open the Social Sustainable Cafe Bakery Art Gallery Nomad-and-Traveler Community Gathering Space. So I shall sketch it out and write about it in detail here on this blog, so that if I do die, someone else will create it, and so that if I don't die - people will know about it and will have the desire to help me realize it when I will be ready to do so. Which should, actually, be now. But I don't know how to get myself to start.

Well, let me tell you about it:

The inspiration comes from my love of Israeli and nomadic culture, from coastal galleries and cafes, from my passion for social gatherings and warm spaces in which to create and show art, and from my ideologies of sustainable living.

First of all, it's a place where people gather. A home of sorts. A friendly, welcoming home, where the owner is me and the guests (who are at home) are me and you and anyone who wants to feel the love of a loving space (including non-human animals).

The structure is environmentally-build, and the furnishings and decor are vintage and reused. The style is a combination of wood, flora and bohemia, with warm colors. It is a place for poets to write, for artists to create, for activists to discuss ideas, for regular folks to enjoy a nice cup of coffee, for people to meet friends, for travelers to relax and eat and share stories about their travels. It is a cafe/bakery. Vegan, with an emphasis on locally-grown and organic (as much as possible; I am aware that many things will not be able to be such, as this ideally is located in Israel's desert, along a common roadway/travel path).

We are a friendly business, a mindful-oriented place. On the walls are art. Art made by local artists. On the front wall is a large wall-length window, and on the window sill are plants. Out of the window the garden is in view, in which we will grow fruit trees and vegetables. The garden wraps around the side of the building too. The garden will be based on ideas of permaculture, we will obviously have a compost pile, and we will use the fruits and vegetables we grow in the food we cook and serve. There is also seating outdoors in the garden, for people who want to sit outdoors.

In the back of the building (out of sight from the sitting area) is a grassy area. On the wall against the building there is an awning, and under it mattresses stacked up. These are mattresses for travelers who want to sleep (for free) out back. (Remember, we are in the Israeli desert here: The nights throughout most of the year are pleasant.) There is also a compost toilet hut for their use, and possibly an outdoor shower.

Back to the interior: The entrance door is toward the left of the structure. As you walk in, in front of you is the main counter (in back of which is the kitchen). Right on your left, against the wall, are shelves with salvaged food - free for whoever wants. (Good food that supermarkets would have thrown out, that we collect once or twice a week.) On your right is the main sitting area - round wooden tables with two wooden chairs at each one. Toward the back, a larger table, for larger groups. And in back of it, a carpet, a couch, and a bookshelf with books (including books about veganism, permaculture, environment, spirituality, etc.).

To the right of the couch is an opening, through which we access two guest rooms - these are for rent. They include a bed and a dresser, and a large window (probably not a TV). Down the hall from these two is a joint bathroom for the two rooms - a pretty bathroom with a shower. The bathroom may also be for the restaurant during restaurant hours, or alternately we will have another bathroom for cafe guests. My vision is that guests from the guest rooms will eat breakfast/food at the cafe.

The menu will include things like coffee (which may be served like in the Food co-op, where you pay and then fill your own mug from a coffee canteen), baked-goods, soups, fresh salads and pasta (because I love pasta). I think of it as being a rather simple menu, with maybe an alternating dish on different days, but I am also open to the idea of more unusual dishes. I would love for the prices to be non-expensive, although I do wish to make a profit from this business, too. I see this as a single-income business, a full-time-and-mind career.

I will live right next door, in my Tiny House, and this will be my second home. I will come here in the morning (with my children?) and close it up and go to my Tiny House in the afternoon. After hours, this place can be used for workshops and gatherings, such as a yoga class or a meditation retreat, live music venues, or a community Jewish prayer gathering hub on Friday nights (these are just ideas that come to mind).

As for the name, I thought of things like Mayim Adamah (Water Earth), or Be'er Miriam (Miriam's Well), but I am not sure about it yet. It can change. As for the summary of the type of place it is in Hebrew, I might say: בית קפה-גלריה-חדרי אירוח ברוח קהילה וקיימות. Signs directing to our place from the highway would say something like Traveler Gathering Home And Warm Food, or אוכל חם לטיילים, or Stop By For Food, Rest, and Community. Our staff can include an owner (me), a co-owner, a baker, and three or four more staff members, and we will all be the cleaning staff.

I see myself as enjoying this life, of connecting with the community through food and art, and it is my earnest hope that I will fulfill this dream, and that it will in fact bring me joy.

This will essentially be a home of tolerance, peace, love, inspiration, and good heart-warming food.

**I made a sketch of this place, but cannot find it right now. When I find it I will upload it. Or if I don't find it I will sketch a new one.**



Here are some photos from our travels:

















Saturday, August 11, 2018

Bus

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

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

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




Overwhelming

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

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



Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Being

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am who I am.




Monday, August 06, 2018

Book

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








Photos from 2011-2013

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Compassion

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

Saturday, July 21, 2018

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

Friday, July 06, 2018

Jerusalem in my olden days

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







___

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

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

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

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

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

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