Friday, April 06, 2018

Believing in the Good Will

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

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Bulk


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

Here is a list of things we buy in bulk:

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

(Body Soap
Shampoo
Laundry Soap)

Things we (still) buy in containers/bags:

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




Monday, April 02, 2018

מִרְיָם


מִרְיָם

פעם ניסיתי למצוא משמעות לשם שלי.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

מִרְיָם גילמה את כוח המים, וכוח השירה.

מים ושירה. שירה ומים.

____


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

____


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

What is one to do?


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

What is one to do in life?






The cliches of yesterday are the profound insights of today

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

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


Lying


February 7, 2018:

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

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

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

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


Sunday, April 01, 2018

Real Shame


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

Real Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.


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


Time in Bellingham



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

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

Sometimes songs remind me of many things, and--

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

__


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

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

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

__

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







Dissecting

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