Friday, June 29, 2018

Water



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

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Inspired

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






Friday, June 08, 2018

Tabs

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

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Kindergarten at Kesher


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


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




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

Monday, June 04, 2018

בחילת קיום Nausea of Existence







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

May 26, 2018, nighttime near Leavenworth, WA, in the minivan 
Ocean of emotion has swept over me in the past few weeks. It's hard to resurrect turmoil, especially when it seems (for a while, at least) like it's over. But the gush of frustration and overwhelming sense of Loss or Lost-ness have prompted me to have to find reason, consolation and benefits. And in any case, understandings and revelations have dawned on me in the past 24 hours, slowly adding more clarity to the picture with each new one, and they are interesting enough to be worth pursuing in writing. 
Many times, hard emotions can feel lighter when I write about them, as if once the burden is told to the world as a well-written story, it becomes fascination instead of personal suffering. But it seems like the utter helplessness and regret I felt yesterday may have surpassed that level, and were so hard to bear that even written expression can't ease them. Will write more tomorrow. 
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May 27, 2018, in same spot as last night (back here for the night) 
I say to myself, "it would be nice to get home tomorrow in the afternoon and not night, so that we'll be able to relax before work on Tuesday," but then I revise that, asking myself: Is there really a difference if you get to rest or not? In the end it's all the same (in the end you'll have to wake up on Tuesday and go to work anyway...). And this is part of the sense of worthlessness and meaninglessness or despair disconnectedness, or fear, or anxiety, or I-don't-yet-know-what, that is my life, as me, inside of me, through my eyes.
I am kind of always tense, but at the same time there is no place I want to get to or be at that I can think will make me feel at east inside myself, at ease with ideas of time passing, of past-present-future as being linear and relevant, of goals-actions-sense of fulfillment. I sometimes call it cognitive dissonance, or claustrophobia in the self, or maybe (probably) there is something more that I am missing, some pieces of understanding that haven't yet dawned on me.  
Yes, there are beautiful things around me, but something doesn't enter through the veil behind my eyes into my timeless soul and godful existence. Or maybe all humans in fact feel this fear, and maybe only few stop to notice it. Maybe incessant work for some is a way to not notice the utter meaninglessness and emptiness of life as humans. 
Even writing - which in a sense is my saving grace, my refuge, my meaning - seems sometimes meaningless, because it feels like publishing a book would possibly be for the sake of recognition, which is just a continuation of the problem (just a deeper delve into the thirsty search for external meaning) and not a sustainable solution.  
I do love writing. A book wouldn't be just for the sake of recognition, but the fact that I use the thought of publishing a book as a way to ward off a sense of social shame or unworthiness, makes me believe it is also as shallow as the problem.
(The end of this idea was more elaborated in my mind when I started the sentence, but often my mind blanks as I go along and I lose the thought...) 
I want to mention that despite cognitive dissonance or inability to be here, the richness of the past grant me a belly-full of inspiration and excitement when it comes to mind. I want to incorporate it in my writing - bring in stories of my life with Gilad, all those great and pure memories of love, family, friends and closeness that seem joyous in my mind, images of nighttime bus rides, familiar sounds, city streets...

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

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

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

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

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