Thursday, August 15, 2019

Last


Our last day together in our beautiful home and as a couple, cleaning and clearing







Wednesday, August 14, 2019

sad


...and a little sad




free


I    f e e l    f   r   e   e




Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Morally sound

I want to be morally sound... There is a certain peacefulness to knowing you are doing the right things, that you are being an ethical being. When I know I am truthful and caring and not abandoning anyone I care for and that I'm being attentive and mindful, I feel morally sound.

But I sometimes do not feel morally sound, even though those things seem in place (or, I feel like I am abandoning myself but do not know why or how), and I have things nudging at my heart, but I cannot clearly say that those things are justified, and I don't know how to quiet the discomfort. (I usually equate a nudge at the heart to ethical misalignment, but I want to question that assumption.) It seems that ethical discomfort is a part of me, maybe a part of us as humans. I want to learn more deeply about this nudge, about my "obsession" with being ethical, and about the different things that peck at my heart, where they come from, and if they are always telling me the same things. Sometimes I will listen to that nudge and believe that it is the ultimate truth, but at other times I become uncomfortable because while I still have this inclination to believe it is the ultimate truth, it is a nudge I don't want to listen to or don't see reason to listen to. So what are these things I call ethics? Are those "nudges" even about ethics, or about something else? Is the highest ground here ultimately what my heart wants, and ethics just follow along? And I am talking about personal ethics here, because on a large scale of things, like I wrote, I am not transgressing any universal ethics. It is just me against myself, feeling guilty about certain things and wondering if they are signifying the truth, or just some learned response to things or Jewish guilt. Let's explore this deeper. 
~More insights to come~

I felt so free about leaving Tal, and well to a certain degree I still do, because truly I am free! The world is my and Nemo's oyster! I felt so morally sound at exploring this new life, and we've been toward this road for a while and I've had quite a long time to process everything, and then (as if saying "hey, don't feel too free") something else nudged me and tries to make me believe I am unethical. Because there is someone else I am connecting with, deeply and emotionally, which is something I have always craved, but I feel I ought to be sulking in pain and not feeling any love, as if sadness is the only ethical continuation to this story. As if I am only righteous if I can tell people "I am now alone and suffering for a while." I feel that one ought to feel a certain amount of pain alongside joy in life and I feel guilty when I cannot delve deep enough into pain, when I cannot sufficiently suffer, when I cannot tell people I am suffering. How strange! But it plays a big part in me.

Oh, it is so liberating to finally feel able to write these things down! Fuck. Self-expression is beautiful. It doesn't solve everything (or anything) but it makes everything more beautiful. 






__

-Later-

I am in my new temporary space. Tal and I have ended things so peacefully, so lovingly. I appreciate him very much and the 3.5 years he's given me. We've had a long time to process and go through our emotions together toward this ending, and when Tal dropped me and Nemo off with all my stuff at my friend's house, we hugged and kissed and said thank you from the bottoms of our hearts into the other's blue eyes. Earlier we went out to our regular Asian restaurant, and I told him about these feelings. And later he wrote to me, "I don't want you to feel guilty. You don't deserve it."

That melts me into tears.

__

Moving out

I was writing all sorts of things... I decided to stop forgetting about the little ideas that tickle my mind as beautiful, and to write them down. So now they're written down, each in a different notebook, with no lines connecting them other than them all happening to me. So what do I do with them? How do I turn little ribbons of color into a story? Like nectarine juice sliding down my hand as I take a bite.

It's hard for me to write because I feel that not everything is as aesthetically organized as I'd like, and that makes me feel ashamed and guilty. I often have this image of myself as a hero in my story, with some high level of ethics, but I've been finding myself believing that above ethics, I just do what the heart wants, and ethics find a way to come along. Kind of a paradigm shift which I'd like to write about sometime. Doesn't have to do with moving out, but just something I've been thinking about. I've been also thinking about self-pride vs. humility, love, and other things that are worth putting into words.

So I will eventually write. Actually, more than I want to write, I want to make a video, a movie really. I have so much video footage of our time in Bellingham, and of our last few weeks together especially, and it's a good amount of raw material to make something nice. It's just that it requires time, patience and perseverance, which are generally my weak points. Oh, it also requires me starting to actually pay for my Adobe software. I can't complain. It's about time they chase me down and make me buy the things legally. So that's going to have to happen before I do any more videos...

Today Nemo and I are moving out of this beloved, sweet, charming, peaceful and safe home.







Monday, July 15, 2019

The toxicity of anxiety and indecisiveness

Hey you know what? I have made a decision. I have made one and I am standing to it - despite outer convictions. When I talk to people about it, I risk putting myself in that vulnerable place of being moved (or thrown) into indecisiveness again by what they say, even if that is not their intention. But this time - whew! Something has changed! I am no longer who I always was, a feather in the wind - I have made a decision and decided to stand strong with it. I let the anxieties that would have floored me just brush over me, I look them in the eye, sometimes write them down, and then walk past them. I am no longer in an existential whirlwind of indecisiveness. That is such a toxic and debilitating place to be. 

That's not to say that indecisiveness doesn't visit me sometimes. It does. Sometimes softly, sometimes like a punch in the stomach. "What am I doing?" my heart sometimes suddenly aches or dreads, especially when it's dark out and the circle of this relationship encloses me inside. But I have chosen to let the indecisiveness be only a small part of my ration of decision, I have chosen for it to not dictate the outcome.

And that's not to say that I have answers, or know that this way will lead to a specifically wanted outcome, or that this relationship is worth breaking (because everything about it "works" so why the hell would I want to leave a fully functioning relationship? But I do). I do not have answers, and precisely because of my inability to answer these questions that have been lingering and gnawing at me in discontent (at the core level of the heart, as a "nudge") for a long time, I am choosing this other path. I feel that there is something outside of this relationship that I have a need to fully experience and understand, without which I will not be able to be whole. I feel that there is a life I need to pursue. It's just stronger than reason. I believe it's worth pursuing, despite the pain.

There is pain, oh, sometimes I raise my hands up and want to let my voice out to the sky, to the trees: Help me! Give me the knowledge! And then I settle back into my place of small assurances, of little beautiful things that give me courage and comfort. I don't hold all the knowledge possible for these specific questions, and I can only work with the skills that I have. I am only human, I should not be bound down by the belief that my decisions are the epitome of everything, or that there is a "right" or "wrong" path and that if only I was smart enough I'd be able to figure out which is which. No; there is no right and wrong, there is only the question of which adventure I want to undertake, which adventure will give me emotional richness and the ability to expand my heart.

Sometimes my confidence wavers, sometimes it's more whole. Usually it's a sort of abstract cloud that hovers around me, which I can reach and land in for some time, into which I can expand. A sort of amorphic bubble, sort of like how Happiness is also amorphic and intangible, but something I can usually rely on.





Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Water

I sit by this small stretch of beach
A remnant from an ancient majesty of seas
The water ripples
Moves on, and on it goes
I know much wisdom passes into me
But I am a jammed vessel
I want my portals open and clear like the water
Moving on, and on-going.


Sunday, June 30, 2019

Writing

____
I am writing a lot. I want to write more.
I am writing a lot because I am anxious, I am nauseous, I am so enjoying the weather, the light, this home, I am so ambivalent, I am torn.
 Writing comes out of pain, comes out of suffering. I am strong - but I suffer nonetheless. I am a vessel for all emotions.
____


Harari

Yuval Noah Harari says that in order to be be stronger than the AI technological disruptions in the 21st century that are being developed, we must know ourselves truly. That is how he sees his meditation and vipassana practice: a way to know himself. He believes it is harder to hack a human who knows himself. 

Meir Ariel


A new song written with words of Meir Ariel who passed away around two decades ago

Lyrics translated to English:

A poet
Takes the lowest time in life
Makes it into a peak of art
The hardest blows in life
Get all the Oscars
There are people who suffer
There are people who present it to people sitting at the safest
Edge at the sweetest
End of all the stories
And give it a grade -
Good acting
Mediocre screenplay.
A poet
Is sometimes all these together
Suffers hard
Also makes it into a poem
Also sits and looks at himself how he's suffering
And gives it a grade -
Not bad, Alexander
You did well, Penn
You did well in falling
You conquered, and killed too, and the opposite,
You suffered you wrote you loved.
A poet never betrays his self-love
Or his self-hate
With anyone
With anything.


The Netherlands

I was in Israel for a week. I traveled for 30 hours to get there, because I went for the cheapest possible flights. I got two separate tickets, even though people recommended against it, but it all worked out well. No flights were significantly late. I'm fine traveling through airports and over time-zones. I hate turbulence, it scares the bananas out of me and makes me feel that death is imminent. But I made it to ground each time. Three flights there and four flights home. On the way home, I had a night in Amsterdam. I have a friend near there. She is not hippie, nor artist, millennial, free-spirit, feminist activist or herbalist; she is all these together and also no titles at all. That's how she views herself. We had a lot to talk about. She met me at the train station when I arrived at midnight (with me having no phone line, just wifi at the airport!), and we walked the 8 blocks to her home. In the morning she made us breakfast of oats and fruits, and tea, and then walked me back to the train station. I met her six years ago, when Gilad and I were driving across Israel through the desert and picked up two European female hitch hikers with a guitar - one of which was her. It's good to pick up hitch hikers in Israel, it's my recommendation to you.


Thursday, June 13, 2019

Prospects of Separation

When there is pain, cliches become real:

I have more questions than answers
I worry about what other people think
Pain is a tunnel I have to go through

I envision a circle around me, like Honi, saying "I will not move from this circle until it rains."
And it pours. And like Honi, I say, "I will not move from this circle until it stops raining."

The circle is one I feel around myself. In it are my reactions, my ethics, the translucence of complications, the nuances bound between branches of a strong tree.

Outside my circle are other people's timelines and complications that cause fraying.

Inside, there are no corners, no dust collects, I am able to watch things, and then to rest.
Time is round, laughs roll, sound bytes wave, leaves unfurl. 
Patience was never my strong side, but the fabrics of the cocoon stretch it across, to enwrap all.

"Why am I doing this again?" I ask, as the reels of the warmth already feel like they are rolling away. In the abundance of this mutual home, the rationalizations were not so difficult. But on the emotional eve of leaving, panic says: "Why am I doing this again?" As Tal's thick hair runs through my fingers, and I see my books lined on the shelf behind him, and as I take a warm shower and there is that little picture on the wall, I say, "why am I doing this again?"

I have many questions. More questions than answers, in fact. And that, in a sense, is why I am doing this. Usually, when I have to make a decision and don't know what to choose, I decide to pick the path I am currently on. But this time, I chose differently. Since I didn't know what to choose, I chose the other option. In a sense, I feel that this is an experiment, that I am choosing for my life to be a big experiment. For the sake of an experiment I break up? That seems quite harsh. Change has to happen in order to find something. Is that so? I won't know until I do it.

I worry that other people will think there is something terribly wrong with me. When I was younger (and maybe still now), when I heard of women who have had a whole line of relationships in their past that have ended, I secretly think there must be something wrong with them; that they probably fight with everyone; that they are problematic. And I, inside this situation, know that these are not true about me. (Well, maybe I am problematic, in my incessant search for meaning, and maybe I am a victim of Generation Y's search for perfection, but my wanting true connection is problematic in a sensical kind of way and not in a defective one.) And thus, I really want to put this matter aside and not worry at all what people might think. If they know me at all, they will know I am a seeker, and that I do not fight with people or cause mayhem in relationships. Even our unparting is being done (in my opinion) in a very mindful and caring way.

And pain is a tunnel I have to go through. There is no way around it. Pain is pain. It is real, and unlike small disturbances in life that subside after talking about them or treating them somehow, pain from separation (whether in death or in a break-up) is one you cannot expect to rid of quickly. It must be held. For a long time. And there is no way around that. It is hard to endure pain, but people have been enduring pain of separation for millennia. I've done it in the past, too. But each time it is different, and hard in its own unique ways. 

Is it right even if it is just an experiment? I (we, nowadays) have this silly luxury of experimenting with life and putting aside things that are not right for me. Am I abusing the privilege? And what does it even mean to have something that is "not right for me"? How can I determine if a relationship is right or not. What are the parameters? Do the advantages from the spiritual enlightenment and emotional connection I am after override the loss of the warmth that I have with Tal? After going back and forth and back for a long time, like I said, I chose to choose the "other" path. The one that is a drastic and traumatic change. One that rips off the warmth around me like pulling off a band-aid and exposing the raw aloneness of life. Why? Just because I need to see if there is a way to live without feeling anxiety at the prospect of living a whole life this way. There is more for me. Even though I am actually finding myself here and living a significant, meaningful, rewarding and spiritual life, and all that has been allowed through the very abundance I am leaving (paradox?!), most of those things, though coming through the circumstances Tal has brought us to here, do not actually have to do with my partnership and are not shared with him. They are my own journey here. And so this life has allowed me to bloom, and now I am ready to find receptors for that spiritual growth in other people.

It has been difficult to be out at gatherings and feel enlightened, and then to come home and feel a certain spiritual depletion. Yes, those friends fill me for that time that I am with them, and beyond, but to go to sleep with someone who does not share most of it is frustrating and debilitating. Tal listens and hears when I tell him of my spiritual journeys, and his warmth, while I tell it, is so abundant and important, but the content itself is never shared. I can say, "this music I am singing and playing now has me flying in another universe," and Tal can smile at that, but not be anywhere near that other universe and not share my enthusiasm, or want to get there too. He will go back to his own business, and I will be wallowing somewhere else alone. It is alright. I don't think Tal needs to change and turn into a musician overnight. And I don't need to change and settle for a "plain" life. We are very different. It's sad, oh, it sure is.

In the past, as soon as a relationship ended, I somehow found myself in the arms of another. I don't want that to happen this time. In general, I feel that monogamy will not be right for me in the near future, and I also do want to spend time with myself. My own independent self. This means that I will find myself in a room in a friend's house, or in the shed in my friend's backyard, with Nemo, without the sweet home here that I love, and without Tal coming home every day and without him saying "slokhkim param" (Russian) after each time I take a shower, and without another road trip with him. Oh, the pain is real. 

__

Things I need to do:

* I need to buy a minivan to possibly live in and then to travel by road to Florida with Nemo in. For this I have around $2,000. So I need to either find a trust-worthy vehicle at that price, or find someone to borrow money from. (I can't borrow from the bank because I don't have credit history; I didn't find it important to start with that, since I will be moving back to Israel, and now realize it makes it harder for me to get a loan, etc.)

* I need to help clear out the shed in my friend's backyard and prepare it for living, or pursue the other living options with other friends

* Plan our road trip to Florida, with stops at familiar people/friends-of-friends every 2 days or so, and having those people be able to look out for me and Nemo if something happens while we're in their state, like a car accident or other emergency.

* Find somewhere to live in southeast Florida for three months



Friday, June 07, 2019

Lake Whatcom



A few weeks ago I went to meditate by the lake.


It was nice because I realized I am at ease.


I realized I feel connected and grounded, and that I have somehow cultivated the resilience to face change with equilibrium and mindfulness.


I am not sure how I got to this point, but here I was, here I am.


There were a lot of people at the lake for some Native event, and maybe the sounds of families laughing and shouting in the background actually lulled me, like a child cradled in the safety of her family, but also all at once I felt free and independent.


I felt peaceful.


I am holding a lot of things, a lot of emotions, not only of mine. Transitions are hard, but I am confident I will endure it bravely, with the help of some mindfulness, yoga and friends, and I'm positive Tal will endure it too.


Bellingham is so abundant with nature and I am sure that plays a role in my state of mind.


I believe people who live near real and wild nature can be more alive and resilient.


But also, I think my heart no longer questions itself on this matter, because it knows what it wants.


Anyway, in the coming months I will be embarking on a solo journey from here onward, without Tal. It is what I have decided. I want to find and live more spirituality and creativity in my personal life.


It is hard and sad to break up something that has brought a lot of good. It is tragic and traumatic, in fact. It is a type of death. Just like when a person dies, and you cannot fully prepare yourself for it, and are shocked time and time again to realize that that person is no more, so with a relationship with someone you love and care about. I am not underestimating the pain. I am not saying "oh, it's fine." No, it's not fine, and I am willing to hold the pain.


It is hard to decide to afflict upon myself this kind of trauma, for it will continue to be part of me for my entire life, and why would I want, in my one and only life, to cause myself (again) such hardship? There is really no mending a brokenness of this type, and only time eases pain. But I feel I must do it anyway, because my heart wants something else, and I can no longer ignore it.


(I have already had my share of brokennesses in life, but I am a person who is not willing to compromise her creative aspirations and her spiritual wholeness for the sake of solidity and stability. My only regret is that this sometimes involves hurting others by leaving them. I am sharing this process with Tal with empathy, and I can only try to make it as easy as possible.)


I know I have it is me to face any and all emotions with an open and accepting heart. It is part of who I am. I am not afraid to feel pain and loneliness. I know that I will surely feel immense inspiration and love in my future, too.





Monday, June 03, 2019

Kesher

As a teacher for young kids, I am good at the on-site teaching, but not so much with the lesson preparation. I am an almost-professional procrastinator, and although I have told myself to change many times, on the last day of my second year teaching at Kesher, it was almost ironic that I came yet again not fully prepared, with things I still needed to cut and glue together and other things I needed to find. (But thanks to my co-teacher David for helping things get done.) But what I feel blessed with, is the ability to just be with the kids when I'm there, to listen, to sing, to make sure they listen to each other, and above all the curriculum or things I want to "teach", to lead a way of inclusivity, kindness and respect to others and to nature. I have been moved to tears this year by the sweetness of these children. Some were attentive and polite, some were messy and restless, but they were all included and appreciated equally in our circle.

In Hebrew there is a concept of "Shlichut." It is when you are sent from Israel to live abroad on behalf of some Jewish or Zionist organization or federation. In the religious world, if you tell people you are moving out of Israel, they ask if you are going on "shlichut." And when people asked me that before we left to travel around North America over two years ago, I replied, with a sort of chuckle at the obviousness of my answer: No, I am just going to travel and live my own life.

But somehow, by no specific original intention, I realized yesterday, after my last day teaching Kindergarten and First Grade at Kesher (Jewish educational program) that what I have been doing here for the past two years - with the total of 34 kids that were under my care over the course of this time, and specifically the 17 that were in my KG-1st Grade class - was actually a type of "shlichut" - a sacred mission of fulfilling and passing onward gifts of compassion and connection that were brought here through this little Earthling that is me.

I feel like I am leaving short of the completion of this task, and that I have a lot more to do here, like continuing with these kids on through all their school years, but I am being called by my inner mission to go back to Israel in the coming year.

Funnily enough, when I expressed this to Tal, he reminded me that before we left Israel over two years ago, I felt exactly the same way about what I was doing in Israel. I had started projects and felt I hadn't properly finished them, that I was still on a mission that was not yet completed, something I was cutting short. But I left, and came here, to ultimately travel, but to essentially inspire and be be inspired by the lives of children and adults alike, who have welcomed me into this unique Jewish community and appreciated me and the unique things I brought (things I was not fully aware of, actually, beforehand).

In my wildest dreams I would never have imagined arriving and becoming an integral part of such a community and such children. I thought we were coming to the US to live on the road, to see beautiful sights, to be awed by nature (which all DID happen, too, including in Bellingham!). And then, when we found Bellingham (by finding the most awesome community food co-op in the US), naturally I connected with the Jewish community. I remember when we were still living in the minivan one day, and were parked by the co-op, I was on the phone with my new friend Elkah for the first time (who I found through Facebook), and she was openly telling me about her life before even having met me in person!

Somehow, I became a part of all three Jewish congregations here in Bellingham (Reform, Renewal, Chabad), and I may be the only one in town as such. It is quite astonishing. This was largely due to my religious upbringing back in Israel, which enabled me to feel comfortable with the traditions and customs in each of these communities, to feel like family, and to lead prayer services and song circles and to read from the Torah numerous times.

This is not (yet) a parting post, because I still have a few more months here, but it is a kind of finality, since the school year is ending. And this is not a post to gloat, but rather to express my gratitude for being a being through which abundance of certain types can manifest in this material world. I am on a journey of trying to fulfill the gifts I was born with, so I do not thank myself but rather the universe around me who has brought me into this world with the capacity to feel inspired and to love.

This is me in our classroom, after all the kids left after the last day.

A certain emptiness, but a full heart.






Bubbling

I haven't written in a while... It's one of those times that I'm bubbling with inspiration, with a life force. I have to pace in slowly... Not try to squeeze a rainbow through a pinhole.
Today the kids I teach were so wonderful, as they always are. But today was my last day with them.
I'll have to wait a few more days before I write about today in a more comprehensive way... About feeling so loved and cherished, about knowing I am fulfilling some sort of mission, gift, I have in this world. About me, among many, being one as a part, being in a community, because appreciated and being able to appreciate. Being mentioned by others, being noticed. Doing things you believe in. Doing things you are good at. Finding that to generate more action. I will write in a few days... I have to wait, be patient! How can I? I am bubbling over. My inspiration juices are flowing, and with it my energy of creativity and creation, life and sex, confidence and adventure. I again feel in love with all and everything... Yearn for deep connections, so deep as to soul-collide with others, to soul-merge.

Flowers I got from a friend who I saw by surprise on a city bus a few weeks ago:


Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Abundance and Scarcity

I want to write; there is so much for me to share. Where do I even start? What should I write about today and what can I save for another day? I was sitting in a store in front of a mirror, peering at myself, watching my long hair on the sides of my shoulders, letting a sense of grief wash over me. And before that I found myself sitting somewhere else, feeling tired, imagining, through my static body, beams piercing through me and out, cascading in insidious rays, toward a sensual embrace with others, with all, a deep connection, envisioning the webs that shoot out of me sometimes, and how they are so vibrant, so ecstatic and inspired, so waiting for a response, to be cradled, to be colorful, even through sadness. 

Maybe I should write about abundance versus scarcity? 
Well I should say, I'm in a blunder. I'm in the midst of what seems to be a life change coming up, the train is about to hit me and I will be shaken up from the core, forced to come to hard terms with what I (now, within the abundance of this home) claim to be acceptance of change and of my spiritual nomadism. 
When I have abundance, I strive for self-fulfillment, and I know that Tal, unfortunately, cannot be a spiritual partner for this journey. Tal is so dear to me, and this is not to say that I do not care about him deeply, because I do.
When I have a sense of scarcity - feeling the absence of warmth and safety - I strive for connection (lower down on Maslow's pyramid), and am aware of my strong connection to Tal and my desire to stay with him, through a love that is present but hard for me to explain.
And I always sway back and forth between the awareness of abundance and the awareness of scarcity (while being with Tal is actually the predisposition for the sense of abundance, so he is the one who grants the warmth and security for me to contemplate my self-fulfillment in the first place), and I wonder which is the one I should make decisions from.
If I am to believe that in the world there is scarcity, that a catastrophe - physical or emotional - is underway, then I should make decisions from that place, and should strive for safety and warmth. And if I believe that there is abundance, and that my basic needs will be met, I should strive for self-fulfillment. Is the latter a luxury, a pretense, or a virtue? I feel that these are more than just a state of mind, but really a belief in the state of the world, and in what the probabilities are of life.

I also wish to write about monogamy, about my alternative ideas, about love and connection, about my awe at the abundant love, connection and belonging I feel in the community here, and how I feel immensely fulfilled, gratified and grateful from the things I do here.

I really do want to write about love, though, because I feel a lot of it.

But maybe also about grief, because I feel it too.

I want to sit with the love I receive from others, I want to meditate on it, to stay in that awareness of feeling loved. It is a good place to be.








Friday, April 26, 2019

Child-raising, Gentle Discipline

When I was younger, one of the things I was interested in studying when I grew up was psychology.

(Just a side-note about that: I remember my father laughing one time and saying that only people with psychological issues study psychology. Or maybe it was someone else who said that and he just chuckled along. I felt so angry with the irony of my father being the cause of much of my psychological turmoil. His unawareness, hypocrisy and unfairness bothers me deeply until today, and I relentlessly seek justice in everything at least partially as a result of the injustice I felt.)

I didn't go on to study psychology in university, but after putting down a library book on "Gentle Discipline" on the coffee table one evening two weeks ago, after having read more pages at once than I normally do in any one book, I realized that I did in fact go on to immerse myself in psychology and psychoanalysis and specifically that regarding child education, by reading books, articles, my own memories and parents who communicate with their children in affirmative and educational ways. Of course working with kids on a more-or-less regular basis for the past ten years has also given me insight, and allowed/allows me to implement in practice the positive, affirmative ideas I collect.

It is so important to me, not just on an intellectual-cognitive level, but on a deep emotional forefront of necessity and moral obligation, that people turn to positive, respectful, pro-child, pro-development, nonviolent measures in raising or caring for children. It's deep in my stomach to care about this.

Generations upon generations of people have grown up through the helpless circumstances of punishment and shaming. (Only God knows how D.T. - the human who was elected president - was raised, and what kind of punishments he got that made him be how he is.) We can see around us how toxic discipline (and may I say Patriarchal ideas) have had a negative effect on our society as a whole. I'm so glad our generation is being mindful about learning from all these mistakes. (When we are not cognizant of the toxic conventions in which we ourselves were raised, we may play out the same detrimental story for our kids. We should be mindful parents/caregivers by first of all noticing our own difficulties and predispositions, in order to end the cycle of violence and care better for the children who depend on us.)

Things like listening to children, not ignoring them when they need you, staying calm, not being violent (and setting a good example in general), not dis-valuing their emotions, and explaining things to them (in an age-appropriate way) are just some of the crucial behaviors adults should maintain when communicating with children.

Not punishing is one of those things. Punishing a child (like sending them off to be in confinement) only deepens their sense of inadequacy and their lack of self-esteem, and causes fear and helplessness, with no positive (long-term) outcome. (I feel sometimes it is the parent who should go to their room or have a time-out, not the child.) Likewise, there is no reason to grab or scream at a child if there is no immediate danger. A child should be given space (mental and physical) to explore, play, learn and make some of their own decisions.

I have seen some very inspiring parenting skills by parents whose kids I cared for or by parents in public places (and I've seen so many un-inspiring ones out there too). Two of the most positive skills I've seen (which I've adopted, and is always evolving) are the ability to respond to a child in a mindful way instead of pulling a response out of a pocket, and explaining things to kids with the assumption that they are smart - and not talking in a baby voice.

All children are small and vulnerable and confined to the family they were given, so it is my innermost wish that each and every one of these small beings in the world will be granted parents who care for them and support their growth and development in affirmative and nonviolent ways, to allow them independence and joy. If every child will be listened to, and will learn to take deep breaths and to express themselves calmly, our world will be a whole lot better. Amen.








Monday, April 22, 2019

Creators

I wonder what part of me is the part that is scared, clueless and absent-minded (and the part that ponders more than does, that loses words more than creates them), and when in my development they took hold. I see people like Mogli, the beautiful wanderer-musician. She tells that from a young age her two mothers encouraged her to travel and be independent. I get very inspired from watching her videos (and we watched her documentary "Expedition Happiness" last year, about her van-conversion and -life), and in a sense, I feel very similar to her, although I am 29, not 24, and don't create anything nearly as beautiful or inspiring, even though I could, and I wonder why not. It is in me for sure, but something never really developed out of its little cocoon, I am still just as tiny as I was when I was 14. How can I become greater? 



















Photo from 2008

For starters, I should download a sound-editing program to actually start making music. Then I should get a better camera and take my video-making more seriously. I should write more, and I should also work on my book. Not just writing an idea a day, because then they may never come together as a book, but to really write the parts of the book, like start with the first page, and continue on from there.

I should also do something with all the tens of thousands of photos I have taken over the years. It is a large body of work that came to be without specific intention, just by having a camera in hand all the time since my teenage years. I should choose favorites and make collections out of them, reflect on the memories and see what comes up, add poetry to them, display them in virtual or real art galleries.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Spontaneous Combustion of Touch

So it's true, I want to write about those four friends
The four friends I now send a spontaneous poem to every Saturday night,
looking for reflection to my queer landscaped spurts of words
(Words that are just the swathed edges of a coherent sensation)
It all comes back to
Words infinitely reactivated by defiant hearts
Jerusalem
Yearning hearts

I sit and want to write, configurations of air and matter radiate on my sides as my thought-streams try to coincide through them and reach me directly. All is strewn out upon layers of colors and hues
In shapes of time and space ago
Things touch
Like my hands to my laptop's keyboard
Like a breath of air to my lungs to my stomach, in and out
Like my crossed legs touch the floor
My sock-covered feet rest beneath me
Things touch each other
I want more connection
I want touch to be the epitome of understanding.
I want my thoughts to be clear like the crease of a sheet and my brainwaves as explicit as a stream of water.
I want more touch. I want the fusion of matter and air to touch a linear comprehension of time, to touch a lucid understanding of what is, to touch a plateaued spur toward language, to touch language, to find the words through the ocean of possibility.
I want touch to be the epitome: When I touch experience, I want to touch time, when I touch passion, I want to touch creativity, when I touch air, I want to touch clarity.
When I touch a field of thought, I want to touch a story.
I want the story in my head to touch a nerve
That's longer and stronger than two sentences
That lasts for a whole book
That has in it the kind of quirky beginnings, intricate but simple middles, and solemn, spiky, friendly, awesome, inspiring ends. I swear I can see it in my mind.
I want touch.
I want to touch people
Embrace people,
Be embraced
Not live in a solitary body or soul
Be with others,
Be me in others,
Be others in me.
Be a living story, oh, so unique, so fascinating, but also so mundane and so simple!
Let passion run loose. No. Tame it. Tame is to be running loose and arriving somewhere where it can then sprawl itself out onto paper and morph into a book.

And then be a book,
And then sigh.



Saturday, April 13, 2019

Things only dogs are allowed to do

I visited my good friend's home today; we had a Hebrew kirtan jamming session, she, me, and another friend. As I entered her house, her dog, Leggy, came rushing over to me as she usually does, squealing with excitement, jumping up and down, and licking my chin when I knelt down to stroke her. She so unabashedly expressed her excitement. My friend laughed and stated that Leggy is just so happy to see me. I said I wish I was like that too: able to approach people and freely and exuberantly express my intense and eager desire to just hug them and kiss them and be ever-so close to them.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Music

I've always been one to feel strong emotions of inspiration. But I don't usually envision experiencing spiritual inspiration for days or weeks at a time (partly because it's hard to stay revelated for so long and partly because it can be overwhelming to feel so intensely free) and yet here it has been, and it's such a tremendous gift and blessing which I am so grateful for. And to think that it could happen simultaneously with turmoil in my personal life, fascinates me and reflects to me that my heart is a wonderful home~

It's the music. The music has gotten me so enlightened, so joyful with the sense of self-realization and of fulfilling spiritual missions in the world.


Pondering - Laziness or True Inquiry?

SO, I really want to write. This time, I'm speaking the words as I write them. I mean, out loud. I'm saying them, and there are three sounds happening simultaneously: The keyboard being tapped, my voice speaking these words, and the coffee dripping through the coffee machine, because I want something to wake me up, and even though it's decaf, it still wakes me up - or gives me jitters - which isn't fun, but I deny that and pretend it helps me wake up. I didn't sleep well last night. My mind was a broken record. It happens sometimes. It's not always bad though. Sometimes the broken record is a hopeful one, sometimes - lately - I've been filling with anticipation and inspiration for things inside of me and things I feel will be actualized in the world in the coming years. Oh, the coffee has finished - well, I made so little of it, I always do because I drink about 1/3 cup of coffee and not more than that, in the mug that Odelia made for me while she was studying ceramics at Bezalel Art School in Jerusalem. Anyway, now, with the silence of the coffee machine, I hear Nemo's breaths, too. She is resting on the couch, elderly, tired, but surrounded by my love always.

Anyway, I wanted to write about unconventional/nonconventional living. I tend to surround myself with unconventional (unique, freethinking) people, but it happens now and then that I am faced with a different reality, as I rendezvous with people from a more traditional mindset, and that mindset often includes being skeptical or judgmental of those unconventionalists among us.

Before I get into that, I want to remind the public that I have a problem retrieving words from my brain. The place that restores and retrieves words is somewhat blurry and not focused for me, in the peripheral vision of my brain, and I often cannot think of the words I want, even though I know they must be in my brain somewhere. (My therapist says that reading more books can be helpful, so I borrowed ten books from the nonfiction section of the library yesterday, to improve my vocabulary while also learning some things about childcare, Islam and feminism.) Sometimes I can't even remember how to spell words that I really should - or used to (I'm not sure) know how to spell. And my typos have been seemingly more frequent, although I'm not sure if this is truly the case. My fingers on my phone always seem to be making typos, especially when I type eagerly and quickly, which is quite often the case, because when I have an idea I spew it out like a rocket.

Anyway, back to the topic of nonconventional living. I wonder if my satisfaction with the way things are are a laziness or a true understanding that I am doing what is right for me. I don't mean to say that I don't want to push myself farther in certain fields, but I just mean that sometimes I have this belief that just being kind to people is good enough some days and is a gift that I have that is worthy, not less than having a career, and I wonder if that belief is just settling for mediocrity, because I could be (according to the Western dogma) doing things like studying for a master's degree in something, or running a business, or AT LEAST working at a full-time job making some good $$$!

The idea is, I love moving to a fro, being a nomad of ideas and places, being able to sit in my own skin, feeling enlightened through music, smiling at people and saying "thank you," working on healing from terrible godawful things like sexual shame, painting a painting over the span of months, reading fragments of books, writing fragments of ideas, petting and hugging and kissing and talking to Nemo and believing that my love for her is keeping her health strong even at age 13, taking hot showers, drinking coffee (sometimes), being vegan, thinking about the prospects of peace and nonviolence in this world, trying to work on being kind and nurturing even to people who I am angry at (there are very few of those, but they do exist), working on nonviolent communication, fantasizing about the life I want to live, staying up at night with ideas and excitement, moving states, rolling through places on wheels, being part of a community, being active in the community, working with kids, teaching people things that I have been gifted to know, getting to read books to kids and listen to kids and have meaningful interactions with them, singing the "Good Morning Earth" song with my KG+1st Graders at the Sunday School, teaching kids how to weave, singing to them and taking them outdoors and hopefully showing them the wonders of song and music and nature. There are so many wonderful things going on in my life!

True, I do not have a degree in anything. (I went to art school, but that was for a diploma, not a degree.) I do not make a lot of money. (I am fine with that. There are more important things to have a lot of. Like integrity, authenticity, curiosity, openness.) I don't have one single "home" (I have many). I keep moving. I've had three different partners since the age of twenty. (Each one unique and amazing and I care about them all.) I wear the same clothes and the same shoes over and over again, and I so seldom brush my hair (and I wear the same socks that Bob bought me for the PCT four years ago because they are still good).

I don't know why I am writing this post. I don't need to convince anyone. Most people around me are unconventional and freethinking already anyway. Maybe I just want to pose the question of whether in today's day and age, the ability to sit back and observe (the luxury to do so) is Laziness, or True Inquiry!

Ah. Who will know?

I mean, I know that the time I need is *important* to me, but 100 years ago people didn't spend all this time pondering, and did they get more done, or less? Did they find a certain asset, through hard work, that I cannot find today, because I do not dedicate myself to that amount of consistent routine effort? Or on the contrary - did they not fulfill their talents the way we can today?

(And you know what the hardest part of this is? That I so hate peeling myself away from home and going out to work, even though I love my jobs. Like now. I want to stay and keep writing.)

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Sincerity


Being fully truthful and sincere 
is the only path 
to finding peace, solace and truth, 
even when there is pain along the way. 
There is no virtue in being closed or inauthentic.


Love

I was suddenly thinking about the different emotions that people have that are the collective baseline of intense emotions, the ones that recur, that feel strongest, the ones that draw the shoreline, the outline of one's essence. I asked Tal what those emotions have been for him lately, what are those really monumental emotions, and as I was asking it, in bed feeling tired enough that thoughts flowed fluidly, I was thinking about the ones that were true for me.

Well, for me there are mainly three I think, at least now: shame; regret or a sense of abandonment, which seem to be the same for me; and inspiration or the sense of being in love with individuals in the world or with the world as a whole entity of many sentient heartful beings, and wanting to connect very very deeply.

Oh, sometimes that inspiration is so terribly overflowing that I really don't know what to do with it, how to tame it, how to express it, how to let the love flow, take root, grow; how to turn this white light back into its elemental colors! It fills me with joy, with giddiness. That sense of wanting to be planted inside a world-wide earthy warm hug, in which I can rest and rock, comes and cuddles me into the present moment.

Suddenly it happens; inspiration to express this all. I must grasp this moment; I even think to myself that I must seize these moments of enlightenment to write my whole book! Write write write, do it right now before you go back into literary dullness, I implore in myself.

What is it I wanted to say? What do I want to wrap myself in?

Oh, but it comes and goes all too soon.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Men

I was reading through my drafts from the past two months, and came across this strong emotion I had on a Friday night in early February, and I remember it clearly and can feel it now because in a sense I feel it now too.

...I had a certain sensation of wanting to be surrounded by a warm kind of lovers' love, I wanted all lovers around me, to cushion me, to let me rest in their presence. It was like wanting to draw to me all warmness. I felt a little isolated, a little distant, wanted to be close, wanted a hugging experience of a new love, which I said to myself opens a window of more enjoyment for everything you do. Because when you imagine a new love, it broadens everything, the whole scope of everything, and makes everything seem so novel, more unique and interesting. So I wanted that kind of love, not wanting it in the sense of needing to work toward it, but rather in a sense of wanting to lean back into it...

I envision myself being surrounded by all the contemporary men who romantically love me - those who I know about and those I don't. I thought about this yesterday too, about my desire for attention and for connection. In the past I have wanted (and still want) to paint a painting with all my past and present lovers - me and all of them, in one scene, all together. Nati, Gilad, Samuel, Tal.

All those lovers can all physically come together and be with me, as far as I'm concerned. In my mind's eye, love is fluid and has no boundaries, no time. What I mean by no boundaries is that when I feel love for someone, I'd naturally want to express it (I'm talking about love for my contemporaries: consent-able adult men) and I am restrained because it is not always appropriate to express it. I respect those boundaries, but is in unnatural to me. I'm not saying those boundaries are bad, I'm just saying that I notice that if the world were up to me, I'd have multiple lovers, for sure :-)

This leads me to another thought, which is that I am concluding that I cannot stay fulfilled in any one relationship for many years, or possibly should consider polyamory or open relationships in the future. I always need change, I always need newness, and that is totally fine with me. I see myself in the future having a child with someone who I won't necessarily even live with, let alone be married to. The main thing is that I see myself living a life of lots of love, lots of passion and compassion. I am taking my words with a grain of salt, though, too, because I am still searching and researching, and haven't even yet fully analyzed my current state of mind. I might end up just as "mainstream" as the next person. So these are only speculations, and as time and experiences unroll, I will continue to discover myself and the right paths to true meaning and liberation.

In any case, the apparent truth is that I am destined to (continue to) live an unconventional life; a free, music-driven, soul-loving life, a breath of fresh air. I love knowing that I can let myself live any life I want, and no one relationship is the final note, if I don't want it to be.




Etty, Anarchic Creation, Music

February 6th:

I read a page of Etty Hillesum's diary this morning, as part of my morning routine of reading, and I was (as always) immensely inspired and also a bit envious of her ability to express her perceptions of herself and of those around her so eloquently.

I also have in mind the new realizations I had yesterday at Kara's office. The excitement and inspiration that I had (that I always have) when I left her office accumulated with the realization that with each session I am really deepening, broadening and pinpointing the issues, the problems at hand, which gives a lot of clarity, and intellectual/spiritual clarity gives me a sense of fulfillment.

So this clarity at hand, well, maybe I can elaborate. It is about my need to have a partner who is spiritually growing and passionate about spiritual growth. That is how I defined it this morning while in the shower, and I thought that definition is sufficient. Not that I did not realize this months ago, but I think that these exact words would not have been written those months ago, and now they are, because now the idea is more solidified. That is the only difference.

I always envisioned I'd be with an artist or a philosopher, a spiritual being in any case, I told Kara, and she asked me how come I never ended up being with someone like that? I chuckled. What a good question! In a sense, they all seemed inspiring to me. Gilad was very passionate about creativity and other active things at first, for the first few years, but he became more "tame" and less spiritual later on in life, and in a sense, when I look at his personality now, I know that I would not have been able to feel fulfilled with him.

Tal seemed to me very passionate and adventurous, but he is different from me, probably more "tame" than I am, less spiritually- and creatively-driven, less community-oriented than I am, more self-sufficient, more independent, more routine-oriented, more reality-based, more conservative.

Why this bothers me, I cannot say, because I do not know. But it does. I don't know yet to determine why it is that seeing nonaction depletes my own enthusiasm, but that is, plainly put, a fact of my life, and I should accept it. I need someone motivated to change, to go, to venture into the deep cellars of the mind and of physical creativity and social action, to discover. Well, that, to me, is what gives my life its essence, its significance. To create, to be a passionate creator of thoughts, ideas and things, and to effect good change in the world, for the greater good. (Type Four, anybody?) That includes music, I should say. Music is so important to me! The highest form of art for me. And I cannot create enough of it on my own to sustain me. I need a creator by my side.

I want to talk more about the role of the job in the life, in general. For many people who are not like me, their job takes up the majority of their time and becomes a facet for their routine and well-being. Around it they build their life. It is the central axis, and everything else revolves around it. Sometimes it is because of the mindset of "needing money" all the time, or just because there really is no other passion that needs to be taken into consideration. For me, job is only one fraction of life. It is a means for socializing and doing things I am good at, and for getting the money I need to survive, but it does not fulfill my full spiritual needs, which can only find fulfillment and satisfaction through expression, anarchic and untamed in essence, or at least undictated by socially accepted ways of living. Some people find peace and wholeness in their life of waking up, going to work, coming home, doing things like passing time with TV, and going to sleep, but there is no way in hell that that kind of life would ever be mine or ever fulfill me.

I need an uhinged, passionately creative life. Sometimes I am able to live like that, and sometimes that need goes unfulfilled. But generally speaking, it is what I need.

Oh, but there is one other element that is needed too, which Tal provides abundantly, which I sometimes take for granted. Warmth, love, compassion and safety in myself and in the people around me. Without those, my passions and actions would be heartless and senseless, and thus be without meaning. Minor detail, or major issue I sometimes overlook?

Poems

February:

I want to go back to writing poetry
About the snow illuminating
The tall branches
Like anchored veins into the sky


Music



Beginning of March:


Last night I heard a beautiful song I love before I went to sleep. Well, it was sent to me on Whatsapp by the musician in Israel who wrote it. I asked him for the chords, and he videographed himself in his kitchen in Israel singing and playing it on guitar for me. He addressed me directly and wished me that I continue to sing and to add light to the hearts of the friends that I meet along the way on my journey. And then he closed his eyes and started strumming and singing.


This is a song I heard for the first time a few weeks ago, in a video from a sacred song circle in Israel. It touched me so deeply, it reached into the core of inspiration for me, of luminance and love and passion and tugged at my heart. And that overwhelms me, oh god, how much that overwhelms me! It's so beautiful, and makes me want to merge into those people writing the music, performing the music, and even into the music itself floating through the air, and the dissonance between that desire and my static body causes a rift that cannot be bridged.


I would want to share the video here so you could all see how wonderful it is and how sincere that man is, but it is personal, and I didn't ask his permission to share it, so I will not. I just wish everyone could share in my excitement from heart-deep music, really fully heart-deep authentic music, that a person writes from that place that I know people - especially Israelis - have rooted in them, just by being a people rooted in the earth, music that draws from an ancient language and an ancient yearning that continues through the ages and never ceases to exist.


Oh, and then I couldn't fall asleep, of course! My night's consciousness was liquidy, yearning deeply to connect to this music in the way my soul wants, while half asleep and half awake and lying static in one place without the ability to fully merge and submerge.


I also didn't know why and how I deserve this beauty, and wondered, from inside the well of inspiration, what I should do more in this world to be more deserving of it.


There is something about music that just blows my mind.


***





Thursday, February 14, 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. 

Wednesday, February 13, 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.


Thursday, January 31, 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.