Sunday, November 24, 2019

Decaf Coffee

I haven't written a post in a while. When things get to an edge there is more eagerness to write. I seem to have lost the ability to write, which makes me feel frazzled, with loose ends fraying. The words are being repelled away when they try to approach me; it's a struggle to lure them in. The keyboard of the laptop is now a deeper tone than usual, which leads to a deeper ability to rest, in a sense. I try to push back against the tension I feel in waves of deep sounds, to smooth it over in firm strokes. It waddles up and I wave it down. That may be how it is, I am not sure. I am at an in-between time. There have been many stories and ideas respiring in my brain, but they have been lost, in a sense, although I also believe that they become part of whatever comes next. If I give myself a free hand to write, true words will eventually emerge and the stories will coincide. I don't usually grant myself that opportunity, but now the opportunity came to me, without room to decline, as I am at an edge, writing to smooth the tension into manageable side-thoughts. It needs to be done. I sit on the bed in the room in the house in which I live, and messy things are around me. This house belongs to my friends and I am being kindly hosted by them inside their space, and all my stuff is stuffed around me, and my Nemo is calmly asleep beside me. I think of fields at this time, and of the stories that were pouring out of me last night, oh and The Little Prince, and I'm a little hungry, and all sorts of secret and wondrous things and angled colors and inspirations that are hidden from the eye but dance in front of the brain in tangible motion, and of the people walking on the sidewalk in clumsy steps yesterday evening with their reflections charming bright winter lights into my reminiscent sentiment as I was sitting by the window of a coffeehouse. I was feeling free and I said, "I feel free," and I drank decaf coffee out of my own mug.

I had been singing that day, and now it was dark and I was sinking again into transition, into feeling free and wide-winged above the winds of change, in comfort. I am free everywhere.

I sing and I play music with the community and it is what births me into being. I'd rather be always content and joyful, but transitions and sorrow make it all the deeper, and the deeper it is the more it holds. And I feel free, and I feel sorrowful. Even though I've been free for many years, with time I experience it more frequently, and sometimes I even let my arms physically rise up into the air and bring a whiff of life into my heart.




Friday, September 13, 2019

Procession








"Okay, I'll start my book from this point," I say to myself when I buy ice cream at Trader Joe's on the corner to bring over to D's house. "This will be a good place to start." And the man at the register says "you can place that here. You don't have to freeze your hands." 

I say "Okay, I'll start my book from right here," when I wait at the Wild Oat vegan cafe and wonder if anyone will come to this meeting for action for the Amazon rainforest. (And people come, and we decide to try to put together a procession.) And I say, "I'll start now," at the procession itself, when we walk out into the street as rainforest creatures, and I feel blessed. And I feel how, after all, everything is about us as sentimental and sentient beings. Rainforests burn, but facts are meaningful only because of how we feel with them.

"Okay, I'll start it now then," I say when I walk fearlessly out of my therapist's office and I'm filled with courage

or after she says to me, "I'm astonished how you're not concerned with finances." And I smile because it's true, and it's a true blessing. He used to go crazy at how I didn't care enough about money. I never had much. I had just what I needed and I used what I had for good things. He always had more. And he would worry about it all the time, and I would worry about it never.

I say "I'll start it now," when I think about my belief about money.

I say "I'll start it now," when I have a name for my book - A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

and "I'll start it now," when I have a name for a certain realization about fear and ethics and how fear can hinder ethics.

And "now," when I think I'm some ethical queen
and "now," when I think I'm ethically mundane, just average, just driven by inertia.

And "now," when something makes me feel really bad and I want to cry myself out, and I know that as a passage in my book it will be beautiful anyway and will no longer be a burden but a fascination.

And the same with the ethical questions. Wow! How fascinating as an analysis and not as an existential threat.

I say "I'll start my book now," when I walk home from Chabad on Friday night and sing all the way home, because I'm feeling like it's in me, the sounds of eternity and love -
She'tolicheinu leshalom, vetatz'ideinu leshalom... Lead us in peace...
I say "I'll start now," when I'm with the precious children I work with.

I say "I'll write now," when I go over to D's house for the first time, and want to document every moment, just to remember, for later, for this book.

I say "okay, let me start it now," when we sit at the co-op and talk about things; I can't even remember what.

I say it when I feel the morning desert of Israel and the dense clean air of this forest city in me both at once!

"Okay, now, words, come forth." I say it when I land back in Israel for a visit. And I say it when I step off the plane back home here and smell the woods again.

I say "I'll write now," when inspiration ripples through me, because it is felt in me is such a vivid and lively way and is worth writing about. And "now," when I feel like I ought to really let myself write about myself in the third person in the way an artist like Cindy Sherman wasn't afraid to praise herself. Because I want to. I want to write about a fairy who comes to town and sings everyone into peace.

I say it when I am enveloped in fear, in sorrow. I say it when I am driven, when I'm being driven, or when I'm drawn, when I'm drawn to him. Or when I long, when I have this strong and beckoning sentiment of longing and yearning... When I feel Israel under my feet and Bellingham over my head.

When I'm feeling the immense beauty and blessing of community, of magic - I say it then. I say "I will start my book from this moment in time. This will be the first sentence."

I say it, but I don't do it. I don't write it. I want the words to be their own entities, to be summoned to my page, but I don't know how to draw them in. I want my hunger for them and my envisioning them to be enough for them to appear. I wait and I wait, as if they will come on their own accord, willingly flutter in like fairies of the greater worlds of lust and color, and curve and quiver, and rest on the page after they orgasm through the richness of Being, and help me express just how it feels to be so exquisitely excited about life, as I ride the bus or as I look out at Mt. Baker in the distance and I have eagerness and passion in me that accompany my every gaze of body into landscape, memory into presence, heart into time. 

But I don't start them. And they don't flutter in. I sit up at night while I'm sick and desperately need to sleep, and wonder where they are, those birthing words, because I'm feeling overwhelmed, and, OH!, how I want this book to be coming along (it's got poetry and images and maybe a blade of grass taped inside, and all sorts of words) while none of it has been written yet; the seed hasn't yet even fertilized this powerful world, there is not yet the sperm for the baby I want to birth; just the magnificent soul of fantasy. Oh, it's all been written in the air. But not on the page. All the arbitrarity, and the raw vulnerability ("a soul without skin"), and the beauty and the bizareness! And the adventures, and all the new things I'm learning about myself, and all the old streets of Jerusalem, and the conversations I've had among them in cafes, feeling like philosophers of the 18th century discussing their ideas... And the love and the longing and the nomadism. It's all there in its depth, in its entirety, in its flickering street-lightness, in its delicate connectivism, but it's really not anywhere yet other than in my beautifully chaotic and undisciplined mind.

So should I start from right here - sitting in bed, in this room in my friend's house, where I'm temporarily living, arching over the screen, hours after I was supposed to fall asleep because of this sore throat and exhaustion I've been feeling the past couple of days, wanting to sleep but being compelled to write? Should I start from here, from the physical pain I feel upon staying awake? It will be felt.    The spine burning.    The eyes stinging.    The stomach churning.    The heart yearning.

The sweet freedom sojourning!



So I get up the next morning, and I take the bus to the co-op, and I say, "I am starting now. I am."


Monday, September 02, 2019

Well well

Well, after the initial shock I got to work, and now the rhino is his cousin who DOES live in the Amazon rainforest - the tapir!



Post from a few days later:

I was going to post this on facebook, but will post it here instead:

I'm driven to do things in public for causes that are important, but actually running and sustaining projects from start to finish on my own is OUTSIDE of my comfort zone. 

Issue #1 that rises: My default expectation is that people will put me down and think I'm ridiculous (even though in reality I am always BLESSED with such positive feedback in all the things I do, so this fear makes no sense really, but here it is). Issue #2 is that I lose motivation along the way, and do not know how to effectively organize events, with all that they entail, including not knowing how to organize my time in a way that will get things done on time, and also lacking the confidence to make phone calls, and not even knowing what a "press release" is, even though I should be sending one. Issue #3 is that I don't like working alone. I like sharing the responsibilities. I don't like aloneness of the psyche in general. I think solidarity and togetherness is always a better way to go. And if I'm working alone, I at least need human contact, I need close friends to be physically next to me while I work. (And thank god that has been happening, and I have many loving people who are been around and with me, and some of them are helping on many different levels with this event, and I am SO grateful for all the togetherness and community there is in bringing this vision to reality, although I'd be grateful for some more help too.) One good thing I've learned about myself, though, too, is that lately I've been exhibiting a higher capacity than I used to for bouncing back up after falling. There have been already at least three incidents in the past five days that have made me feel like I can't do this, but after a short initial shock and emotional difficulty, I have been able to rise up and decide how I'm moving forth from there. (So it's nice to discover good things about myself too...)

All in all, I will be very astonished with myself if this event turns out to be a success, or turns out to BE at all. But, like most things I do, I often get to the end and don't feel proud. It's more like "oh, okay, I'm here. Now what?" So I doubt I will feel accomplished.

But I am hoping that this workshop and event that we're organizing will cultivate community and creativity around an issue that is important. I hope (as I always do in all the child education I do) that the children under my care today, are going to be more compassionate and caring adults of tomorrow. That is my hope. I hope this will also be an example for children that they have the power, as individuals and as a community, to transform the world into a better place, by using their talents.

(Although, while going through this process myself, and realizing what emotional turmoil I have put myself into by taking this initiative, I am realizing how much EASIER it is to not do things like this, to not take upon oneself the gruesome task of turning a vision into a reality, so I really cannot urge other people to do that, but on the other hand - maybe it's good to go out of your comfort zone every so often and do "ridiculous" things. Life is so fascinating. I allow myself to go through turmoil, for the sake of fully experiencing the waves of this craziness that is life.)




GOD!

Now I am feeling so despairing... There are no rhinos in the Amazon! Someone just pointed it out to me. It didn't occur to me at all! And it's on the flyer! I sent the flyer out already to all the public schools in the city, and I already posted on many facbeook pages/groups, but I HAVE to change it. I'm doing a disservice by keeping the rhino there. I'm trying to educate people about the rainforest, and am teaching wrong information by making people think there are rhinos in the amazon... I am so discouraged. Doing public things is SO fucking emotionally draining.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Anarcy

I'm feeling the sweet breeze of anarchy, or liberation, as I plan this Procession of the Rainforest Species and sit in The Wild Oat (vegan cafe and restaurant) to further develop our vision. I want children and adults to be inspired to action through the he(art)s!


 A wonderful girl drawing a rainforest bird for our poster


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Burden

... So that wonderfully creative woman I was writing about, is feeling burdened by our huge vision, and is not able to go through with this. She called me right as I was about to print some flyers and right after I opened the event page on facebook for this, and right as I was about to write to different friends with kids to publicize the event. We're four days before the first event (of the prepping) is supposed ot happen. We were zooming into it in full gear, and now it is halted. I held back tears for a while. Then I also let them out at some point. I felt a certain emptiness, aloneness. I am now sitting on my bed alone, having to carry the burden of deciding how to proceed from here. I need to make a decision alone. How fucking crazy.

I know I said I want to suffer a little bit, to feel lonely sometimes, but I didn't mean this kind of suffering. Although, I guess I didn't understand the scope of the word "suffering." Because if I truly wanted to welcome suffering, I'd know that suffering is not the stuff that's easy to deal with - because that wouldn't be suffering, it'd be some sweet tangy pain, which is fine. But this here, even though I say "this isn't what I meant", this is exactly what I would have meant, and now it's up to me to rise above it. I take some time, a few hours, and I decide to rise.

The beautiful flyer I worked on till late last night (with rainforest drawings children drew specifically for this cause), I love it, and don't know what to do now.

This is a good opportunity to truly rise above despair. God. Fuck. Pull myself through. I can fucking do it. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Synchronicity

So one funny thing is that that creative woman I was writing about who had the idea of the Procession of the Rainforest Species... 

Well, just this week my good friend whose house I'm living in (with whom I do all sorts of creative and spiritual projects, mainly with our Jewish Renewal group) befriended a new woman, who my friend described as being very artistic and free-thinking and feminist, and also Jewish, and apparently she became interested in our Jewish Renewal services, and my friend and her family were over by this woman's house on the weekend, and my friend had scheduled to have that woman and her daughters over today for lunch, because their daughters learn together in the same school... So all this was something I knew about some woman that my friend told me about, and then into our meeting yesterday at the vegan cafe comes a woman I don't know, with a smile and a sun hat, and introduces herself and says some things about herself that rung a bell from what my friend told me about that new friend of hers, and I said, "wait a minute! You just met my friend!"

So the funny thing is, we're now working on this community environmental project together for the rainforests, and today she and her daughters were here for lunch, and it's so funny how collaborations have brought us all together in this funny synchronicity of feminine energy and power! (I mean, out of all the people in our city, this specific woman who is so sweet and just days earlier became close with my good friend, happened to read about the meeting on our city's Extinction Rebellion FB page - which I asked them to share - and came to the meeting and now is organizing this big amazing event with me!) 

Also funny tidbit: at the meeting were two other friends from our Jewish Renewal group too. It was like she was getting to meet the community even though she wasn't able to come to our service last week. It was just such funny and sweet coincidences!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Hmm

I don't think I actually enjoy sitting here in this room that doesn't belong to me. It's pretty good, with all things considered, and I'm relatively quite comfortable. And most of the time I'm feeling happy and uplifted and empowered, and the outside natural world has been really beautiful in my eyes in the past few days. But really, this temporary thing -- it's good it's only temporary. But what long term thing do I even want? I know that when I get back to Israel one of the first things I want to do it take a permaculture course. It's long overdue for me to be doing that. So finally I will not push it off any longer. And then I want to get involved with a sustainable community that grows their own food. I want to dig my hands into the soil. Can I live in there, though? Well, no, I can't live in the soil. So what will my life look like when my hands are outside of the soil, when I'm up from my knees and going back inside to shower and live a life? I wonder... Who will be there with me? What kind of love adventures will I have? Who will I eventually have a child with? Will I live with the man who fathers my child, or will he impregnate me and then I'll be on my way to somewhere else? Will I stay in Israel, or will I find myself in a peace-seeking community in Portugal, or in India, or in Germany? Will I be back in Bellingham? Where will my "life" be? What will my child be like? What will that birth be like? Will I even live to experience all these, or will something kill me, like a disease or a car accident, or a terrorist attack? Since it's hard for me to envision my future, it's scarily easier to imagine that I will die before it happens. That's a scary thought actually. I'm still so very scared of death. I should dedicate more time to learning how to deal with that fear, so that the thought of death won't bother me so much. I guess maybe it's the night time, and the loneliness, that are making me think of this again... Even though I've got so many friends and talk to so many dear people throughout the day. The yellow light above me hanging from the ceiling is annoyingly dim, and my back hurts from sitting so long arched over this goddamn screen.

No photo this time.



The meeting

So let me tell you how it went...

This morning I woke up and felt I was on a mission. But I was tense. I summarized information onto a word doc which I printed (although my computer crashed a few times and I had to go sit outside to calm down from the stress), and made a sign on a white board my friend gave me. I had told her yesterday that if I'm feeling courageous I might just go around town with it. And in fact I left the house today feeling courageous, with a conviction. Not in the sense that I, Miriam, am a courageous being, or have courageous ideas, but in the sense of believing that I was impersonating a role that needed to be filled. I was merely an intermediary for a task that needed to be done. It helped me hold up the sign with my head held high. My mind felt like it was being replaced for a moment with someone who was doing something public. So that's how I walked to the bus stop and got on the bus (and someone nodded and waved to me in agreement and gave me the Peace sign with her fingers), and got off the bus and walked to the vegan cafe. There, there were already two activists who I know but didn't know they'd be coming (what a nice surprise!), and they shared their ideas with me. Then they had to go, and three more people came - two I knew about and one new one. And this new woman is a very VERY creative woman, and the creative ideas were just pouring out of her, it was quite incredible. She is an artist, and she views the world from eyes of a creator. And we (well, she) came up with a wonderful idea: A Procession of Rainforest Species (with costumes and all). She shared her vision in inspiring words, about the sacredness and importance of playfulness, of emergent creativity, of letting children lead, of our inner spirituality, of community and of rituals, as a force that is not less strong than the authorities we think rule the world. So we will turn the idea of a protest into the idea of a vibrant and colorful procession, which will at once raise awareness, drive to action and help people feel the rainforests and make their connections with them, and also be fun, community-building, family-friendly, and allow personal creativity.

I went home feeling inspired. But now, a few hours later, I'm feeling a little down, a little depleted, even lonely. Now the work continues, with a specific task, which is great and exciting, but I'm being a little discouraged and doubtful, because some people are suggesting that the problems in the rainforest may not be as bad as we think, or that it is necessary to log, or to mine, or to grow livestock, or whatever it is, and I think that maybe all my activism is actually unnecessary. (This is very possible! Maybe my opinions on things are all wrong. Maybe it's silly to even be vegan. I'm not being facetious - I'm stating what could very well actually be true, and I have no idea because my vision is so slim and so micro-based.) It makes me doubt myself, and as it is I'm never sure if I'm right. I feel like I need to be more confident, though, in order to keep up the enthusiasm. I'm glad I'm not working on this project alone (and the meeting I alone organized led to this collaboration, so that was a good outcome), though I still feel alone, because I'm sitting here alone in my room. My problem is that I don't know enough. I'm not smart enough. My brain doesn't store enough information. I know empathy, I know pain, I know suffering, I know compassion, I know love. That's it. Those are my tools. That's what I use. It's not enough. It's something. I can't have it all. Should I be satisfied, or really attempt to broaden my brain's abilities? I feel wrong saying "it is what it is", but how hard should I try to change?

How do I move myself out of loneliness for a while? How do I discipline myself to get the flyer going, without someone to bounce all my ideas off of? It's a new reality for me, being in a room alone, trying to get my portion of a project done alone. I'm used to saying everything out loud. This is a new experience for me to discover. And it's happening as I sit on the mattress on the floor in the room I'm temporarily living in, with Nemo on the mattress too, in my friend's home. 

Earlier I was feeling like I really did not want to sit alone with my enthusiasm and overwhelmingness, and I took the bus to a friend's house. She gave me food and ice cream and chocolate fudge, and then she drove me home when I wanted to go back home (because I need to work on the flyer, right?).

Anyway, that's the story. The meeting, which I was quite unsure about, ended up being quite fruitful and exciting, and now we'll start working toward our procession, which will combine ritual, indigenous sacredness, social activism, playfulness and creativity.





Sunday, August 25, 2019

Activism

What am I getting myself into?

I have this passion to change things that are unjust and destructive in the world. And now, with the crisis in the Amazon rainforest, I've decided I need to take action. And the path to that action was not clear to me. What do I actually think should be done to make an effective impact? I have no idea. So I decided I should gather people. So I connected with some people and opened a facebook group. I told my friends about it, I shared it on facebook. I was thinking of trying to organize some sort of protest, but decided that instead, I should start by organizing a planning meeting, to brainstorm ideas for action. So I decided on a place (the only vegan cafe in town) and a time, and I started posting it around - among my friends, to people and organizations I heard of in town who are active (after reading around and seeing that the other groups and organizations weren't doing anything specific for this cause). And I hung a small sign at the Community Food Co-op. And then I opened a facebook event for it - someone asked if there's an event page and I debated it for a moment, and since I'm the only one organizing this I had no one to ask but myself, and myself said "well, sure, why not?" So I opened an event, but then the grim truth sparked in front of my eyes very clearly: very few people responded. 

And then I sit and look at myself, this little tiny being that's climbing out of her skin to do something that's a few sizes big on her, and I wonder what the hell I'm doing, and why I couldn't just be like everyone else who says "oh, what a shame about the forests" and then goes on with their business?

What will I even say tomorrow (if people show up)? How will I facilitate this meeting? I need information, I need data, knowledge, WISDOM! 

Take it easy, Miriam. You don't need to change the world tomorrow, and it's fine if you don't have all the information down, and it's also fine if no one comes. It's by no means worse than if you hadn't done anything. It's definitely better, in any case. Even if you find yourself sitting there alone with a cup of coffee contemplating life.

I know I'll feel ashamed. This whole thing feels shameful to me. The not knowing enough, the not being persuasive enough, the attempt to get people involved and realizing that no one knows me and most people don't care about what I'm trying to do. Being human is sometimes truly shameful.

I have so much support from beloved friends, though. They are pushing me on. I feel like this is a holy mission. Like every action we do in the world to make the world better is a holy mission. Sometimes it's hard to believe that small things have an impact and I'm honestly not sure they do. (It seems like only huge campaigns that noticeably change the world are significant.) But I guess it's a calling from within, and I can't really sit idly by as my soul stirs.

So I get up from my spot and I try to gather people. I'm just this little being who's so fortunate and has beloved people around her, and then beyond that circle of love I do what I can. I don't know how to do more. So this'll have to do for now.

I'll let y'all know how it goes. Wish me luck!


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Amazon Rainforest is Ablaze

*Thoughts of the perplexed, helpless human*

Every minute, millions of trees and animals are being consumed by fire in the Amazon Rainforest. Those forests are a major source of oxygen and biodiversity for our planet, the lungs of the planet, and they are dying at a record rate.

Who in this world of 7.5 billion people has the power to change things? 

It is so hard to imagine that corporations can really be causing such devastation in the world. 

How does this process work? How do billionaires slowly cause destruction, and how does the process of destruction happen? 

How does a decision (like the decision to cut part of a forest to grow livestock) actually cause a chain reaction and end in the world almost becoming uninhabitable? 

Where does this start and end? 

How can a simple little human with a relatively small carbon footprint influence people in power to be more conscious of the environment - and how does/can that consciousness even be realized? 

What does a world of 7.5 billion caring people look like?

I feel like I want to just ignore the fact that millions of trees and animals are dying by the minute, and go on to my own business, but how can I? 
I feel the flames coiling through the Earth. 
I can't rest until I know that sufficient efforts are being done to stop this. 

That Bolsonaro man in Brazil, he is just like Trump, they don't care at all.

How come we little humans have the capacity to care, but the inability to do anything?


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.