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: