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.