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Running on Jewish Time

Monday, August 29, 2005

Ahhhhh... Romance

The fuzzy pink feeling that subsists between two partners in a soon to be sexual relationship. The floating infinite moments of sunshine and flowers, where all the world seems to be composed solely of and for the sake of two individuals.

It's not real, there are no dishes in romance, not messes, except the endearing dishevelments of a loved one's hair or coat. No taxes and certainly no death in this neverending fairytale of a relationship.

I watch it from the outside, looking in at the happy abandonment of the couple, feeling very lonely in my singleness and yet I acknowledge...

I am not a romantic. Any man who compliments me, risks being laughed in the face. I know I am not pretty or shapely or have flowing raven locks; they are dark brown, thank you. I don't have a tinkling laugh; its a cackle.

More important and basic then any of the ephitets of romance, is strangely enough, as dreamy and as removed from reality in the general course of things as I am. If I should get into a deep relationship, one that will be created inside a marriage, I will be eminently practical and focused. The other person will be to important to mess up for.

Romance is not for me. I dream of Reality, when all I need to do is open my eyes.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Bright Side of Death

The following conversation appeared in the midst of a consideration of the coming month and the possiblity of getting a negative review this year
'Ello G-d! Its me. Yeah, I know I'm back a bit earlier than I expected but I think it was because of that sinning I was doin'

(11:34:54) Sinner: Yeah Know, I was thinkin' of it, and it was a bit daft. So, if Your Infinitness wouldn't mind, I'd like to have another go.

(11:35:09) Sinner: and I'll be reall real good.

(11:36:30) Sinner: Well, I am sorry. Very sorry.

(11:36:59) Sinner: If fact, if I knew I was going to be this sorry, I wouldn't ha' done it in the first place

(11:37:14) Sinner: What do You mean its to late for that!!

(11:37:52) Sinner: Well, its bloody hard to repent properly when a bloke is having a good time

(11:39:14) Sinner: Well, I mean it's kind of 'sin, then repent' but a bloke got to have a quite a bit of sin before he's got enough to do a proper job of repenting

(11:39:34) Sinner: Well, I know I had enough sinnin'!!!

(11:40:08) Sinner: I just hadn't gotten to the penitence part yet. I was pacing meself

(11:40:31) Sinner: I'm still sorry though.............................Lord?

(11:41:15) Sinner: What do You mean You bloody made dream I was dead !!.... I mean... Wait don't smite me, Lord?

(11:41:24) Sinner: You mean I'm not dead!

(11:41:32) Sinner: and I'm still alive

(11:41:51) Sinner: and I still have time to do all me repentin'?!

(11:42:12) Sinner: and I'm not goin' to the hot spot, if ye ken my meaning?!

(11:42:22) Sinner: [Flames]
(11:43:06) Sinner: Right, Right, got it. Yes, Your Perfectioness

(11:43:15) Sinner: will repent as ordered

(11:44:23) Sinner: but... if a bloke were to be a bit 'ungery a borrow a little somemat, which not a soul would miss....

(11:44:32) Sinner: [Larger Flames]

(11:44:51) Sinner: Okay.... Right, Lord. Um, can I wake up, now?

(11:44:53) Sinner: Please?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

On being a Mother

Do I really want to have kids?

Want... no not really. Need to have.......... definite Yes.
This is not a halachic debate or disscusion, I know purely technically I don't have an obligation to have kids because it's dangerous [before or afterward is really the question of what is going to kill you]. It's not about the survival of the Jewish people, G-d will make sure the Jewish people survives, try to worry about the Jew next to you surviving. It''s about me and my own personal wrestling with the idea of spending 30+ years creating human beings from some two cells, and whole lot of work.

So I reiterate: I don't want children but I need them.

Its the same deal as with davening scharit, are there pale murky gray morning, where it hurts to get out of bed and the last thing I want to do is extoll the L-rd that created this morning for creating the rooster to wake us up. Do I do anyway, of course because I need to, because I wouldn't be the self I want to be without it. 

Like going to Israel, like the few dozen moments scattered through my head where I stood at the fork of the road, set my jaw and choose what I knew to be right rather than what I wanted to.

So I need children, I need to spend those sleepless nights, walking back and forth coaxing the baby to sleep, chase after five year olds to get their shoes on their feet,  reminding eight year olds to clean up under the bed also, setting curfews and discussing life with burning adolescents to become the person who can do all that.
and that person is what I really want

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Memory of the Nine Days

Just came across something that I wrote during the Nine Days last year. Even though Tu B'av is tommarow, I thought it would be appropriate:

Talking to the Outside

I grew up an Orthodox Jew, still am. A slightly different stripe, more into Torah, than modernity, but its hard to keep up with something that changes everyday.

Growing up Jewish, living with 3500 years of history, all tripping off the tip of the tounge every time we eat a piece of bread.

We live in an entirly different world from the life of McDonalds and Nike and PBS, where the spirit is always reaching beyond the law. Where everything matters.

Then what do we do when we meet that World? You know, the one everyone calls the outside world, the real world, not the one I grew up in.

We're different, so you always been a little afraid of us, and always hated us a little bit for it.

Okay. I know we dress funny, but it wouldn't hurt to get to know us.

You like to paint us as victims of millenea of pursecution, I guess we are. But we don't feel like victims. We don't feel like we've been wronged and need you to us back. You can pass judgement on yourselves, we just talk to G-d. After all, we are a nation that is acutely aware of the curious charector of history, we're still here.

We aren't victims, we aren't pawns in the hands of a brutal world. We know that our future in not in our hands, and it sure ain't in yours either.

Homocide Bombers, UN Resolutions, Iranian weapons, we know all about those. But how's it so different from the Nuremburg Laws, French collaborators, and the silent West? Or Cossacks and Crusaders and the Pale of Settlement?

You've always tried to draw our borders, deliniate the space and freedom in which we may live. We don't like it but it never touches the heart of us.

You stormed into our Temple and saw an empty room and mocked us for what you thought wasn't there.

That hurt. But that building you burnt down, still stands, within the people themselves.

And always will.

Simply Exhuasted

I am so physically and emotionally exhausted.

All the pictures from Gaza drain me, so much pain, so much anger. I grew up B'nei Avika, kippa surga and Eretz Yisrael. Tishav B'av, to sit on the floor and cry... I wish I could cry. Had my family stayed in Israel, I would have been in the thick of it. Here I can only be wrought by the pain, and it drains me.

My friend, I so worried about her, she's shutting everyone out includingme and I know she's lonely and will only grow lonelier the more she does this. I'm almost worried she's suicidal. I love her so much and I know it but I'm too exhausted to feel it.

All the children that I have inspire, even if its in a few weeks. To love them so much that they start to love each other. To be the safe place for them...

and then the guy. He's so emotionally ignorant or maybe its just inexpressive. He reminds of myself from a few years ago, and of my sister and of my father. I tired of it, though. You can take in such a way that's giving. Make people feel as if they're good and altruistic and the best part of it is they really are. "thank you, sir", 'I appreciate that ma'am' and underneath that is the warmth, which speaks 'you're special', 'you're important'....

I know what to do for the physical exhaustion. I'll go to sleep early this shabbos and go to 8' o'clock minyan instead of hashkama.

For the emotional exhaustion.... shabbos is coming. I will welcome it in with all grace and joy and v'yenafash, and it will enliven me. I need a day to bathe in the ahava, ahavat Hashem, ahavat, ha'rommemut, and then finally ahavat yisrael.

Thank G-d for Shabbos.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Too Many Pictures

I feel nauseous at the number of picture out there. Why can't they stop?
What is it they are so fascinated with?
These are my people and so if watch it is because I am concerned. But I
want to shield those faces from the hostile stares of those who do not
understand and cannot even begin to comprehend. This was not supposed to
be yet another waystop on out long complicated journey. This is a
private moment between family. A very painful, very private moment

Ani Ma'amin

Even when he still tarries, Even with all this I will wait every day for
his coming...... Ani Ma'amin

Monday, August 15, 2005

Buying Back In

Forget the bitterness. Let's buy back in.

Plunk the chips done on the table and be ready to pay anything for the truth and the truth is right now I'm stealing from my boss, so I think I'll go back to work.


Another friend engaged.

This time I can be a little prouder of my reaction. To yell 'yes!', to readily rejoice and only after to feel the longing, the long shadow curling behind me from the brilliant light of another happiness. Ready to turn and to say bitter things.

I am jealous, of the purity, more than anything else. Everything I have is so gray, so mixed so ambiguous that whatever small satisfaction that I get from it is always tinged with the sharp taste of knowing that this is not ideal.

Why do I live this way?
I've sold out. for my sake. for my parents sake....I've sold out.

I hate that and hate myself for it.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Silence in My Head

Nine days have come and the silent pall the shrouds and suffocates all music, all noise descends upon me. I hear myself singing this, humming that, waiting, longing until I can listen to music again. Is there a tune to Al Naharot Bavel. I made one up before. Sham Yashavnu, Gam
Bachinu. This moments so sad, so grave, the pitiless descent into the most ignimous moments in our history. I want to stop. Some part of me wants to abandon everything and just rail and beat at the wall, until I feel something, anything rather than this callous contentment or this growing interest or I don't even know what at this growing relationship.

Seven days, and counting and then the Temple burns again.

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