Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Lost and the Searching

It's a funny thing about us Jews. We fall into a few very settled and specific steryotypes and live up to them fully; the Scholar, the Homemaker, the Wandering Artist. Sometimes I think we invented the concept of the steryotype, we do it so well. But it's hard to stick the Searcher into his own category, bc so many of us claim him as our own. Mostly the people who think; I guess those that don't think really don't call themselves Searchers. Those that think usually like to think of themselves that way. (A pretentious affectation? Or an accurate labeling of a slice of reality?)
Ever notice how many of us are obsessed with this home concept? Nationally and personally. I mean, the literature in Judaism - prayers and songs and various teachings, entire sforim - focused, or at least largely driven, by this concept of our lost homeland, the endless search for it, the chronic longing. Very emotionalized idea, especially since the establishment of the State.
And individually; once you leave the house for the first time, it's really never the same coming back. I mean, long-term - year in Israel, first year in college. Living away from home changes something, your parents house is never quite home again. Tom Wolf was right. But that's normal - nature's way of pushing you out into the world, making your own new home and perpetuating the species. But think later on; eventually, your kids move out. And you continue to live in your own home, as long as you can. But eventually, most people can't live on their own anymore and get put into places that are called homes officially which in reality are anything but. And then what? You spend the rest of your life homesick? That's one of the saddest things I can think of, honestly.
I know what my teachers would tell me. This life is only temporary, you can't put too much into physical things, the real world, the real home, is in the world to come. But I can't quite get my head past the home thing. I mean, I don't know what I'd do if the house I grew up in was suddenly gone. I can't quite get over how invested physical thing become, how much of the spiritual, transient lives of people get soaked up within them so that sometimes physical things contain more of actual human life than any one of us. How is something that steeped in reality and life unimportant? How is it something not to be regarded with respect and love?
It's an endless contradiction. That which is unimportant steeped with the essence of the meaning of existence and then completely destroyed. It has something to do with the fusion and the wandering and the wondering but I can't figure out just what yet. Where does it come in?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This Is A Metaphor G-ddammit!!

so find me already.
I mean, I'm sitting here
and I'm trying to tell you, "I'm lost,"
and you hear "sidetracked," or
"misdirected," or
"slightly confused"
and I'm trying to tell you
"I'm lost!"
I don't know why you can't hear me
maybe it's cuz my voice is fading as I
recede into the sunset
so it's inaudibility makes it indecipherable.
but you keep telling me I'll get there
and when I try to say "I don't want to go,"
you tell me to check street signs
and make a left at the light.
well I'm seeing barns and cornfields now
and I may never find you
because how can you give me accurate directions
when you don't know where I am?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

An Excuse

So I wrote this whole long post the other day that got completely eaten by the internet; I could recreate but I have neither the time nor the heart at the moment, and I am afraid of another like disappearance. It was about fusion and love and the general oneness of things. It was kind of nice. Anyway, maybe I'll re-write it maybe not; just so youknow, I'm not negelcting you guys completely.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Life is a crazy place. A hectic, emotional, running around on no sleep and being ridiculously strained kind of place. And also one of spiritual fusion. This is important.

I went to daven at the Kotel the day I left Israel. I was in the room off to the side, and there were only about six or seven of us in the room. One was a little, wrinkled old chareidi lady davening and shuckling at the front, by the Wall. All of a sudden, a cell phone rang, and a lady behind me picked it up. Despite the "shsh"s and the "nu"s from the little old lady, this woman continued to carry on her conversation. When she was still talking even after monosyllabic answers weren't enough to satisfy her end of it, another woman finally asked her to finish it outside, which the lady eventually did. When the conversation ended, she came back in to finish praying. AS she got up to leave when she was done, the little old lady called her over and asked her her name.
"Vishel Ima shelach?" ("And your mother's name?")
"Sorah bat Batya. Shetihieyh lach rak bracha vihatzlacha visimcha visasson vikol tuv." ("You should have nothing but blessings and success and joy and everything good.")
"Amein, todah lach."

I thought it was sweet. Little ladies like that are my heroes.

There's been craziness since I've been in America; not that I'm going to tell you exactly what, but my head's been spinning since I got here. I suppose I'll sort it all out eventually, but meanwhile I'm coming apart a bit at the seams...