Sunday, October 23, 2011


*I have no idea why I decided to write this, but after sharing it with a friend, she suggested I post it here - so here it is:

Most days, I think that I've forgotten more than I remember, but for some reason, an extraordinary moment popped into my head, so I thought I'd share...

In Israel, for my brother's wedding.  We took the wedding party to climb Masada - this must be done at 2am, during the still, cool, in-between time of the desert before the sun rises and bakes everything to death.  You want to be up that Snake Path in time to witness the heart-stopping glory of the Sun rising over that parched, tan sand, explore the ruins, have an experience, and be back down before noon, seeking shelter from the brutal afternoon heat.  When we see people attempting to ascend on our way down, we warn them back, and send them to the cable cars - tell them the secret to this journey, tell them to try again tomorrow.  I have made this climb many times since the first, when I was 8 in 1977.  This time...this time, a fence had been erected blocking our entrance to the site.  My father the paratrooper, my father the Israeli war veteran, one of the first of those who entered the Old City of Jerusalem on that day back in '67 and gave us back our Wall, while my mother waited back on the kibbutz with their newborn son who, all these years later, had just been married - didn't miss a beat; he tore a hole in the fence with his bare hands so we could get through.  When the tanks pulled up and found us standing there, half of our group (the bride's family) standing terrified on the 'outside', not knowing what to do, and into what kind of crazy family they had just married their daughter, and our people, on the 'inside', knowing full well that when those tanks reached us, we wanted to be behind my dad.  There was a heated debate, most of which I didn't understand, at the end of which, the tanks pulled away, sheepishly saluting my fierce and fuming father, and apologizing for having interrupted his sacred journey.  And up we went.  The pace was slow, as we were so many, and some were old, and I grew more and more impatient as the sky lightened in the East.  So I ran.  I ran the rest of the way up the wild twists and turns of the Snake Path, and found myself alone on top of that mountain.  I sat on a rock, facing the direction of the soon-to-be rising sun, pulled out and assembled my silver flute, that I had chosen to carry with me on that day.  And I played.  I played what my soul moved me to - Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem.  As it echoed out across the valley, low and sweet, I felt the stir deep, deeper, deepest in my soul, and I watched that magnificent orange globe peek itself over the horizon, and rise to my song.  And as the last notes faded over the flat top of this monument to the strength of my people, my father appeared at the top of the trail, his eyes bright with feeling and wonder, looking to me and saying, "that was beautiful!"  I was shocked.  It hadn't occurred to me that anyone else was hearing me play - the moment had felt so private.  But my dad said it had echoed all the way down the trail, and had pulled him forward to see who was playing - and it was me.  He was blown away.  I was a bit embarrassed, but also immensely proud.  And here we were, father and daughter, loving each other through this experience, and having shared something so tender, so...private and fragile, that I will never forget it, and will honor this memory all the days of my life.  It's almost 13 years now since my father passed on, but he lives every day in my heart, in my soul, in that song - and in our moment together, on that mountain.  Selah ~

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Good, Clean Vent

I had expected the email from my mother, as we're supposed to have another one of those court ordered dinner dates tomorrow night.  I was not ready for my reaction to what it said.  I'm going to copy and paste the relevant text here, so you can all tell me I'm crazy, and that I should let it go:

"So are we on for tomorrow? It is supposed to be

rainy and icky. Alternatively we could move our

time to saturday or sunday if you are free and

then we could spend a little more time together.

Let me know what you would like to do."
Seems innocuous enough, right?  Well, it apparently set off every trigger I have, and I was unable to respond past saying that it was full of triggers, and I couldn't respond right now...  What triggers, you wonder?  Well, let's start with the 'are we on'.  OF COURSE we're ON!  Why wouldn't we be?  I made PLANS with her, and my CHILD is EXPECTING her!!!  This is a pet peeve of mine that she is particularly adept at tripping over - there are YEARS worth of 'I'll call you tomorrows' that turned into next month.  Obviously a promise to me - and now, to my child - means nothing.  Just words filling up space.  Another way of telling us that we're less than important.  It's supposed to RAIN?!?!  THAT'S a good enough excuse to blow off the grandson that you just spent THOUSANDS of dollars dragging my ass through court to see?  She just bought a BRAND NEW CAR, which I'm sure has BRAND NEW tires and BRAND NEW brakes and wipers, and she can't handle the rain?!?!?!  While I was forced to make multiple trips down to the courthouse in my broken-down DEATH machine, that I have to put my child in every other day or so just to do the laundry and the grocery shopping - not to mention my poor client!  My brakes are GONE, my tires are SHOT, I have a piece of PLASTIC for a WINDOW, and I have to climb in and out through the passenger's side because my door is SMASHED IN - driving my vehicle in bad weather is a truly terrifying experience, and SHE can't handle a little rain...  So I told her we were busy this weekend, which we are.  We have two parties to attend, one of which has been on the calendar for a month, now, and the other is a friend's birthday party - tough luck, Grandma, sucks for you.  Hang on, another email just came in - - -
It says she'll be here tomorrow at 5.  NOW the challenge is to accept that gracefully, and not hit her with, "don't do me any favors", or "if you're sure you can handle it".  But now I'm all riled up and angry, and need to find a way to calm down...I do realize that I need to accept the occasional 'something suddenly came up' (nod to The Brady Bunch), but after so many years of being blown off for the littlest thing, I suppose I'm still a bit raw.  I'd rather not have to do this at all, as it's really more of a favor to her, but I agreed to it, and if nothing else, it's one night a month that I don't have to cook dinner.  Right?  Right.  Glad I got that out.  Now, to get through the dinner...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Jew Year

See, I can say that because I'm a Jew...though it's almost Celtic New Year as well.  Anyway, it's been awhile, as once again I've gotten bogged down in my process, had a million things to do, didn't feel good, had a fly on my toe, and whatever other excuses I feel like making because it's MY blog, and I can write or not write as I see fit.  But.  I think about writing every day.  I think 'I should write about this or that, but I can't because I'm supposed to be working on (insert any number of other things I need to be working on here)'.  Pathetic, right?  And Hey!  I just got an email!  Why don't I jump over to facebook and see who said something witty about someone else's kid putting underpants on their head, YAY!  Oh, never mind, it was from the PTA...

So, yeah - the last time I posted was before I headed up to Vermont for what I hope was my last residency as an undergrad (but I've been here before, kids, don't get too excited).  The weather was amazing, the residency was fully inspiring, we got to hang out with good friends, the boy got to spend the weekend with his dad, and I didn't crash the car into anything.  Big win all around!  Then we came home to hurricane Irene, and spent more than week cleaning up the mess she left behind, and all I wanted to do was sleep off the recurrence of the skin rash that re-erupted while I was at the residency.  My right ankle and my face (neck, decolletage, arms) swelled back up and began oozing, itching, peeling and generally drove me insane for the better part of a month, until my face finally managed to normalize, and my ankle is back to just the oddly inexplicable patch of horrendous that has lived there for many years, and remains a mystery to my health care practitioner.  I'm thinking it's food related - I'm looking at you, Dairy and Wheat (and sugar)!  I did a one week juice fast - I was hoping to do two weeks, but my alarming inability to plan meals and budget my money precluded that - which helped me recover, I think, and I'd like to do another one, now that I have a better idea of how to do it properly.

The young one went back to school - 2nd grade! - and started taking karate twice a week.  He's doing great, bringing me home grades to make a mama swoon with pride, and a talking in class issue that makes me want to scream.  Although if being a chatterbox is the worst of what I have to deal with from him, then I'm just going to take a deep breath, and institute a rewards system - so the child is exuberant and social, big deal.  I'm simply not going to punish him for it - help him work on curbing it, yes.  Freak out?  Big N.O.  Counting my blessings and picking my battles over here, thanks!

Then there was the Epic Court Nonsense of 2011 - my lovely 'mother' and her heinous lawsuit.  Guess what?  SHE LOST!!!  HAHAhahahaa!  She spent thousands of dollars to get a judge to tell her she was/is out of line, and needs to back off of me post haste.  I was so high on good feelings and energy after that, I could have flown home on my own harmonious vibration!  What's really interesting, is that now the case is over, she wants to be my new best friend and hang out all the time and call and she didn't sit in a court of law, swear an oath, and attempt to paint a picture of me as a mentally unbalanced and abusive mother, undeserving of anyone's respect.  Priceless!  Whatever.  She failed to convince anyone of that non-reality, and I refuse to allow her to just pretend it didn't happen.  What she did was so beyond unacceptable that I will never allow her back into my life in a way that gives her power to hurt me or my son ever again.  I am forgiving, forgetting and moving on - but I want very much to remember the pain and anguish she put us through this past year, so I can avoid falling into one of her sick traps when she sets them.  The power is mine, now, and the best way for me to use it is to build a better relationship with my child, based on love, respect, understanding and open lines of communication.  To further spread my net of joy and connectedness, to revel in the beauty of ALL life, and the ties that bind us to this beautiful planet and each other.  To find the silver lining...and to help others find theirs.

I feel very close to experiencing pure bliss, and I have more good days than bad, at this point.  I feel enlarged, as if my soul is making room for the explosion of blessedness seeping in from every direction as I settle into the 'dark half' of my 42nd year, and 'answers' reveal themselves at such an alarming rate that it gives me vertigo!  I hope the good energy that is flowing through me is finding a way to reach you, and that You, whoever you are, are open to accepting it with all your heart.  Wish me luck on having the grounding to be able to complete my project, this time around, and help me find the strength to close the door on that chapter of my life so I can walk towards new dreams, achieve new goals, and fulfill some long buried desires.  I love you all - whoever you are - I love you. ♥