Ah Ah Aaaaaaaaaah Ah!

I’m having emotional writer’s block as of late.

There are so many topics I could write about, so many things that have happened in the world, in Israel, in my immediate surroundings…but…

…I don’t like telling the world my opinions on things.  I have a lot of thoughts I used to think I could share, if not with everyone, at least with those closest to me.

Well, sharing how I think ostracized me from people and got me into debates that somehow turned ugly and personal.  I’m working on keeping my mouth shut with whatever family I have left and because I didn’t with other people, I have no friends to speak of.

Hence the hesitance to tell the World Wide Web anything about anyone but me.

I am a world in itself, and all that happens within me is only mine to share.

It will always be unique, it will always stand alone, and it should never, in theory, personally offend anyone else.

That being said, I’ve been drawing a blank.  Wait, that’s not entirely true, I’ve been drawing a huge, black and bold question mark spinning around my head with ever-increasing speed.

What IS going on with me?

The world that is me is changing, and fast.  There are so many, too many, new experiences going on at once.  Life is out of control and it looks like the brakes are out.

So I’m holding on.

For dear life.

And I’m scared.

And Onward We Go

The siren’s wail is piercing through the land, interrupting my brooding thoughts.

I am in middle of watching a powerful man take great credit for something he only authorized to do.  I am irritated by him and his meaningless words.  He has overshadowed the intensity of this moment.

I read on, the descriptions of how it came to be flashing a silent movie in my head.

I see the shadowy figures systematically destroying each target, with no history of pain and loss impeding the operation.  These are machines made to work, sent by our sense of justice, vengeance and right.

The mess they leave is jubilantly celebrated.

I am stuck in the desert, thinking of all the other details.

I am thinking of the woman used as a shield for her husband, and how love was the last thing on her mind when she took the bullets meant for him.

I am thinking of a people brought up on a diet of rage.

I am thinking of the villain who will take his place.

I am thinking of the children who will die next.

The siren cuts through the path of unknown futures and directs me to past truths.

Another man died today.

Another war rolled its ending credits.

Another hopeful generation celebrated the just desserts of evil.

Another world was laid to rest.

The siren stops abruptly, echoes reverberating off surrounding hills.

Past, present and future unite to commemorate the victims of all things bad for one more moment.

My husband sits down beside me with a breakfast of eggs and matzoh, and we resume living.

Break The Chain

Newness smells like cheap plastic and styrofoam chips mixed with cardboard and a hint of pine. It fills my nostrils with each breath I take, embracing me with memories.

Moving again, and this time it WILL be better. I pack methodically and neatly to begin with, although I know I will start losing momentum and the boxes will tell on me. My meager possessions lessen as I throw out clothes I thought I would wear and cherished knick-knacks I no longer wish to remind me of their meanings. I make lists of what I don’t have and pretend to need, although I made do without them here. I am excited this time, as I always am and always soon forget. This is going to be it. I am going to plant my feet firmly on the ground I will shortly be on and no one will be able to uproot me. I will build my family there, make friends, be neighborly and never let anyone or anything send me packing. I smile as my last ten boxes get their ‘random’ label and bulky frame. All will be well.

And then…moving again, and this time it WILL be better.

I am shaken out of my waking dream by the whiff of dust and mold creeping out from under the covered counters. I look around my tiny abode, clean and ready, and find myself contemplating all my mistakes.

We never should have taken such a small place, maybe if we had more room we would have been happier here. We should have lived more central, or in the other part of town, where we would have more interaction with other people. And maybe we should have tried harder.

I sit down, overwhelmed by my wandering mind, and hold my heart gently and carefully. I will not let my thoughts bully me into hurting my fragile beating friend. My feelings soothed, I close my eyes and do the only thing I know I can do.

I change.

Moving again, and this time will be no different from the last. I will pack in my usual manner. I will be excited. I will look forward to the challenges to come. I will acknowledge my introversive nature and will not seek friends through the park, mall or supermarket. I will likely be happy at first, although I must have a strategy to combat my restlessness. I will make it work by not trying so hard to make it work.

My eyes open in curious wonder.  I feel something lift off my aching shoulders as my mind works its way around me. I place my heart back where it belongs and tell it my new train of thought. The answering steady beat means we have united to reach one entire understanding.

I am at ease.

I am free.

Cry With Me, Laugh With Me

It was a small room, a corner really, decorated with rich fabrics and gold tassels.  There was an air of royalty, palpable with every bated breath.

We entered slowly, wondering how we had come to be before this holy man.

He was sitting on a throne behind a table sagging under the weight of sorrows and pains.  He studied me as though he could hear the thumping of my racing heart.  His eyes were a sea of calm and serenity.  With one small smile, my heart was eased.  We sat down and he motioned for us to speak.  Haltingly, painfully, we built the story, expressed our anguish and looked to him for hope.

“I’ll tell you a something,” he said.  “I once had a man tell me that he was a heretic because of a halacha that went against what he considered to be humane.  If a person’s father dies, and he leaves him a large inheritance, he must say Baruch Dayan HaEmes and then Shehecheyanu.  This man was so distraught by the apparent insensitive nature of the halacha that he totally abandoned Yiddishkeit.  I told him, ‘What would you have liked?  Would you rather that you lose a father and mourn for six months, and then one day I tell you, now rejoice that you have riches?  What a waste of time!  You could have had some comfort!  The halacha is there to teach us that we can and should embrace ALL the emotions one situation can bring up!’  So you see what I’m saying,” and here he smiled at me in particular, “It’s alright to feel as you do.  The heart is very big.  It is very deep and very strong.  It can feel a loss as deeply and darkly as you feel right now and at the same time have that glow of happiness you are radiating.  Look at yourselves!  Look at the joy you have!  Yes, you cry at night.  So cry!  Buy you can also dance – dance and sing and clap for joy!”  The twinkle in his eye burned bright for a moment as he lowered his voice a notch.  “You might want to dance on the rooftops at night, where no one can see you, but,” and here his voice rose with his arm, “but dance away!”


I read the news last night and cried my heart out.

The pictures I saw today tore into my soul.

The pain, the suffering, washed over me with no relief.


And then my son started laughing at the discovery of his own feet.  He pushed himself backwards all over the kitchen floor, giggling like a jolly old man.  I sat on the floor, crouched over his ever-moving body, and laughed like a mad-woman.  Hysterically, I thought of how much I wanted to be crying, and how I could not hold in this joy.  And I remembered the man with the endless eyes and the glimmering smile, and I knew that we would be alright.

We will all be alright.


Today, we met with a panel of fierce-looking Israeli professional women with thick eyebrows.

They are going to decide what to do with our daughter.

They asked us to describe her.

We did.

They asked the gannenet to describe her.

She did.

And then they deliberated in front of us.

Bewildered is not enough of a word to convey the feeling I am left with, but it’s something along those lines.

Their decision was that they can’t make a decision.

So they’re going to be passing the decision stick to the next set of evaluators.

I wonder if they’ll be bothered to meet the subject of their discussion, or if it will be another panel of fierce-looking Israeli professional women with thick eyebrows and scribbled notes that make up my little girl.

Time of My Life

My parents just celebrated the birth of their ninth grandchild.

Nine children, all in the span of five years, and they’ve only just begun.

I am so happy for my sister, and thrilled for my parents who have evolved into this role so beautifully.

And yet…gulp…they have evolved into this role…without a thought, a word or, seemingly, a care.

I always knew I would get older, even have children of my own.  I was never fearful of aging, and looked forward to adulthood.

Well, here I am now; a woman, a Mrs., and, horrifyingly enough, a lady.  (My mother recently referred to women my age as ‘ladies’.  When I pointed that out to her, she paused and thought about what it meant to have a lady as a daughter.  The end result was that we shrugged and went with it, as awkward as it was for both of us.)

I love it, this freedom of living life on my own.  Growing up wasn’t too fun, but boy was it worth it.

And then I take a look at those who were the adults in my life, and the reality sets in.

I want to be a big girl so very badly.  I have so much to offer the world now.  It’s my time.

But…that means it’s no longer theirs.  They will sit back happily and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  They will smile and laugh and tell me stories of when they were my age, or when I was my child’s age, and I will…

…what will I do?

How will I relate to them?

Truth be told, I didn’t want to grow up to stand on my own.  I wanted to catch up to them, to stand next to them, so I could be a part of their world.

Now that world is their age, and I am still here, still trying to be what time will never allow me to be.


My Mother(in-law)’s Eyes

I was in the shower this morning, and instead of focusing on my personal hygiene, I was staring in utter disgust at the soap scum building up in the cracks between the tiles.

As I was folding laundry, I discovered new hot-spots for spiders, dust mites and unidentified crunchy objects.

Then my tiny everything room starting screaming out wretched cries of neglect.

My daughter’s room laughed cruelly, and refused to cooperate.

My head started spinning, my heart went into panic mode and my breath froze in the back of my mouth.

I suddenly forgot every single coping mechanism known to man.  So…I had a coffee and the rest of the chocolate waiting in the refrigerator.

Feeling a bit more sane, I thought about the predicament I had put myself in.

And I started in on myself.

What’s wrong with you, ma’am?  Do you really think she’s going to notice that?  And so what if there are toys around?  She knows you have children, hell, that’s why she’s coming!  And who do you think you are, walking around with those critical eyes……OH!

And there I had it.  I had taken on her eyes.

Well, let me rephrase that.

I had taken on the eyes I imagine she has, although there is no real basis to my assumptions and never any proof to back it up.

I decided that when one gets on a plane and flies across an ocean for the sole reason of meeting their latest grandchild, they are accompanied by critical eyes that zone in on every blemish that can be found in my bathroom, my bedroom, and of course, in me.

Yay me – a new low.

So Ma, I’m waiting here for you with my eyes completely blank, cause I sure ain’t gonna be trying on what I think are your eyes until I see them light up at the sight of your beautiful grandchildren and the wonderful home they live in.

Then I’ll be glad to see through my mother(in-law)’s eyes.

Wanna be my Girlfriend?

I don’t have any friends.

I had a best friend when I was young, and although we thought we’d be friends forever, life happened and we’re now Facebook friends.

There was a time when I had lots of friends.  In fact, I was part of a few different groups of people and built very strong relationships with lots of guys.  Yup, guys.  That’s the problem.

I don’t want to get into the whole idea of a girl being “one of the guys” and whether or not that can possibly be true, or debate the existence of platonic relationships.  The fact is, I was surrounded by people who cared for me and for whom I cared for very deeply.

After a few years, my groups of friends filtered out a few stragglers, lost some members to religion, lost other members to a lack of religion, and eventually congealed together to form one, strong, familial bond.

We were a band of brothers, plus a sister, for quite some time.  We shared in each others triumphs and encouraged growth as a unit.  We spoke of the past and hashed out the present.  Mostly, we looked forward to a future brightened by the friendships formed.

I got married first.

I had always said that the only way I’d be able to keep my friends was if I married one of them.

I did marry my friend, but someone who wasn’t really enmeshed in our little circle.

My friends were wonderful in their welcome.  He was treated as a brother, and they all came to our wedding and danced with him as brothers do.

And then, it fizzled out.  Just like that.  There were no goodbyes, no practical conversations to discuss how to make it work.  It was over.

When we lost the baby, they all called.  They still felt my pain and cared for me so much, we just weren’t friends anymore.

I understand the difficulties they must have had relating to be as a married woman, and even more when they each subsequently got married.  It’s hard to explain me to another girl, and I’m sure it was easier to just move on.  But I missed them.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the lack of friendship in my life.

My husband and I have been falling into the roles of parents.  Although we are still so close, our days are mostly revolved around caring for our children and running out household.  He will always be my best friend, but maybe, just maybe, I need a bit more.

So I’m on the market for a friend.  A girlfriend.

The question is, how does one go about a friendship with a girl?


Eyes…fearful eyes…peer over the trench…

…pale neck stretching to greet the blade…

…back arched in eager anticipation…

…knees bent to absorb the shock…

…hands raised in wordless prayer…



The blade falls…the world is still…

…for a moment…

Rushing forward…screaming…cursing…throat dripping shrieks of anger…hatred…pain…hurt…



Child of Mine

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, she comes to me.

Curling up inside my heart, she begs me to remember her.

She wants me to smile as I watch her play.  She wants me to giggle bashfully.

She wants me to be a child again.

She is a very persuasive bedmate, and I follow her in my dreams.

We cross streams, skipping over slippery rocks fearlessly, until she laughingly reminds me not to look down.   I do, and the depths of the raging river greet my falling body with a roar.

We skip through meadows, lush and green.  She leads me over a hill, and into thin air.

She takes my hand, soft and sure.  She squeezes it tight, and I watch my purple fingers fade away.

Her arms spread out; she spins around, faster and faster, until she is but a dizzying blur and a taste of bile in the back of my throat.

Her laughter, loud, boisterous, laughter, is ringing in my ears.  It echoes in my mind, daring me to listen to her silenced voice.

I cannot breathe, for she has stolen my air.

I cannot change, for she has stolen my courage.

I cannot believe, for she has stolen my faith.

She is everything I am not, and everything I could have been.

If only she would stop coming to me.

She turns, with a smile, and waves goodbye.

And I, I with my tortured dreams, grab her wavering shadow and pull her close.

I hold her, with shaking arms, and will not let her go.

She wants me to comfort her, to stroke her hair and ease away the pain.

And this child of mine, this child of mine, I will not let her go.