When the Children Cry – Rise Up!

There is a soundtrack to my life. There are an endless amount of lyrics and tunes stored in my brain and the second something happens that triggers a feeling, a song begins to play.

Today, I heard the White Lion ballad stirring around as I listened to an audio clip of children crying out for their parents in a US Customs and Border detention facility.

“Little child, dry your crying eyes…how can I explain the fear you feel inside…”

The idealism of my teenage years when ’80s ballads did me in came flooding back at me, wrapped in the cynicism of reality. I used to think people wrote and sang songs like this because you could rally up the people and they could make a change.

“No more presidents, and all the wars will end…one united world, under god…”

It’s laughable how I had hoped for a better world for my children. I’m wondering now how to incorporate a possible war into my summer plans so that my kids don’t get excited about something that can be derailed by rockets. I used to think cheesy lyrics meant something.

“When the children cry, let them know we tried…”

No, you didn’t. I was a crying child then. While the adults around me were composing songs about saving the world and feeding all the hungry children, I was curling up in my room learning not to trust anyone.

“Little child, you must show the way, to a better day for all the young…” 

Uh-uh. Not this time. I’m so tired of children taking up the role of our future. I don’t believe that…not anymore.

I’m all grown up now. I heard you sing and chant and claim to fight for me. I saw you fail time and time again.

Children are still crying and my head is filled with the bullshit of a generation who thinks my generation is too fast-paced, too demanding, too selfish and too damn technologically advanced to know how to stoop down to eye level with children and tell them that we fucked up.

You raised us with the wrong songs. You made us think we had to fix your mistakes. You told us you were sorry for leaving us something so damaged and you slithered off into retirement while refusing to let your fist loosen on the ideals you carefully cultivated for yourselves.

We’ve taken the seeds of your ideas and we’ve grown them into worlds you never could have imagined. We’ve become innovators and problem solvers and creative geniuses and you still scoff at us.

I need a new soundtrack.

I can hear the drums, I can feel the beat picking up. I think we might have something special churning around out there, something that can produce a sound I can be proud of.

Listen up, kids. I know you’re hurting and scared and worried about your future.

We got this. This is not our fight but we’re going to make it ours. You are the children of today. You should be learning and laughing and living your best lives. You shouldn’t be in detention facilities. You shouldn’t be separated from your families. You shouldn’t be worried about war or how long it will take for the environment to give up. You should be singing the songs we write for you.

Listen to them; they are glorious.

I’m not going to leave you with something I can’t be proud of. Hold on just a little longer while we kick some butt.

We will rise up.

Originally published on the Times of Israel.

Loving You

Come quick!

My husband’s shout propels me off my seat and out on the balcony.  The flock of White Storks are back.  They are flying overhead in a haphazard pattern, lazily flapping their massive wings as they circle their way over our heads and past the mountains.

I am leaning against the gate, my head raised, my toes lifting me up slightly so I can see a bit more, my arms extending towards the wonder that just flew by and the arm of my husband wrapped around my waist.

I exhale as the last straggler disappears from view.

We go inside.  I make a small remark about wanting to go to the Hula Valley to see the birds migrating before the season is over when I notice that my husband’s face is splitting with a beaming smile and a strange look in his eyes.

I love you.

I burst into peals of laughter as he says it over and over.

It’s been more than seven years since the first time he said he loved me.

He said he loved me even though I rolled my eyes when he pointed out a beautiful flower.

He said he loved me even though I told him zoos gave me a headache and that I had no interest in seeing fish swim around in an aquarium.

He said he loved me even though I told him that he could hike all he wanted without me.

He said he loved me even though I smirked as he caught a cockroach and freed it outside.

He said he loved me even though I made a face when he started talking about science.

He said he loved me even though I insisted that knowing how to tell birds apart was a weird and awkward bit of knowledge, especially for a kid growing up in Brooklyn.

Seven years of loving me without needing me to take an interest in what he thought interesting.

Seven years of smelling the flowers as I waited impatiently.

Seven years of appreciating the world around me while I took little notice.

Seven years of loving someone with an incredibly different disposition.

Until…suddenly…here I am…getting excited about a flock of birds on their way home from their winter retreat…looking up the differences between Great White Pelicans and White Storks…and laughing hysterically with someone who doesn’t quite know how he could change a person so much…just by loving them.


Anyone remember my saga with my health?

Here’s a quick recap: I went to the doctor after months of weakness and fatigue.  She ordered blood tests, they came back reeking of mono, and told me to rest up. (Ha!)  She also sent me for x-rays of my face to find out why I’ve spent the past five years suffering from headaches.  No big deal.  Took the results to an ENT she had recommended and began a six month process of figuring out what’s wrong.  Anyway – after ruling out everything else, I was sent for a CT scan that showed polyps, tissue buildup, narrow sinus canals as well as a deviated septum.  I was told I needed surgery.

Caught up?


Now, just so you know, the idea of surgery is absolutely wonderful to me.  For the past five years I’ve been begging my husband to somehow cut my face off and scoop out the pain.  It hurt that bad.  Scalpels scraping my sinuses is totally my thing.  I want this so badly.

The date of the surgery was tentatively set and I went about my business with the knowledge that in six weeks it will all be over.

Except now there’s a change.

The surgery was rescheduled.

For next week.  Monday.  One week from today.  I just found out.  And for some reason that I have no way of logically explaining, I’m freaking out.

The thing about Change is that it takes you from Certain Knowledge to the Land of the Unknown.  It does it fast -dizzily – and then time slows as you realize that you have no choice but to adjust the one thing you think you know best; your brain.

Brain, this is Change speaking.  Get over it.  I don’t really care what you think.  I’m here now.  You. Have. Lost. Control. 

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.

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.