Written by the Mediterranean Sea on 3/3/2018

Breathe in

Breathe out

I breathe in.  I breathe out.  And then the warmth of the sun.  The kiss of the wind.  And I fall into a sleep.

My mind is free to wander where it will.  It hears the sea ask me if I am a better mother to me than my hypercritical mother was.  “My Mother, Myself” was once a popular book that said you would see more and more of your mother in yourself long after she was dead.

And, in many ways, I have.  I chose an independent life over 35 years ago.  Since then, I have been totally responsible for mothering only myself.  In Israel, I have become even more aware of how much I am in charge of taking care of myself, both physically and emotionally.  It isn’t easy.

Sometimes I’m very aware of getting more and more tired of taking care of myself – particularly as getting old gets harder and more complex.  But, I am all too aware that I chose to be fully in charge of me.  If I’m not taking care of myself, no one is.

I have only myself to take care of.  All the others in my life are dead.  But I sometimes feel I am spoiling the “me” I have to take care of.  And this is where the fear and vulnerability comes in that makes me an insecure, “Can I do it?  Should I do it?” mother to myself.

I loved being loved.  I really did.  My teenage sweetheart turned into a loving husband.  But eventually I wanted a lifestyle he didn’t want, and I gave up being loved for my freedom to do what I wanted, to live where I wanted.  It was a reasonable deal — give up something to gain something.  I couldn’t have had both.

And I did quite a good job setting out on my own becoming who I was capable of becoming.  But I gave up being loved and taken care of.  Actions have consequences even many years later.  And putting my trust more solely in myself has led me to think of doctors as consultants, friends as companions instead of caregivers, and the world as a rather more dangerous place for me to be an old person.

But, I don’t want to be an overly spoiled child, or an overly critical mother of myself.   And that means I must fear less for myself, and worry less about myself.

Mothering and loving are two of the hardest jobs — even of ourselves.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

Written next to the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya, Israel, on 2/27/18.

 

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Ah, the Mediterranean is riled up today.  The sun is shining, the waves are roiling, and I breathe in through the sounds it breathes into me.  Then, I breathe it out back into the world.

I come here for peace.  I come here for beauty.  I come here for inspiration.  I come here for hope.  I come here for wisdom.  I come here to figure out the rest of my life.

I only have 27 days left to sit by my Mediterranean guru.  And then I go back to another home that is close to, but not so very close to, another sea.  It is here, by my Mediterranean guru, that I hope to bring back wisdom and peace to direct me forward.

Options, options.  Good options.  Good sounding options.  Smart options.  Bad decision options.  They are all still possible.  At 74, I still have some relative youth, relative smarts, relative eyesight, relative wealth, left for what’s left of my however many years before I die.

I haven’t had the “aha” moment for my future yet.  But I know I will continue to have old age physical and mental challenges to face.  With the wisdom of my Mediterranean guru, I will hopefully not crumble, or lose interest or energy in fighting on for my mental and physical health.

But I don’t like the words, “fighting on.”  I prefer to learn how to live with any lack of health, lack of wealth, lack of energy, and these myriad stupid ways I keep injuring myself.  In fact, it’s mental control I seek.  Worry and fear are easy to come by and hard to get rid of.  I hope you can help me banish worry and fear from my mind.  They are the killers that destroy the good that coexists with the bad in life.  What can the sea teach me about the rhythm of life and death?  About how to keep going?

I wonder what my life would have been like had I stayed in Israel for the rest of my life instead of leaving after 6 years.  I would have been able to keep my rights to a little room in a building for immigrants that cost only a small pittance every month.  It would have given me a moderate financial security for my lifetime, including old age.  It was a lot to give up, and it made me once again a newcomer to today’s Israel.

What was possible then is impossible for me now in modern Israel with its strong economy and prices higher than southern California.  I do not regret the paths I chose in my life, but financial security wasn’t something I thought much about until recent times.

Dear Mediterranean guru, can I learn from you how to see the micro better than the macro around me?

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Namaste

 

 

 

Breathe in…..Breathe out……..

Laying curled into the ceramic slightly serpentine snake along the sea cliff, I allow my mind to enter free fall.  It’s the sound of the waves, the caress of the sun in in the wind, the incredible blue of the sea, and the smell of the water imagined since I lost my sense of smell some years back.

No longer does it seem a big deal that I pulled a muscle and it still hurts to walk.  My cares about what my future might hold diminish.  My search for some way to survive longer financially slows down.  I relax.  The sea is much wiser than I.  I just lay here quietly pondering its wisdom.

Breathe in…..Breathe out……..

Breathe in…..Breathe out……..

Namaste

Written while sitting by the sea in Netanya, Israel, on February 24, 2018.

Breathe in…..Breathe out……..

By the sea, my mind calms.   My brain rests.  And I fall asleep.  I want to think great thoughts, but I think of nothing.  I’m in a physical space, not a mental space.  I don’t have to see. I don’t have to speak.  I am the closest I can be to a state of simply being.

I wanted to come by the sea to figure out things — me, the world, my future.  But I sink into a state of being that simply “is.”  Time stops.  Thinking stops.  Worrying stops.  All I know is that I need to be near water – somewhere.

Perhaps this is the high point, the best point — but can it only take place in my imagination?  Or can I let it seep into my bones?  Or imprint it upon my mind?  Or enter it as a loop inside my mind?

I have felt a dip this week – mentally and physically.  The hip muscle I strained is simply a reminder that such things will keep happening until I die.  That’s just the way it goes with aging.

I can’t figure out now whether I will return to Israel again as a visitor, or to live.  I can’t figure out today how I can survive on the money I have left.  I can’t determine if I will be homeless, or go blind with the disease in my right eye, or become a pathetic bag lady, or even if I’ll keep my mind.

My time here is almost two thirds over.  Absolutely, without a doubt, it was worth coming.

I can regret I didn’t get to see my old friend, Bryna, before she unexpectedly died, to really talk, to pin down just why she cared so much about my coming back to Israel 30 years later.  But then, perhaps I wouldn’t have been here for her memorial service and seen how much she had turned her sad life into a happy, fulfilling one in Israel.

I don’t have the money, the physical strength, or the desire to travel within Israel.  But that’s okay because I have been in a kind of heaven by the sea just a 10 minute walk away.  Which is good because my hip and knee aren’t so strong now.

I would like a bright idea to strike me as I sit here — to answer all my questions.  But that most likely won’t happen.

It is Purim next week.  A happy holiday.  A children’s holiday.  And a Jewish holiday celebrated in the whole country.  It’s been a long time since I was in a country where the whole country celebrates a Jewish holiday.

From the Facebook groups I’ve joined  – Keep Olim in Israel and Keep Olim 50+ in Israel – I have read a lot of the good and the bad of living here.  I waited in a line for 4 hours to renew my passport for another 10 years.  I am just as Israeli as I was when I lived here for 6 years in the 1980s, but renewed, and biometrically to boot.

Thoughts have flown through on how to manage to come back again for at least 3 months, but I definitely need to take with me this place by the sea!

Breathe in…..Breathe out……..

Namaste

 

 

 

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