Written on March 20, 2018, by the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya, Israel

Breathe in

Breathe out

I sit by you as day is about to turn into night.  And then I think about tomorrow night when I will be totally engulfed by stars in a place that has very little light pollution to diminish the impact.

I remember the feeling best from long ago when I went hiking in the Sinai, slept outside, and woke up in the middle of the night with endless stars as far as I could see.  Hopefully, I will have that feeling again in Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev desert.

The sea touching the earth.  The stars touching the heavens.  And then, in between, are we humans who just can’t seem to figure it all out.

There are humans.  And there is nature.  We are somehow connected.  But, oh, how better off nature would be without humans.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

 

Written by the Mediterranean Sea on March 17, 2018, in Netanya, Israel.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

I almost didn’t come to you today.  Shabbat (Saturday) is a busier day by the sea, and I prefer having you to myself.  But, as sunset approached, I heard you calling me to see just how beautiful you would be at this sunset.  How I appreciate your color, the clouds crowding you, and the sound of the waves lapping the shore.

Yes, endings are important too.

I am facing the ending soon of my 3 months in Israel and who I am now compared to how I was almost 3 months ago.  As well as the ending of curling within the snake-like sculpture to take in this view of you.  And the ending of visiting you in only a 10 minute slow walk from where I live.

Slowly, quietly, subtly, the sun melds with the gray.  Ah, now your ball is no longer visible, but the clouds still keep your beauty and color a bit longer.  And you continue to light up the sky even as you die this day.

I like your ending — would that my ending will also brighten the sky as I say goodbye.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

 

 

Written by the Mediterranean Sea on March 16, 2018, in Netanya, Israel.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Dear Sea, you are very blue today.  And your waves are very noisy today.  The blue of the sky makes a very definite line between sea and sky.

And then comes the whirl of a fan under a colorful kite that takes the rider over the coast.  It’s quite noisy.  It doesn’t look like much fun to me, but perhaps I’m wrong and it’s really wonderful.

It’s March now, and the winter rains are behind us.  They have left behind very, very green grass and colorful wildflowers.

I don’t see any bubbles, but bubbles have been on my mind.  Of what use are bubbles?

There is more control over one’s life if confined by the contours of the bubble.  And control of one’s life seems particularly important and harder to achieve in today’s rapidly changing world.

Bubbles keep you safe inside, but restrict you from experiencing life outside the bubble.  While critical to the young, how important is it to seniors who aren’t sure why they’re still alive?

Inside — outside.

Control — at risk.

I definitely chose at risk during my adventurous years.  And even now, sameness still wears on me, forcing me to change the channel, eat something I’ve never eaten before, go some place I’ve never gone before.

Choices, choices — give me choices.

But perhaps not too many, not too fast, and not too expensive.  I’m of great-grandmother age now.

Perhaps a bubble where the sun can come in, and I can go out.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

Written by the Mediterranean Sea on March 15, 2018, in Netanya, Israel.

Breathe in

Breathe out

All is gray in the sea today.  Perhaps it is mourning the death of 76 year old Stephen Hawking.  But rather than mourning such a totally remarkable life, perhaps its grayness is simply marking his death.

I can vaguely see the light of the sun mostly blocked by clouds.  The clouds form a thick layer rather than the puffy pictures they often draw.

Stephen Hawking, for all his physical trials and tribulations, never lost his sense of humor.  Ah, perhaps keeping his sense of humor allowed him to be mostly a very active brain encased in a very disabled body.  He knew the sun would come out again.  Perhaps that was the secret to his survival.  He understood in ways 99 and 9/10ths of us never could how humans are inextricably intertwined with the ultimate mother — Mother Nature.

I don’t understand even a mere fraction of what Stephen Hawking did, but I do know that I am also inextricably intertwined with Mother Nature.

Rest in peace in whatever dimension you now inhabit.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

 

Written March 13, 2018, by the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya, Israel

Breathe in

Breathe out

Today I cross the road so I can walk along the sea.  And what do I see?  My eyes pop, and my mouth makes a wide “O.”

The color is different today.  It is multi shades of the color turquoise, a favorite color of mine that always makes me feel guilty because of the day a young me clumsily dropped the turquoise stone friendship ring my father gave my mother into the sand on the beach, and never found it again.

And the sun makes sparkles in the sea that reflect like twinkling stars of nighttime.

How can this sea keep thrilling me day after day, view after view?

I think of my most creative friend who told me that it is her creativity that wakes her up joyfully every morning, ready to pursue her many talents.  For me, less talented than my old friend, the sea awakens something wonderful in me too, lulls me to sleep, and soothes my aging soul.

In the vastness of the sea before me, one sailboat trying to catch the wind goes slowly by.  It doesn’t look lonely out there by itself.  It doesn’t look afraid of the breadth and depth of the sea it is on.  Does it have a purpose?  A destination?  Do I?

Now that I’ve seen the turquoise blue sea, and felt the wind upon my face, I am content not to live too long.

Long live the turquoise sea!

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

Written March 12, 2018, looking out at the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya, Israel.

Breathe in

Breathe out

How can it be that we are kin?  You, with your endless blue water, and me, with my puny human characteristics?  “They say,” and I do believe, that we are connected by nature.  I, the sea, the air, the wind, the birds, the land — we are all a part of nature.

Perhaps I could not bear to believe that I pass through this world for years with no connection to it — just floating by, and then into nothingness before and after me.  I have no proof of our kinship except that I feel it physically and spiritually.

I do not wish to be only another human among billions because humans are such a small, inconsequential part of nature — and certainly not the best part.  I am often ashamed of being human given all the meanness of the species.  I think of my friend, Ruth, whose worst three years of life were spent as a young teen in Auschwitz.  She endured and overcame unimaginable things to have what she amazingly was able to call “a good life.”

And then I read of quite normal, beautiful teens who commit suicide to escape bullying by other teens on social media.  And I can’t understand either the brutality or the fragility of teenagers who grew up in a world of social media.  I can’t put them together.

When I divorced, I felt opposing pulls of pain and the excitement of pulling together a new life for myself.  But now I’m old, and there are very few mitigating factors to ease the depression of deterioration.  How to sustain my spirit like my friend Ruth did through the horrors of continuing to live through evil times and cruel humans?

You, nature, are the only way I can balance the world enough to want to stay in it a while longer.  And then I will join you as an intangible, forever lasting, infinitesimal speck of dust.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

Written on March 10, 2018 by the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya, Israel

Breathe in

Breathe out

Your sound today tells me your waves are agitated.  Indeed, even you do not have all the power to do as you will.  You must obey tides, timetables, and a moon so many miles away.  For they are stronger than your will.

What do you do when you want to fight back?  When you want to insist on your way?  Does the deep deep blue of your waves today mean you are angry?  But, even if you are angry, I still follow asleep easily by your side.

I cannot always do as I wish.  And even you, oh mighty sea, cannot do only as you wish.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

Written on March 7, 2018, by the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya, Israel.

Breathe in

Breathe out

We are like a bottle thrown into the sea.  Pushed down by the wind.  Tossed around and around and around until we are dizzy and disoriented.  We bob back up, and are pushed under again and again and again.

We sink down and down to the bottom of the sea, and join the shipwrecks strewn around.

We flop onto a deserted beach for awhile and inspected and rejected by a hermit crab looking for a new house.  Then pulled out to sea again to continue an endless journey to nowhere in particular.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

Written overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya, Israel on March 6, 2018

Breathe in

Breathe out

It is a partly blue, partly cloudy, partly gray, partly sunny day looking over the Mediterranean Sea.

It has taken me a few days to get back here again, but the missing of the Mediterranean Sea pulled me unrelentingly to it.  I can hear it calling to me.

I am beginning to feel the coming of my leaving on March 27.  And I guess in most ways I’m ready to go home to the ocean on the other side of the world.  But … but … but my special spot by the sea I can walk to in truly 10 minutes; the knowing that is probably never going to happen again — ah, it tugs at me so hard.

Not that I wouldn’t be ready to die today, here in my Jewish homeland by the sea within the whimsical ceramic creature by the sea that lets me feel so cozily curled within it.  It has been worth all the trouble, all the planning, all the money, it took to unite us.

And yes, I’ll miss the Ethiopians, the school where I tutor, the concentration of my students who want to be tutored — but, after I’m gone, I’ll only be a fleeting memory amongst them.

I guess it’s clear there’s really no future for me to live in Israel now without more money than I have.  My time in Israel hasn’t given me a new direction at my age and financial situation.  If I were younger…if I were richer — would it matter?  I see around me a variety of personal plights that money can’t fix.

The sky in front of me has god-like sunlit rays breaking through it that add grayish shadows on pathways to the sky — to space — to infinity.

In some ways, I do have as many choices of paths to take.  I am not so old, not yet penniless, not all that unhealthy to make choices for myself.

The big, dark gray blob in the sky is trying to gobble up the heat of the sun.  The birds see it too, and are talking to each other about the picture in the sky.

The things that are going right on this 3 month jaunt are going very right.  What didn’t go right – the billing mix-up with Airbnb – was very unpleasant, but didn’t actually end up costing me more money.

How am I different going back to my Laguna Woods Village near Laguna Beach after my happy hours by Lagoon Beach on the Mediterranean side of the world?

I don’t think I can answer this now.  Perhaps it will eventually be clearer.  My time here isn’t up yet, and neither is my time to curl inside the ceramic dragon’s tail — thankfully.  No goodbyes are necessary quite yet.

Breathe in

Breathe out

Namaste

 

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

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