There you are, my dear old friend.
I've missed you.
Lately, I have found myself overwhelmed with a magnitude of crowds, of people, of company. And I longed for some alone time with you.
We've been dancing this dance... you and I... for many years:
Since I learned how to walk. Since I learned how to talk. Since I learned how to play with no one else but you. You showed me how to put puzzles together, and how to read books every night, and how to write in my diary, and how to write poems about the boys I loved, and how to cry myself to sleep at nights when things were tough for a sensitive kid like me, and how to imagine worlds with you guiding me through it.
When I was ten you and I got to have our own bedroom. And not so long after you became my travel buddy, my comrade, my second in command.
Or were you my leader?
Guiding me with courage, despite others who mistakenly called you 'loneliness.'
You'd always laugh at that common error: '
Loneliness! How silly to think of ME as loneliness! Ha!'
I laughed right along with you, urging people to call you by your name.
I've been your defender. I've been your follower. I've been your alley in a world that doesn't always accept you as who you are. A world who is afraid of you, and mistake you for another. A world that thinks of you as a prisoning thought, rather than a freeing one.
But to me you are a source of freedom; Freedom of the self to be, and grow and explore...
so that self can go outside to the world and know WHO it is, and WHAT it is, and WHY it is.
Heart: Ah, I'm so confused. Was it... was it all a dream?
Soul: Oh, honey. What ISN'T a dream?!
Brain: If a series of thoughts, images and sensations occur in the mind during sleep - then 'tis a dream.
Soul: Thank you Brain, I don't know what we'd do without ya.
Brain: You would quite literally be dead.
Soul: Brain dead, you mean.
brain: What's a person without a brain?
Soul: Um, a SOUL. Like, I'm right here. You don't have to be so insensitive, Jesus...
Brain: My apologies. Did not mean to offend, simply stated the facts.
Soul: Facts. Ha! Another concept that goes above my head. That is - if I HAD a head.
Heart: I have a head and I STILL don't get that concept.
Soul: That's because you're a feeler. You think from the heart.
Heart: And I dream from...?
Soul: Your soul. You dream from your soul.
Brain: Now THERE'S a concept that goes above MY head!
Soul: The feeling is mutual, dear Brain. The feeling is mutual.
Heart: Aw. I love when you two agree. It makes me 'skip a beat.'
Brain: If you skip a beat, we all won't be here.
Soul: Speak for yourself! I will not be defined by the boundary of a beat. I will not be defined at all. Just like a dream, dear Heart. Why think it, when you can 'dream' it?
Once upon a time
I spotted a mountain I could climb
Because not to do it - would be a total crime
How could I miss out on such a prime?
A peek so high
Boy, did I try
For a moment I believed I could fly
Like a bird floating high in the sky
But the mountain was only a reflection
Waiting for me to make a connection
It must also have faced once or twice - rejection
And perhaps it finally lost its over-all direction.
So what if I leave the mountain alone?
And instead of climbing, just sit there on a stone
It could be more peaceful than anything else I've known
And before long, it would seem that I have grown.
Grown to see that the mountain is not there at all
And even if it was - it really isn't that tall
And what if I had reached the top just so I could fall?
All and all, I'd rather have a different kind of curtain call.
I don't know what it is exactly of my journey to my hometown across the ocean, but I do know it is the LAST day. I soon will embark on the journey west and will travel back in time to a world of yesterday and of BEFORE the end of Covid. Escaping reality to a buzzing and alive city was surreal and epically enjoyable, but somber reality of fear, tension and face masks and crossing the street when a neighbor walks by... is awaiting me.
But worry not, I will be coming from the future with a message of hope:
THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
It shall pass, and it shall pass QUICKLY.
And like the creatures of habit that we are - us humans will go back into our old ways of living a city life, shaking hands, gathering, seeing live shows and feeling free of the constant place of hiding of one's self. The virus gave us a shock, a hurt, and an intermission. But the show will go on. The show ALWAYS goes on. Perhaps that is why I spend my Covid time writing a theatrical play. Theatre is a long standing beast. And us? We are long standing beasts ourselves, and we shall overcome. In some places - like in my hometown - we already have.
Today's word is one I ponder about often:
*The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
I, and everyone else that knows me for a long time, used to consider me impatient for most of my life. I was impatient in waiting in lines, I was impatient in waiting for the food to arrive in restaurants, I was impatient about growing up and living on my own (couldn't wait to be 18), I was impatient in conversations and would interrupt (still a bad habit of mine) and talked a mile a minute. But lately I've discovered patience has grown on me. And looking into the definition above, I realize that it is my capacity to accept that has grown exponentially. I now realize I cannot move time, and I cannot control it and the flow of things. I can only really 'control' my thoughts, my perspective, my point of view.
So when I wait in lines - I now focus on the moment and see what I can discover from the waiting game. If boredom arrives - I focus on being CURIOUS about the so-called boredom, and unsurprisingly the boredom disappears. Curiosity is the medicine for all impatient reactions. Or, perhaps ALL reactions.
When I wait for food in restaurants - I tell myself that 'the longest I wait for food, the more I will enjoy it.' So I try to add OPTIMISM to the mix and soon enough my impatience turns into excited anticipation. And in conversations - I try to listen more and talk less.
Trust that being quiet doesn't necessarily mean I am not heard.
And being impatient, doesn't mean I can control time or the situation in front of me.
In a state of patience - I ACCEPT that I have no control to begin with.
'Write about good-byes'
My mother somberly announced.
'Write about good-byes because you will be leaving soon.'
I tried to explain that soon isn't here. I tried to explain that soon is in the future. I tried to explain that I'd rather write about the moment. I tried... but she stuck to her guns as a lioness would. A lioness would smell a goodbye from a land away. A lioness would sense danger in an instant. A lioness would ponder about separating from her cubs and nothing that I would say could possibly change that.
My mother is a lioness and I have learned long ago that I, a mere cub, must listen to what its mother - the lioness - says. So I wrote about goodbyes. And I wrote about my mother. And I wrote about the cutting of the cord; The first trauma that we re-live with each and every good-bye we come across.
There are three doors in front of you:
Door number one is labeled CURIOUS
Door number two is labeled INSPIRED
Door number three is labeled OPTIMISTIC
Which door do you choose, and where does it take you?
We each have a thinly veiled door coming with us wherever we go.
It leads the way for us whether we like or know it, and whether we don't.
I chose some harmless, some may say positive options of doors above, but some of us also go through Door number four that is labeled BORED, or door number five - BITTER, or six - SUSPICIOUS. Or IRRITATED, JEALOUS, TIRED, ANXIOUS... and on... and on...
There are countless other doors, and each of us have a limitless supply of keys to open each one. We hold the keys to open ALL the doors, at any given moment.
When we are children - we switch up keys on a whim and don't play 'favorites' as much. We're able to open a door, and then open a completely other door just a moment later. But as we grow older... we have our consistent 'picks', and sometimes our picks sprung up as if they choose for us instead of us doing the choosing.
But WE are the key holders.
And WE are the door openers.
We are the ones that can change the door we walk through at any given moment.
So I'll ask again...
Which door do you choose, and where does it take you?
Journey Day 21:
Today the sea was still and quiet, but the wind was volatile and crisp. I felt the chill on my neck when I stood on the deck, watching the shore from a day away. We took a sharp turn through the Adriatic sea, and will direct back to shore when the wind settles.
Our food supply is running down, as expected: thirty four cans of sardines, seventeen cans of peas, three one pound bags of rice and flour and water for months. In my calculations, we have roughly about two weeks supply for sufficient nutrition. The stock of whiskey bottles from the pirate ship back in Fresville Isles is winding down as well. I suspect we have about a week of supply left, since the captain is particularly fond of whiskey.
The sailors quarters are well maintained and the captain's den as well as the deck and wings are due for a thorough cleaning on the next shore stop. I've been insisting on the hallway to be kept free of any personal belonging to prevent any case of flood, but it seems my warnings have been totally ignored.
The rumor of the siren's call started again. The sailors speak of a soft high pitched voice that sings to them at night, calling them to come down to the waters in the neck of night. Who's to say if it is truth or the stories we have heard at shore are waking up imagination among the crew. It is particularly rumored among the young sailors, the first timers who deeply miss a woman's company. I, among them.
Ole' sailor Oolag has declared this to be his last tour at sea. He made a request to be retired on the cliffs of Berensi and the captain nodded in agreement. The two have toured the world several times over and I foresee a festive drunken night in honor of Oolag's departure.
Five birds landed on the deck today, and we passed a dozen dolphins early in the morning. Must be due to the warmer waters as we near the shore area. Or must be due to the boredom, urging me to notice the wildlife above and the wildlife below the deck.
The life of a sailor is full of loggings. Is full of observation. Is full of lists. Is full of sardines and peas; dinner for a Popeye wannabe.
I hear the sound of siren from the depth below. I must observe. I must investigate. I must listen. I must log.
Such are the days of a lonely sailor at the open sea.
Tell me child,
Do you see the ocean in your tears?
Are there rainbows in your puddles?
When you go to sleep at night, do you dream in fairytales?
Do Peter, Tinkerbell and Elsa meet up for tea in your heart?
Is a unicorn dancing in the palm of your hand?
~ Imagination knows no bounds
Not in the mind of a child ~
The day started with an itch in my throat.
The kind of itch that during Covid era will make one (me) rush to the nearby juice shop to get an elixir of oil of oregano, ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper and turmeric and chug it like it was beer in a Berlin beer garden on a hot summer day.
I then chased my hellish shot of health boost with a green juice, and made my way to my sister's car for a day trip to the city of gold; Jerusalem.
I grew up in Jerusalem, but often as I find myself entering the city made of stones, my eyes are of an outsider. I think I was always an outsider there, in my city of birth. In my city of childhood.
Some epic holiday traffic mixed in with post-covid rage to get on the road made us take a detour on a gorgeous route. A route that took me to an entrance I have never seen before. It felt like changing the side in which one parts their hair: disorienting, but fresh and exciting. A different entry point shifts the way one sees a place: I saw the air a bit lighter in this dense heavy city, I saw the green a touch greener in springtime, and I saw my childhood home and childhood streets from the eyes of an old friend. Remembering. Treasuring. Holding memories close to my heart.
Not many get the gift of re-visiting their childhood home.
My father still lives in mine, so I am grateful that I can re-visit my own child's eyes and the twists and turns and hiding spots I made when I was little. And having my sisters along with me - just made my visit all the more sentimental.
After a delicious meal of roasted potatoes and yams with cherry tomatoes and loads of garlic, a light fish with zucchini, garlic and lemon broth, hummus, and salad with - you guessed it - garlic, we made our way to the old city for an afternoon stroll through the alleyways, the rooftops and my beloved Muslim market. The sounds of the Muezzin (the Arabic call for prayer) and the church bells greeted us as we passed through Zion Gate into the city walls. It was busier than ever because of the holiday and it was both stressful and pleasing to see the city back to life.
We sipped on carrot juice, admired birds, drank sweet mint tea and walked through the old Ethiopian church that is just by the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We came back to the house and our car full, happy, light and rich with sentimental vibes.
The day ended with loads of tea, a cup of soup, and... another itch in my throat.
Much like the one at the start of the day.
But between these two book ends?
Between these two itches - A WHOLE WORLD PASSED THROUGH.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman