Friday, April 30, 2010

Last night in New York...

... at least as an official resident. Driving to Ohio in the morning, car literally packed to the brim. I'll be back before heading to Israel, surely, but... this is it. The journey begins.

Friday, April 16, 2010


My life is being packed into boxes. In my past, this has been something that causes me great stress. This time? I'm oddly calm. What can I live without for a year? Just about everything I own, really. Most of my books, most of my sheet music (thank you International Music Score Library!), most of my clothes, my furniture... traveling last summer for weeks at a time with only the belongings that could fit in my hiking day-pack, material possessions became so unimportant. Sure, I have my moments. And then I remember, I did not need this "stuff" weighing me down then --- quite literally, hiking around --- and I don't need it now.

But there are parts of my life that I cannot so easily pack into boxes, to safely store away for a year. Friends. Family... my communities. I am beyond overwhelmed to have the opportunity to spend a year with my chevre in Israel. I am also sad to leave my friends here, people who have been amazing lights on my journey over many years, and in many ways. But the group that has been around through this past year, supporting me through so much? You, my friends, know who you are. And I will miss your presence dearly.

A friend taught me a Hebrew word a few months ago (אם אתה קורא את זה, תודה רבה. תמיד. אבל, אני חושבת אתה יודע. ונדבר, כמובן.), during a conversation about life being overwhelming -- often, but especially so for each of us, in our own ways, at that time. It has been the mantra that I've come back to in my moments of stress and fleeting sadness. תזרום, teezrom (well, it takes various other forms it takes depending on who is being addressed...), flow. The verb shares a root with זרם, zerem, stream. Yes, Hebrew is usually pretty logical like that. It's the Hebrew equivalent of "Go with the flow," and that's what I'm trying to do. Everything flows, it will keep flowing. These things pass; they aren't static. Just like I wrote back in August, "... the waves keep coming in..." and coming, and coming, and...

And really, what I feel most of all is gratitude... simple gratitude. To those who are lights in my life, and to those who allow me to be a light in their lives. Thank you. So much.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's surreal...

Next year in Jerusalem... not even next year, really. This year. Two months from now!

So, it's not new news at this point, but I was accepted to cantorial school, and yes, I will be moving to Jerusalem in June. The thought of leaving didn't really faze me at all until today. I officially posted my room on Craigslist. I've started packing all of the stuff that will be sent back to Ohio at the end of the month, eight years of my life in boxes. I keep catching glimpses of Lower Manhattan from my bedroom window. I'm moving. In a few weeks. For the first time in my adult life, New York will not be my home. Until last year, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. New York was it.

But to call Jerusalem home? That will be pretty amazing. I already have an apartment: it's a 1BR, has a piano (!!!!!) and two balconies, is a two-three minute walk to school, around the corner from one dear friend, and is within a five-ten minute walk of three others. Friends from New York, friends from Livnot, and friends from my travels after Livnot last summer all live in Jerusalem. I'll have the built-in social network of my HUC Year-In-Israel cohort, but I also have a really solid group of friends there already. I shouldn't be wanting for company, that's for sure... at least not on those rare occasions that I will have time to do something other than study!

So, between now and the end of April? I pack. I get all of my books together. I figure out how the hell I am going to get everything to Israel -- including my violin and one of my guitars, both of which I want, and neither of which I am willing to check as baggage on a plane. Get all sorts of registration/administrative stuff out of the way. Arrange for my student visa. See friends. See them again... Try and stay on solid ground amidst the whirlwind...

My mom is coming up at the end of the month, both for her birthday and to drive me and my stuff to Cincinnati. I will spend a couple weeks in Ohio seeing family and friends. Back to NY for a couple days on my way to Uruguay to visit my dear, dear Tehila. New York for a week or two... then Israel, home for a year.

Come visit... הדירה שלי היא הדירה שלכם. "My apartment is your apartment." You're always welcome...