Monday, November 06, 2006

Lech Lecha


I've had dreams, dreams of every sort, i've dreamt lucidly, in color, with taste..i've had handfuls of dreams that foretold the upcoming months, dreams that told me of my best friends firstborn, dreams of murders that i've read in the paper the next day, dreams of court verdicts, of relatives illnesses. Dreams that don't make sense- and in the last months, of the IDF. I've never dreamt of marriage. The night before last, I dreamt of marriage. I dreamt of marriage?

It was a simple wedding, nothing grandiose about it. My friends were stressed, running around me, I was dancing a leprechaun dance, waiting for someone to unzip me so I could go to the bathroom, all the while sticking my head out and waving to the guests, gloating on the attendance of all the randoms i've managed to meet and know during my time in Israel, laughing about the fact that someone actually wanted to marry me. Then, for some reason or the other, I had to run out and grab something, which is completely inappropriate when you're not even fully dressed in your bride's attire. The assembly of people turned to me and I ran back into the room shrieking as a wave of laughter followed me when I shut the door.

I woke up laughing.

Last night I had a dream of a Kibbutz-like guesthouse- hills, wooden fences, green green foliage everywhere. I was flying, but not as much as other dreams, just enough to make it to the other side of the fences. I think my mind is letting loose. Taking a break from those terrible, stressful dreams of the IDF and giving me some good scented dreams. It makes it easier to face the day.

This week is round two of my favorite Parasha Shuvua. Lech Lecha. I came home and reflected how it makes so much sense to read through the Torah each year. No chapter is the same the next time you read it. I am also pleased with the fact that i've kept a blog. Now, after a year and a half, I can track my thoughts and compare who I am now vs. who I was last year, and hope- that I am growing for the better and not becoming worse.

In the summer of 2005, the women who headed the Girlfriends of Fallen Soldiers group attended a wedding with me. A woman who was a former member was finally whisked away by a pretty great guy who also happened to be the brother of Tsiki's best friend. I told the women that I thought I was in the "acceptance" phase of Kubler-Ross's cycle of grief and how I was relieved, because it makes me feel pathetic to feel like a widow at the age of 24. They both sadly nodded at me and told me the average healing of a girl in the group was 2-2.5 years. I sat there, with tears in my eyes, angry at them for giving us averages. "2-2.5 years takes away my mid-twenties from me!!! Everyone else has their Thursday nights and their pillow kisses and I refuse to put myself to sleep every night from emotional exhaustion!!!" I declared.

I understand now what they meant. When you go through a tough time- especially this whole grief thing.. you spent your first year remembering each day of the year before when your life was at it's peak. After all the first anniversaries, and the first holidays without your loved one(s), you find a sense of relief that all those 1st's are put in your silken handkerchief of memories and you go on to have your second year. The second year is a different type of sentimentality. Let me explain: with the seasons changing, I am thrown into memory lane of last year. I am reminded of my first experiences with Judaism: wondering if the Bet Din will take on my conversion case- having first Shabbat dinners- feeling like i'll never fit in, wondering why I was holding someone else's hand and why he even wanted to know my name. I felt so out of place and lost, but.. butbutbut- I felt like I was doing the right thing. Some of those memories are floating around my noggin' right now and I still feel traces of those insecurities- i'm just used to carrying them around better.

With a bit of warmth, I can look up my old entries of this time last year and realize that no, you never move on from the past, you just grow up a little faster and learn live with it better and more gracefully as time goes by.

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