Sunday, December 31, 2006

Home Again

Returning back from the states and into Israel makes me feel like I am torn between two mothers. My own mother and family and the way of I was raised, and Israel.

Last night I had a dream of herding two elephants into a bus. One was small, managable, and had a good comman of the English language The other, large and wild. I had to keep it's rope tight around it's neck or it would run off again. The little one minded my commands and never ran far.

When I was 16, I had my whole life planned out. I was already researching the Peace Corps, not really knowing completely what it was, but I knew I wanted to do it. The only thing that held me back was that Bachelor's degree I was 6 years away from attaining. I knew I wanted to go into PR/Marketing, I knew I wanted to study abroad and at 25 I wanted to have found that one love that super ceded the rest in all categories.

Until the age of 24, I managed all the things my 16 year self planned. I thought I was too young to ever plan for the curve balls of religion and death.

I somewhat see the little elephant of the person I innately am, all the things I am capable and have done and who knows myself best- my own ability to stray but stay close to home, the one that has a voice. The larger elephant is that of which is my unexpected. My G-d and his death, the way I constantly try to figure it out and more often than not, it leaves me jet-lagged, sitting on the rocks at the beach in the middle of the night until raindrops begin to break on my shoulders.

I guess 2007 will be my attempt to balance it all. The whole polarization of my life back home and here often shakes me upon arrival. Yesterday, it shook me so much I had to call Tsiki's best friend up when I was at the beach. "Remind me, what it was like- was there really love there? Am I crazy to believe in fate etc.? Why do I feel sometimes blessed and the next like I am yelling at a brick wall?

I guess my thoughts will ease with the rain.

Friday, December 22, 2006

My Mom Rocks.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

i'm sitting at my best friends bistro table in her delux, ultra hip home. She put some logs last night in the fire place and I couldn't stop commenting on how we're all grown up. Purchasing houses and having full rolls of toilet paper in the restrooms.

I helped myself to some slices of american cheese and pickles. A combination that is my secret favorite and only eaten when in Oklahoma, Native America.

There's also a lot of water pouring in from the sky and I am curious to know if i'll be able to catch up on sleep whilst on vacation. I am leaving for a third trip to the airport to pick up all the kids arriving in Oklahoma, Native America for the holidays.

Then i'm gonna play with my small cousins and show them how cool I am.
i miss Israel

Middle America

I've made it into Oklahoma, Native America. Had a short conversation with an eledery gentleman who I once knew.

(insert country accent)

- you're in Israel?
- My father is from Lebanon, bout four miles from the Israeli Border.
- wow, you don't look Lebanese
- Sure am, but we're christians, what you?
- Actually, I'm converting.
- To what?!
- Judaism.

-Judaism? you better study up girl and realize Christianity is the best.
- Sure thing, Sir. (under my breath, I whisper asshole with an Israeli accent).

Saturday, December 16, 2006

NYC night 1


It was daytime the entire flight, and when we flew over Spain, my imagination went wild. I got this grin looking down at the many ships parked in some bay, water blue enough to see from the sky. I've only been gone a year, but I think in the last year- Israel became such a strong part of everything me that I forgot people had lives outside of it. Or would want to.

Is it an ice trail the gases of planes leave in the air? I can't be sure but assumed that it was. It followed the same direction, parallel to our plane. Particles of gases/water momentarily frozen into a path- it looked like something sprayed in from Adobe Photoshop.

I had a realization that I thought about the same thing this time last year on the plane. It wasn't about Tsiki and it wasn't about conversion and it made my heart sting a little to know such thoughts are still conflicted in my heart and I think I had a moment with myself, where I put my foot in my mouth and questioned my own soul -if I believe all the things I spout out to in terms of life philosophy and who matters to me most, where I try to remember a little bit more when I was a bit naive about so much and how that was really pleasant.

So now i'm here, jet lagged and sleeping amongst my cousins, who drove in 6 hours to catch up and keep up with Bryan and I, and I know it's only been a year- but the coming home these days carries a different step in the Ginrod dance of life.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Just When

Just when you thought you saw all the pictures 50x over, all the videos and soundbytes 45x over, you always stumble across a picture never before seen, and then.. tingling insecurity runs into your fingertips. Then you look on the date, and you realize it was only a day before he was killed. and you stare a little closer- because it's so sad to see a picture. because you've lived on and you are reminded which part of you died along with him.
in that moment that it was taken, no one knew what would happen. and now we are in the future and the story has played itself out, the nightfall, the palestinian taxi car driver, the bullets fired. the sadness..
but that moment- in THAT moment this picture was taken. that was Tsiki's present, before it all went wrong. At that moment, there was no April 25. There was no in 7 hours you'll be dead. All there was was University,mountain biking, rock climbing, friends and family.. and text messaging, and the future. Now, this picture is only a piece of the past.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Prison again

After three weeks of freedom, the serial rapist has been caught. Benny Sela turned into a bit of an urban myth in the conversations of young women in Tel Aviv. "But he's only 5 feet tall" one would say... "yeah, and a black belt in Karate" -we all would reply. "He scaled a wall in handcuffs to escape!!". "But he won't rape you if you fight back..." another would pipe in- "but he'll beat you enough that you'll be in the hospital for days!". The conversation would go silent as we walked about our ways, keep our cellphones near and wondering if the alley cat eating the trash outside was Benny Sela rummaging for women's underwear.
He claims he escaped because of the abuse he suffered in prison.

I hope his fellow inmates read his statements, become outraged and vow to really stick it to him when he returns. I am sure all of his victims will be satisfied to know he's getting roughed up daily.

Aside from that, another weekend was well spent of general loveliness in the world of all that is good. Although if i discussed it in detail, well- I would get into a lot of trouble.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

To be Flip

Bry and I were the whitest looking half Filipino kids on the other side of the Mississippi. To this day, I am never too far away from this exact conversation:
Stranger: "you're half Filipino??"
Me: "damn right"
Strange: "you don't look asian"
Me: "well, I am"

This simple conversation occurs approx 3.58763 times a week. Although I looked extremely white and Bry looks somewhat Flip, we grew up with a pretty strong Filipino identity. This identity came in the form of monthly potlucks with the Filipino community.
"I didn't know there were Filipino's in Oklahoma" you think. Alas! there were! A lot of them. They came to America as corporate spies when China's economy was at it's peak, they poised as medical care workers- but secretly, they were learning the ways of America, how to utilize Saturated Fats in an economically smart way. They were also secretly teaching their children how to act like Americans to gain special memberships to Tulsa's country clubs- there, they would study Oklahoma's #1 crop, Sod to create a new hybrid grass for China to develop for the Sod'ing of the Olympic Stadiums for only .04326 if the price of real Sod. Fascinating no?
The Doring family started out in El Paso, Texas. There- my mother taught at a Catholic School where her students would give her their pet rodents in which she would take home as new presents for me and, who would eventually escape into the desert across from our neighborhood.
Once a month, we would join other brown skinned, Tagalog speakin' Asians for feasts of Adobo, Pansit and Lumpia. These gatherings were always joyous as Filipino's tend to find joy in..every..thing..possible.
Then there was the entertainment. The entertainment would consist of Filipino men covering Simon and Garfunkel Songs on their guitars, women doing Cowboy line dances and then of course, the traditional E-Tik E-tik.

In 1983, at the age of 3.5 years old, right before we moved to Germany, I entertained the crowd by breakdancing. Actually, my brother began and I copied his moves (which I still do to this day). I know it sounds silly, but I do remember: the excitement, the shouts, the laugher. We earned about $25 as joyous Filipinos threw quarters and dollars while my bro and I were doing the helicopter.
Our mother took us to the store later that day to pick out a toy from our earnings. I write this memory in honor of a YouTube video my brother came across. This video is the greatest symbol of what it means to be a Filipino youth.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Happy birthday

Today, Tsiki would have been 25 years old. There are times, where I let my imagination run. I think of those who I know today, and those in the past, and I attempt come up with some other scenario and wonder if I replaced it with what really happened- if I would find myself in the same exact place, with the same exact thoughts- and catch myself wondering about all the things that could have happened. I see the circular patterns more clearly these days, they are everywhere. From when you squeeze your eyes shut and your cornea glows through your eyelids, to the roundness of particular freckles on my body.

I woke up early and began my walk. I took myself to all the places in Jerusalem that Tsiki took me the first time I visited. I reflected on conversations we had, and let myself remember each word. I remembered the jokes and the coffees we had as we watched passerbys. I let it all resonate in my soul and allowed those memories to have their way with me, I let so much of it out Thursday night and Friday morning, I wasn't afraid to feel a little more on the actual birthday.

Meine seele war ganz ruhig.

I sat at the wailing wall, and waited for something to erupt from my tear ducts, as it usual does every time I go, but nothing. The day was beautiful and the chanting of prayers from those around created a peaceful hum in the air. Everyone was focused, the tourists looked on and I sat back on the white, plastic chair with a grin of satisfaction. I got myself lost in the Arab quarter as super-cops ran by, I consistently ignored the cat calls of the merchants as I marched myself up the steps and out of King Davids tower.

I tell people over and over than I may never be sure how I ended up here. Choosing to live and grow in a country that you never belonged to- I tell people it gets lonely having no family, and many of my friends agree- they don't either. I understand why I am envious when I attend Shabbat dinners and there are loving couples around me. But I also believe in fate, and all that I do not understand belongs in that unit of thought. It belongs to the world of G-d and making sense of the truths we cannot swallow immediately.

The days are still beautiful. I just have a different understanding and internalization of that beauty.