Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Burning down the house

I thought of that fire last week. How it's so interesting when things are made of stone, such as the homes in Israel. I come from a place where it's all wood, plaster, fiberglass- when a fire starts, the entire house burns down. In Israel, the stone keeps the fire maintained, no matter how ludicrous it rages.

Right now, my fire is burning in the form of the flu, a temperature, a scratchy throat- aches and pains and down right feeling sorry for myself.

But as I sit here, with my achy self- i kept thinking of that apartment fire, how it could be such a metaphor, especially with grief- especially how i saw myself in 2005 and through the healing process of 2006: a fire raging on this inside, with all the signs of catastrophe- yet a stable vessel to contain it: friends, family, the social workers of the IDF, Tsiki's family, Israel. If i went back to the U.S, it would have burnt everything down, like the homes in Tulsa. But because of the way that my world was built, it smoked for a while- (actually, it may smoke for a while longer), but that vessel contained me, and didn't result in tarnishing me as a regular ol' gal, trying to make her way in a world where catastrophe drives our societies.

I am relying on that vessel before the upcoming months as I helplessly phone my friends in a whiny voice:

"what if they don't convert me?! what if they tell me no??"
"Susi, you're acting un-dude-like right now" says a friend. "How could they not?? you're more Jewish than I am!"

"but i've never made Challah. and i can't daven well-i still need people to point me in the right part when the Chazzan changes to a tune i am unfamiliar with, and I always say i'll get new Mezuzot for the house, but never can find the time/money to- i give up cuz i never know which one is good enough, and maybe one dish drying rack is technically OK, but c'mon- it's better to have two, and what if I can't be the stronger person I set out to become in choosing Israel and Judaism?!?!"

What if everything ends, but something won't begin? (but susi, you all say- Judaism is a life long process of learning, there is always something to begin) yes yes, i know that- but how many of us cease to internalize the beauty of things, how many people keep things because they're afraid not to vs. if they truly believe it spiritual? How many of us say "we're Frum," but aren't even sure if we believe the essence of it all? They just do it cuz they think "it's the right thing to do"- is that good enough?

What's good enough?
if i cover my tattoos, does it mean they aren't there?
should i deny i think about scandalous things?
When people know i'm a convert will they really believe to "kiss my feet" or deep down, will they be weary of me, especially when i become close to their sons/ grandsons?

See, it's all about the reality of communities generally. Kinda like be Asian in a white mans world (bixby, Oklahoma), i may look white, i may act American, but the kids still put their bikes in front of Bry and I and said "No chinks allowed on this street".

Oh silly fever.

1 Comments:

At 1/17/2007 9:53 PM, Blogger ablelam said...

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