Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First

I don't know if any of you have noticed the changing pictures on the header of my blog. But one of them is of the statues below. This park is one of the first places I visited when I saw Israel for the first time in January of 2005. Like my first visit, the statue was still standing, and the goats were grazing on the dead grass climbing up the steep slopes supporting the winding gravel roadway. The only difference is how the clouds are wiped on the sky.
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When I left Israel, that statue was a permanent symbol of what Israel was to me. You can imagine the sentimental feelings that arose when I spotted it on a trip last week. Before last week, I couldn't really remember the park I was taken to upon my first arrival here. But like everything, it came back to me full circle.
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Monday, April 28, 2008

on the verge of some sort of bronchitis

My body has timed my immigration perfectly.
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I'm Israeli, have I told you?
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I also have something to confide: for the last few months I had been living without health insurance. Not intentionally, it was just the whole paying for it thing, and then it ran out, and then I forgot to renew, and then I thought 'i'll be immigrating in a week, why catch up on back payments when I'm broke anyway?'. Such reasoning poured into my noggin' for the last few months until alas, I had been going months uninsured.
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If my mother ever found out, she'd kill me. Number one rule in the Doring tribe: NEVER take a step without health insurance.
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Today I picked up the piece of paper that gives me access to my Israeli health insurance. Just in time. As of last night, my ears were clogged and my upper respiratory system is running on it's spare tank. This evening, I cooked up a batch of Arroz Caldo (Filipino rice soup) heavily flavoured with ginger and garlic to warm my torso. The taste brought memories of nearly every day of my half filipino childhood.
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I've made a long to-do list for tomorrow. hopefully this week I can get as much paperwork as possible sorted. Then I can see what I should be doing with the rest of my life.
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x

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where do we go now?

The last week has been filled with Matzah and BBQ's. I've been bike riding and pottery painting, I've eaten ice cream and sat near a pool- all the while watching the brown dots on my arm grow together to form hieroglyphic messages that I cannot decipher. I've made it through yet another Passover, which my heart and head intact. And I still find it hard to believe that 3 years has passed and life is moving forward.
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The insane guilt of missing Tsiki's memorial bike ride is eating at me slowly. My lack of attendance was a result of poor planning, or too much planning with not enough time or energy to do it all. Ginrod has become the 'yes' girl, everything sounds like a good idea. And when I missed the alarm to wake me up to get me on a bus to another town for the ride, I didn't hack it.
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Now I feel like a bad kid.
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Ever since my own engagement, I've been trying to swallow where my place is with Tsiki's memory. His parents never get another son, his friends will always be his friends. He'll always be someone's brother. But where is the place for the girlfriend/fiancée' when she moves on? Tsiki was my catalyst for most things I chose in terms of Israel, but I am finding it a challenge to know where I belong now. Does the girlfriend lose her place when she moves on? If not, where does she go?
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I am sure this is a common issue with women in my situation, I just forgot to ask people about it before I began experiencing it myself.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I just didn't have my camera with me.

Let me paint a picture, as I didn't have my lenses with me:

After bike ride I spot her and slow down. Elderly woman with a hot pink moo moo. White flowers are splashed all over the sleeves and down to the ankles of the dress. She has large, cherry red sunglasses covering her thin face. Her hair is dyed the popular shade of 'Israeli Red' and to top off her look, she has a clip on blonde ponytail hanging on for dear life on the back of her head.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

thump thump

Today is one of those days where all the puzzle pieces fit perfectly together to give you a reminder of why life is as sweet as the roses that are blooming on every Jerusalem corner. The big sky and moderate weather is proof alone why I bought my blue bicycle. The patio outside is inviting & I am pleased.
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After getting some 'Dude, I'm Israeli' errands started, I settled into a cafe uptown to catch up on some reading of my favorite author. Afterwards, I crossed the street and patiently waited for the bus to take me to have a quick lunch with P Bonez.
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Across the street, one of the extra long number 18's stopped in front of us. Suddenly, everyone in the bus stood up and rushed to the exits. Shrieks and tension poured out of the doorways. For that very moment, many passer bys just stood there, others like myself- immediately backed away and got as far from the bus as possible. My imagination expected a mad man with big guns to run straight my way. Within seconds, a police van drove up and passengers re-entered the bus and drove out.
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By then, my heart was pounding so hard my hands had a light tremble. My bus arrived and I went to sit in the back. As my mind tried to wrap itself around the short lived incident, I watched a middle aged woman slowly applying thick mulberry coloured lipstick. Her metallic blue fingernails holding the petite stick. All I could think was 'where ever did this woman find such a colour for her nails???'

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Veni Vidi Vici

So there you have it. The 15th of April marks a 3 year chapter that seems to have timed itself out. Veni Vidi Vici.
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I feel I've lived a lifetime in this country. This blue pass is my medal for the tribulation that started this journey in the first place. It took a community to raise me here, and I am also proud of myself as me for being able to achieve this feat.
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It is no small step when one decides to take on a new country, a new religion, and new traditions. To become accepted as that religion and become part of that nation lies not only on the bureaucracy that makes the rules, it also lies also on following an unexpected destiny. It lies on keeping your heart open, even if it hurts- just in case you walk by some goodness and it seeps in. Such goodness comes in the form of philosophy, religion, and most importantly- people.
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Who knew one could be capable of so much pain and so much accomplishment and so much love?
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May my friends never go through the devastation that I once felt. But may they all know that if you really really want to, you could do just about anything the world offers you. Just have a little faith.
xx

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Family

One is blessed with predominantly beautiful weather living here in Israel. The horror stories of my home state in the U.S experiencing freezes, floods, and inches upon inches in snow supports my resolution to live in a place where my freckles grow together and my toes are tanned yearly.
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The last week has been celebrated by a birth of a nephew in my up and coming family that I will be joining as well as a week mourned by Tsiki's family as another anniversary marks the 3rd year we've lived without him.
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This year I actually realized how important going to the grave was for me. It is important for me to see his friends and his army mates and more importantly, it's important for me to be able to grieve with his family. I spent the evening before the memorial talking into the night with his parents. Our conversations flow so easily and the ease I feel with them comes from years of mourning and laughing together.
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In the last weekend I think I realized how deeply I am in love with this family. All of them. As my life moves forward, I can't help but hold a huge fear that my connection with them will weaken. I didn't realize this fear until the last week, as much as I always said they are like family to me, I don't know how much I meant it... until now. I can't imagine my life without them, and I just can't get over how much I love them. For their strength and for their weakness for their patience and support of everything I have chosen to do in this country. Tsiki left me a gift when he died. He let me be a part of his family. Yet another reason why I am a very lucky woman.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

breath

I am still floating in this whirlwind that my life has become in the last month. The movement of life is pouring all over me and it's damn overwhelming and crisp and fresh as well.
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As Tsiki's 3rd year anniversary becomes closer and closer I find my mind churning it's wheels in making sense how so much can be compacted in three years. I don't mean to sound hokey pokey, but after I dealt with the anger and devastation of losing him, I have always felt that he was whispering in my right ear. In his life he had this gorgeous glow about him and that same glow has smeared itself all over my aura. It was the antiseptic to my sadness, I needed that glow so that I could heal.
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The sky seems like it's in fast forward. The clouds shade my eyes from the blinding blue sky. Sometimes raindrops fall like tears on my face but when I look up again, a crisp wind awakens me. Tsiki's anniversary brings me closer to nature. It was the only way I could learn to breath three years ago. Sun sets and the chimes of trees. Birds on branches and the sound of waves. I need life's rhythms to keep my own.
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As I plan my future with my new gift of love in life, I am sill amazed at all of the events that had to take place so I can be here right now. I find it unfair and heart breaking and I ache for my past, but I also am a very lucky gal to be given another chance to have a future.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Word Vomit

In my move to Jerusalem, I had a major self realization about my maturity and the age I am and all of little boxes in between. I've moved to four different countries in my lifetime. Four different countries in the last decade, moving never ceases to entertain my curiousity. I am a strong believer that change always influences positive foo foo inner strength. & here I am a bit deflated in my move to Jerusalem. Not for what seems to be an obvious reason. I appreciate Jerusalem, and it's mild weather and pleasant calmness. I am a bit deflated because apparently, with my age- I am started to resent CHANGE.
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I am led to believe that this is the package you get in being adult. In being adult, you make rational decisions and make SACRIFICES. One doesn't move from Tel Aviv because it made her miserable, one moves because it seemed more rational. Logical.
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The Ginrod is capable of rational and logical?
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Words like Stability, and financial planning are falling out of my mouth.
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I'm sure I don't mean any of it.
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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Nissan is a comin'

After a long period of bikeless-ness and then four hours of Jerusalem Hills, my body is exhausted. My wheels have been replenished with the purchase of my third bicycle in a year. Israel is full of thievin' fools. Or am I the fool for not purchasing insurance? I blame it on my lack of citizenship. I am socially handicapped without it.
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The Hebrew month of Nissan is approaching. We all know what that means for the Ginrod. It means heavy heart and reflection. 2008 holds a different sentiment. The Hebrew month of Nissan will be a collision of my Israel beginning and my Israel current. The memories of my former love will stand next to my experience with my today love. My family from Tsiki will mesh with my future family, it will all stand under the Nissan Sky, in a Nissan week, on a Nissan day.
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Everything with Israel's heart happens in Nissan for the Ginrod. Last year, my conversion happened on the soldier's remembrance day. I can only hope that this year. My immigration will follow through and I can continue this year of ultimate change for myself.
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Stay tuned. It'll be a swell ride.