Health · Israel · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Nir-oz

Questions about Mindfulness Practice

Before the group of practitioners show up for our Friday morning sessions, I arrive early to arrange the space, the temperature of the room, the amount of sunlight that seeps in and I arrange myself.

Sitting or standing, I begin my morning contemplation, listening to my body, thoughts and sensations and following through whether by deliberate breathing meditation to focus my mind or by engaging in qigong or movement or as in this past Friday, using movement, breath and tone to synchronize myself – to come to a holistic unit.

Doing so, I eventually heard the voices of the arriving and soon the sliding door allowed in the cooler air of the main room and the warmer beings of the participants.

I began with a direct request for questions. Not asking, “Are there any questions?” but rather, I’d like to hear some questions.

About the weather?, asked H.

About your practice, about things you’ve noticed or experienced or wondered about. About things you might have questioned this past week, but forget about as soon as you walked into this room where we feel supported.

After I was silent, the first voice was heard:

I don’t have a question but I want to say that I practice mindfulness meditation every day and then throughout the day, I feel that it supports me to be focused. I often pause, take a few breaths and then proceed. It really helps me and has become a part of my life.

Another voice said, Yes, I practice every morning or almost every morning, sometimes life’s events interrupt me. Also, if I feel that I’m getting angry, I tell myself, “No, just a minute, take a breath.” And that helps me.

Another woman concurred saying that she feels it helps her stay calm.

One woman asked: I want to know how often I should be practicing. Is once a week enough? Should I be doing it more?

Finally, I thought, a real question! And I answered with confidence, thanks to the input I’ve been receiving over the years: Practice needs to be done daily. Even if it’s for one minute: to sit down and be aware of your body and then bring awareness to your breath. Stretch out and resume your life.
Every day, and it’s helpful to build up a habit and do it at the same time every day, whether it’s before a shower, after a shower, after coffee. Every day to do it and then whether it takes 3 weeks to build the habit or 2 years, you will find it easy to sit down for a formal period of time.

That’s not enough, however. It’s also important to practice mindfulness throughout your day. For example, I left my house and suddenly I’m at the Open Center, and I don’t remember anything on the way. Where was my attention? That’s the moment to pause, accept the realization, not to bother with self-rebuke, but rather to notice my feet on the ground and take 3 attentive breaths. That’s mindfulness.

This is how we learn to accept what we notice. I might hear a voice in my head, ‘No, no, no!’ and see a finger wagging at me. I notice the voice, whether it’s my mother’s or anyone else’s, I notice that it’s not me, but a thought. I witness it as a thought, and I continue bringing my attention to my breath.

The Day of the Unexpected Bike Ride Home

Sometimes it takes a great deal to force me to be mindful. Two weeks ago, I was riding my bicycle home from school and had to maneuvre through a place where the dirt road is being shifted and rebuilt. The neighbouring kibbutz was in the process of fencing off the new road, which would close it off to all traffic – tractor, bike or jogger. I had to navigate an incline of dirt and so, got off my bike and gently climbed the mound. Then, just as the sun hit my eyes, my left leg landed in a newly excavated hole for a future fence post. (By new I mean that it hadn’t been there two hours prior when I’d travelled the same route on the way to school).

Suddenly, I found myself knee deep in a hole, my body landing on the ground and my bike falling as if in slow motion on top of me. When all the pieces landed, I wondered what I’d find. I literally fell into this space of conscious awareness. Was I afraid? Only slightly, as I scanned my body – sensing functioning of the toes of my left foot, and my leg with no discernible pain. My right leg was fine. I looked around to see if there was someone within shouting distance if I needed help. No, no one. A tractor was blocking my line of vision and the noise of the engine was making it impossible for me to be heard, if I had to yell. No problem. I gently shifted myself out from that hole. Delicately, I arose onto my feet, tested my weight and to my delight, found nothing amiss. Now, I’ve heard stories like this before. Just the other week, I met my friend P H, who had fallen when she’d miscalculated where she’d planted her foot. She’d been fine, too, until she wasn’t and found herself with a swollen ankle.

Remembering her, bless you P H, I lifted up my bike and carefully, examining every step to make sure that I was on actual land, I walked my bike towards home. Arriving at the tractor location, I asked if it was a viable choice to keep going ahead in order to reach my road towards home. Yes, ma’am, they said. There’s an opening in the fence if you keep going.

I did. I found it. Mindful of the present moment – ever so mindful. Mindful of the what-ifs thoughts in my mind and of my physical condition – my knees, my ankles. Happy to be in one piece, joyful really, but preparing myself to apply ice or hot compresses when I finally arrived home.

Mindfulness

Do we wait till we fall into a hole in the ground before we pay attention? Sometimes we do. But let’s incorporate the awareness that sudden holes can happen at any time. How often do we need to practice mindfulness? There’s no reason not to aim to practice mindfulness as often as we remember!

I got home, I applied ice to my left knee and later noticed some swelling on my right ankle. I wore over-ankle height boots for support and within a few days, my body was fine, or at least 90% fine.

Incorporating mindfulness into our daily lives. Feeling gratitude for a chance to learn a lesson, I can only hope that self-acceptance will open my inner window.

And so, a Friday morning session of Mindfulness began. Placing our practice in context to create more personal meaning. We proceeded with some mindful stretches to awaken the body and mind and then we did a short breathing awareness meditation. We did further stretches and then another breathing meditation. It’s far better to be kind to ourselves, allowing ourselves to feel a higher attention for a shorter time, than to aim for a longer session in which we find body discomfort or rampant thoughts impacting our experience.

These factors are part of life, and acceptance is important, but while in the process of building a habit of daily practice, a shorter practice is fine!

May we be healthy, happy and safe.

Birth of a Butterfly, judih, circa 2005
Israel · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Nofei Habsor

August 22nd, 2014 – falling into patterns of war-behaviour

confusion

ceiling fan or airplane drones

no dreams tonight

Cleansing backdrop:
I finally got into the technique of how to do my chant. It’s the 40th day of a forty-day challenge. Ashana, the one who plays the crystal singing bowls and leads the chant has announced they’re going to extend the sadhana for another 50 days.

Ashana and the Crystal bowl

Extension! Where have I heard that before? But unlike the ceasefire extensions, this one is up to me. No one will snatch away my voice and with luck, no one will blow up my ability to hook up to the net.

The secret to the chant is letting air rise up through my body into the syllables until my whole body resonates. The focus results in a tonal cleanse.

Meanwhile:
About the surreal aspect of today’s date: Friday, August 22nd. This coming Sunday we’re slated to return to school to prepare for the coming year, which might not open on time.

I’m thinking that in the spirit of living this present moment, I’d like to do a comic book version of the English Teaching Staff in our current war-time behaviour. (names are hidden to protect privacy)

Comic relief:
JV with her glass-eyed determination to slaughter any Hamas-nik who approaches her porch. She sits up at nights with a knife, her dog and who knows what else.

A, running around getting interviewed, going into terrorist tunnels with the Press, on the news, in the news…

L, whipping up vegan care packages for vegan soldiers.

K, alternately hugging her traumatized dog who even on sedatives is massively shedding and losing weight, and comforting her little kids

M – on What’s app all the time to confess her thoughts, with a son on the front lines. She’s occupying herself tracking all of the Army’s maneuvers to keep her sanity

I – with her 4 little kids travelling around the northern parts of the country, seeking refuge in various friends’ houses, speaking to the press about her simple desire for some form of guarantee that she can safely come back home.

S – from funeral to backyard swimming pool, gathering her kids to run inside at the sound of sirens – 2 little kids, 2 bigger kids, husband in army

Me? Meditating, on the computer trying to write while listening to the whirl of my fan as my room rumbles with the booms

It’s a motley crew, alright. 

southpark therapy

cartoon crazed reality

may we find humour

August 21st

Israel · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Nir-oz

August 21st, 2014 – not the best week to try the no-deodorant experiment

heart rush

4 rocket crashes

in the neighbourhood

Our turn to see our name on the red alert app. In my case, it was after I’d heard the crashes and felt my room shake. But sure enough, there we were. I called Gadi. His workplace is exactly where rockets have landed before, where the manager of the Chicken Coop was hit by shrapnel six years ago.  So I called Gadi. ‘I’m alive!‘ he said with his boyish enthusiasm that always gets an added zing when faced with qassam fire.

Me? I get hungry. Rice cracker alert. And coffee. But de-caf. I’ll take a sip now. Okay that’s better. I see my writing muse, Ella, on her webcam. All is back to normal. It a flux that happens within minutes

Thursday. I have to get some clips ready for Sunday’s Class Relax sessions.

I haven’t stepped foot in my puppet room since I’ve been back to Israel. A long time. It’s hot in there, but that’s not why. It’s because I have a lot of words in my mind and I’m using the writing platform, Hubitus to get them down on paper.

Now, I don’t have anything to say.

It’s amazing how fast adrenaline pours into the bloodstream. Fight or flight? I’d take “close the door and duck” any day. No one’s gonna see me run into the line of fire. 

Counting rockets. So far Nir-Oz has missed hits. That could change in a fraction of a second.

Perhaps this wasn’t the right week to try the no-deodorant experiment. After rocket crashes and news that they fell very close by, the body reacts. Hunger, thirst, and then sweat. Or  that might be because it’s over 30 degrees in the house. Or it could still be hot flashes. This is the body’s way of cooling down, so I’m grateful.

Listening to the most beautiful Japanese flute with a gentle stream in the background. It is calming, I must admit. Here’s the link: 3 HOURS Relaxing Music

Ynet just called the 1000th rocket hitting our Local Council – Eshkol. This must be a record. Who’s been counting? Whose job is it to tally the rockets?

Qualifications: Able to carry on for indefinite times without sleep, OCD tendencies a must

What does Facebook have to do with it?

My friend Adele created a facebook group for those living on the border to speak out about what we’re going through in our daily lives. Just reporting, no politicizing.  So, usually, I shut up, but I just posted. Only a few people have reacted, but even a few comments like ‘oy’ or ‘take care’ serves to drum up the feeling.

I imagine that after a while of spilling out experiences, the body grows used to getting triggered via sympathy.

Update. We were on the news. A friend sends me the TV shot via What’s App. There’s the reporter standing in front of the kindergarten. Great for worried parents.

Our security head has texted us: the Open Center (for alternative therapies), our communa, where our laundry gets folded and distributed to the members’ cubbies, the plumbing office and the cow shed all got hit.

Again I gravitate to listening to the Japanese flute. Life goes on. I think of the women in the Communa, shrieking and peeing in their pants. Or not. They’re sturdy ladies – been through hell, most of them. And they have a shelter – close enough for protection.

Birds sing along with the flute. We’ve been through generations of war. There’s  always a peaceful moment, time to reflect and breathe.

flute sings

it’ll be okay dear ones

as the river flows

voice of the Japanese flute

August 20th

Health · Israel · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Nofei Habsor · truce with Hamas

August 19th, 2014 – actively working to ease my mind

overnight planes 

dogs strangely still 

ceasefire extension

If I were to chart my jet-lag, I imagine it would look like this:

Tip: Smart Art helps chart state of mind

I’m getting a little more normal. I woke up at 1a.m. to check the news. I went back to sleep and concocted some very weird dreams that I couldn’t quite recall when I woke up at five-fifteen. This is a good technique, for when school begins: to let out the weirdness at night and to carry on during the day.

So, the war situation. I was thankful that I didn’t have to tear into my safe room last night, but this morning people on facebook are not pleased about the 24 hour extension of the Ceasefire and the so-called agreement. One woman even went so far as to agree with ‘Jo-Jo‘ (1.1), a popular right-wing radio host, by calling the agreement disgusting and a crappy piece of paper that could have been signed before those 64 soldiers were killed.

JoJo 1.1

From the Israeli point of view, I guess that might’ve been an option, but we know that Hamas wasn’t terribly interested in signing anything. And is it now? And if so, why? What’s in it for them?

Most of us in the south want no half-ass agreement. From a military point of view it would be prudent to tear into the Hamas infrastructure and wipe out their leaders, now, while we have set the stage and while our soldiers are prepared.  I don’t have much of an army-mind but in a chessgame sort of strategy, I see the strength in such a decision.

But holy shit, I hate the killing and fear of being bombed. I’ve been told,  killing and fear is inevitable as the Hamas increases its strength and resolves to wipe out the infidels, of which Israel and Jews represent only a small fraction.

Gershon Baskin -1.2

Nothing is black and white, is it? All those slurred boundaries and see-sawing opinions. Pacifism seems so out of style.

Gershon Baskin has become a household name. Among other endeavours, he worked behind the scenes to deliver Gilad Shalit from captivity. He is co-founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI)  and his contacts include moderates from within Hamas. He has been working for rational negotiations as well as humane treatment of those Gazans who’ve been bombed out of their homes. He’s collected household goods from Israelis for delivery and he’s raised money for emergency food. He’s crusading to bring the other side of the story to the attention of those of us who live on this side of the border. But what is the other side? How many other sides are there?  Some people claim that his very earnestness to listen to those across the border has made him too cynical about the Israeli side.

Who am I to guess? How is anyone to know what the objective situation ‘is’.

In world situations, everything links to everything else. One bit of evidence leads to the certainty that something else preceded it.

When people share their political vision, I listen for awhile and then off I go, daydreaming about ‘what if’ and what beach or scene would I rather be surrounded with.

Poetry seems trite. Art seems logical. How would I paint what I want to express? Closing my eyes, I see a kind of huge textured coloured landscape. It’s filled with ranges of low rising mountains and raggedy paths. The mountain has no summit – it’s rather endless like the Great Wall of China, only earth-made. I see a low craggy mountainscape in rusty red with bits of rock in no certain shape.

Up the Mountain, watercolor by judih

This imaginary large canvas contains a very clear way, somewhere within. A poor trekker prepared with dates, water and a hammock, makes camp, knowing that one day, the hammock will find a place to be hung and on that day, the trekker will rest.

hammock offers rest

  1. 2. Gershon Baskin: Israeli Co-Director and founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) – a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think and “do”-tank located in Jerusalem.

August 18th

August 20th

Creativity is the answer · History · Israel · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Music · Nir-oz

August 12th, 2014 – Day 3 of Mind cleanse

plum stained lips

dylan tangled up in blue

flush mind therapy

Once upon a time, I was what was called an angry writer. I didn’t dare tell everyone else what I thought of them, so I wrote it all down. Not as blunt as it could have been, I disguised my ire in satirical sketches and metaphorical verse. Free style, the innocence of thinking that once it was down on a page, the power would exert its force.

Those were the days before I discovered that no one looks beneath the surface. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and wears the latest style, that’s good enough. No one would bother to look for a swan under the feathers or a deeper sound beyond the surface.

I hadn’t realized how most people navigate the world. After a flash appraisal, their judgement’s been made and that’s that. And it appears that magic doesn’t work on non-believers.

And so, I stopped making signs on the page. I backed away and began to learn. Years of trial and failure and danger and denial helped me out. And I slowly came to an understanding.

In order to exact a difference in the world, one needs to realize that nothing is going to be different and so one might as well work on making a difference in oneself. That at least has a chance.

looking inside, watercolour by judih

My writing began to change its target. Instead of hurtling out innuendos, I focused inwardly on the present moment. I brought the richness of language, cadence and meaning   into the zone of observing what is, rather than what could be.

I listen and write: ‘the sound of one flower singing.’ The moment overflows with such a sound.  What might be, in the future, ceases to matter, for right now I’m alive! Can this moment affect the next? Can this effect flow between moments?

While I consider this, there I go…off and running through endless associations (what’s that message on my phone, how many people liked my haiku, how to use iPads in school, what book will I use with my Grade 11 class, how many photocopies will I have to make…) until, I stop. I notice the trip and for another moment I can choose to stop travelling. That one brief glance at a moment, changes it.

It’s said and I believe it’s true that the more such moments, the more there will be.

Bob Dylan’s still alive. There’s hope.

Bob Dylan, Things have changed

August 11th

Creativity is the answer · Israel · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Nir-oz

August 11th, 2014 – Second day of Chanting, during Ceasefire

humility

onion skins away

or so they say

I’ve just chanted for 11 minutes. This is a good thing because I get to vibrate and sing, opening my ears to the outside and in.

Whether or not I’m working on my ancestral detritus – that stuff that gets passed on because of ancient neuroses and terrors – is apparently without question. It’s been said that as long as I keep chanting, the junk gets washed away.

It’s like the Wild Goose qigong cutta – even in imperfection, it works.

I like things like that.

So, I’m chanting and waiting for my equilibrium to show up.

I see online that 18 people are writing beside me, on our forum. 18 that I know about. What about all those others from all those other writing forums? How many from those places are writing at this moment. There will be the all-nighters who can only create while everyone else sleeps or the insomniacs who write because they must. Or those who live in this timezone and are simply following a writing regimen as I’ve heard some do.

Me? I write because I can. No school. I haven’t yet decided to bring meditation back to the Kindergarten on the kibbutz. I had to stop my pilot when all the children were evacuated to locations far from the border. Now, I need to re-bond with the new staff and make my schedule known.  That might take one more day during this ceasefire of ours.

About pilots. Here I am participating in the test drive of hubitus, the wonderful idea of Ella, Adi and Naaman. They did it – they are doing it. And writers are using it.

Me? I have a UX designer, Shantal, who I adore and a promise of a coder, but no money with which to get this thing on the road. I have a promise of a partner who is engaged in a million other things.

I’m hoping my equilibrium is about to land – I’ll be needing it.

Voices writers group meets this evening  in Be’er Sheva. Here is a face-to-face group where we listen to one another and offer critique. I always hope that each one of us comes up with something brilliant and on occasion, it happens – a line or two stands out as pithy. But then there are all those other lines of cliché or cutesy, melodramatic or maudlin.  Yeah, like that. Words that really could be just as happy if they hadn’t landed on a page.

And what about me? Again, do I comb through my haiku and match up a few?

Do I decide on a theme and bring together elements that are related only by DNA? Till I feel a eureka situation, or at least a ‘not bad’ status.

Quality of writing is only as good as its ability to withstand the moment of invading the page. If it works a week or month later, then perhaps it’s ‘not bad’. When it’s tossed together with another piece of writing there’s a chance for a greater sum effect. That’s fun.

Writing is fun.

words

held close to the chest

then tossed

I’ve made a quilt of ku for today’s Voices meeting, culled from responses to images:

what mischief

no longer plays

these empty walls

post no posters

open no blinds

nothing new today

last huddle

before the dispersal

each to distant land

hubitus – ally for writers

the world sings

the sound of one flower

August 10th, 2014

August 12th, 2014

Israel · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Nir-oz · What's Happening

August 10th, 2014 – mind cleansing therapy

Day One of Cleansing my Ancestral Karma- August 10th
Yes, I’m accepting the challenge of a mind and spiritual cleanse. A new distraction to delve beyond the daily news.

First, my morning haiku attempt to encapsulate my night:

drone of planes

distant booms

and neighbour’s dog

who needs sleep? 

film editor mode

mind games

The still-present jet lag scene is exacerbated by the warning of an approaching ‘noisy night’ as our kibbutz Security Head references the ominous hum of F-whatevers. The insane dog who was off the kibbutz for awhile has returned and any noise sets him off. Of course with the ever-present dread of underground tunnels from our neighbours in Aza, the wild dog bark sets off wild thoughts on my part. Sudden infiltration? Merely a jackal wandering the paths?  Or a strange creature of no specific description? Perhaps the whistle of an approaching qassam (rocket)?

No possible way to sleep through such thoughts. I use the time to consider how I can create an intro to my Class Relax clips. How might I construct a smooth interface as a lead-in. This requires wardrobe, make-up, hair. Check, my mind handles that. Then it requires a script. Check. Then a background – I don’t have green screen possibilities, or do I? I take a mental inventory of my fabric cupboard for possible green fabrics. No, maybe, possibly. Or should I just shoot directly using a pleasant yet suitable background – something that will go with all the bizarre backgrounds I’ve selected for the clips. I’ve got mountains, rolling windy wheatfields, a waterfall, a group of tibetan singing bowls, and street graffiti. What background would work? Black and white? A large yin/yang?  Or my pastel-bright buddha?

pastel Buddha

Something natural. Or even a classroom to take kids from where they are to where I want them to travel.

And then an epilogue. 

I don’t know. I wish I could green screen and decide later.

The creative possibilities do nothing to encourage sleep.

I slip out of bed to head to my computer room – closing doors to keep the light from shining in G’s eyes. I know he’s not sleeping. But still, he’s into his zen coma mode and I’d rather not intrude.

I turn on the fan and the white noise brings me a sweet oblivion to Red Alerts, maniacal dogs or other interruptions.

It’s too early to chant, too early to drink coffee. I decide to hunt for a book I almost finished while I was away, “Unbroken” about Louis Zampirini and his traumatic POW life in WWII Japan. Sure enough, I find it online and begin to read. He’s found Billy Graham and manages to find God. Everything goes well till the internet connection suddenly dies and I can’t read anymore.

Unbroken (for inspiration)

Time passes. I give up and fall asleep.

Six a.m. rolls along. I check to see if G’s awake. He’s ready for his first day back to work with 100,000 chicks on their way to fattening up before they’re shipped off for processing.

As vegans, we deal with this fact of life. Jews like chicken. Israelis are no exception. Chicks feed families.

It’s kind of like sitting in a car, or using a cellphone. Cars create pollution, but they take you places you need to go. Cellphones let you know how your contacts are doing, or where to meet. Sure, there’s radiation, but a phone is useful.

Chicks become meals. Same thing. These things aren’t healthy, yet they’re facts of life. 

So, coffee along with the usual grinding away of opinions about the Protective Edge Operation. I exercise along with breathing. Facts of life. These things need to happen.

The fact that my brain isn’t yet lucid seems irrelevant. Whose brain is? And if there’s someone who has a reasonable grasp of reality, it’s rare that they’re listened to.

Perhaps I’ll be back to consider what I’ve said here. Perhaps not.

Hemp seaweed soap

glorious scent of other lands

aromatherapy

hemp-seaweed soap


back again…

August 9th, 2014

August 11th, 2014

Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East

August 9th, 2014 bomb blast body lift-off

into the futon 

mind, body relax 

until bomb shakes room

bomb blast 

body lift-off 

trek to coffee

3 a.m. comes along and keeps me company. We marvel at the white noise comfort of the fan blowing in my ear. Red alerts may come and go, but I’m oblivious.

How soon the body adjusts to non-adjustment. Jet lag compounds the feeling of wartime out of time. Perhaps in another headspace, I’d be writing my novel, sculpting my puppets,  exploiting this unconventional dissonance to create.

But, I’m kind of glued to a ‘safe room’ anchor. Fifteen seconds doesn’t allow much room to wander.  I still recall the mortar that fell on our neighbour’s tree – just a sliver off target and it could have been here.  I recall the student who told us how his sister had been washing dishes when she was suddenly called away to watch something on TV and a rocket fell exactly where she’d been standing, leaving a hole in the floor as a sinister reminder of how miraculous it is that we stay alive.

I know myself and how I behaved during the past two wars. Without jet lag, I’d no doubt be off on long hikes around the kibbutz fields or happily ensconced in my puppet workshop focusing on the 10-minute wait before gluing hands to arms, plastic fingernails to fingers.

As it is, I listen to the roar of the fan, sit cross-legged on my chair, and wait out this physical disconnect till I can resume my acquaintance with contact cement and deal with puppet lips awaiting their scripts.

puppets – calling me

August 8th

August 10th, 2014

Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Nir-oz

August 8th, 2014 – Out of Context

After a jet-lag day, a bit of wakefulness, a lot of stupor, I can’t seem to rest tonight. The 8 in the morning turn-around seems to be a world away.

I wonder if I could quickly fly back to Canada and pretend I don’t belong here.

teletransportation, please

How would it be to strip soul from self and teletransport away?

The roar of the fan

a place out of context

white noise protection

After 8 a.m.

four a.m was the first sign that rocketfire exists live and well. Kerem Shalom was the target. 

Then along came 8 a.m. when twice Ashkelon was on the receiving end and then we got it down round this area.

My friend Adele curses that she hadn’t vacuumed, showered or planned for this.  We all try sometimes, to retreat into an ostrich head in sand situation. 

We also knew that miracles weren’t scheduled for this morning.

Now I can only think of inventing humor, doing puppet therapy, perhaps delving into the Life of Pi.

Somewhere on my kibbutz is a vegan reserve soldier, a nephew of my friend. I could search for him and offer him cabbage and wish him well.  A mission of sorts looms in my future. Missions are first aid for brains in overwhelm.

applying first-aid for anxious brain

August 7th

August 9th

Israel · Kibbutz Life · Living in Otef Azza · Middle East · Nir-oz · Sderot

August 7th, 2014 – Real-time, no ceasefire

As jet lags slows down my body and brain processes, I begin to sense that the war is far from over. Hamas won’t agree to a Ceasefire and the jubilation screened on Channel 10 news from our neighbouring kibbutz Be’eri was premature.

“hadashot 10” News Channel 10

Tunnels, rocketfire, Iranian big brother support for the folks who would wipe us dead – these are not things that comprise a good morning wake-up call.

five a.m.

quick check in ynet

no more sleepy time

I had an illusion yesterday. All would be well. I’d take the train from Sderot to Tel Aviv. I’d meet with those who wait to spread the Class Relax meditation movement. I’d meet with my UX designer in Meitar. I’d meet with my daughter, and my cousin! I’d check out the Tel Aviv Museum and re-stock my mind with ideas of art and creativity.

That was yesterday. Today I see grey.

sunflower droops

under dew-laden clouds

more espresso please


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August 6th