Memories · Moments of Grace


They are tidal waves that cover me over, and erase the scars of yesterday, smooth again for a new day’s footprints. I am the beach of my own sea.

The day is ended and all is quiet and I can finally talk to myself, after a whole humming day of thoughts scurrying into the dark recesses after the curtains are drawn to shed light on the clean shiny floor of my busy-enough mind. It purposely sounds confusing but that’s what my mind is like these days.

I can finally talk to myself after a whole day of thinking to myself. In talking and laying the thoughts down, a progressive sense of order appears, somewhat.

I used to go shoot pool in college to get to the same feeling. That and it was an occupation that did not mutually exclude smoking, which was an inseparable part of my college experience.

Smoking was an active form of waiting, when I wasn’t quite sure what I was waiting for.

Today was a good day, I moved calmly and accomplished a lot.

The whole day felt like that dusk in the Negev that I often think back to, a moment of absolute bliss. When I think of that day, I see a perfect rounded crystal glass, full of fresh clear water, full to the very brim of the cup. Standing in the desert made a big difference to me. It was the first time I felt any sort of belonging to this Land. When I almost felt as if I had roots here, which I’d never felt before, the tumbleweed of cultures that I am, non-moss-gathering stone rolling through the cities of unbelonging, and the unforgiving cultures of “But where are you from? I mean where ?”

All the people who rejoice in not belonging only do so because they do belong somewhere.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing in the same empty way that an abandoned nest is empty, like pushing thirty and still not having a ready answer to the simple age-old question of “But where are you from?”

Maybe it shouldn’t still be a problem to me but it is. My lack of belonging defines me as totally as the clear identity of a Yakutskian identifies them. Did you know they traditionally eat raw frozen meat? And that their houses are built on logs so that they won’t melt the permafrost from the heat generated by the house? And that they wear reindeer-skin boots with three-inch felt soles?

I want three-inch felt soles on the boots of my life.

I want a three-inch felt cover around my entire body. Around my entire sensitivity to where I’m from and what I’m going to do of meaning and value with my life. I want to cover my life in felt.

And I never want the temperature never to rise so high that I would regret this wish.

Because then I would just think of the limpid stream behind my grandmother’s stone farm, surrounded by extinct mineral-water-spring-bearing volcanoes and run-on grammatically incorrect sentences.

Tonight is a long quiet night where I simply feel like writing because today was such a long long day. This groggy morning where I had to scrape myself out of bed ungracefully was so long long ago, that I feel I’m standing on the hill of next week, straining to remember what happened seven days ago instead of a mere twelve hours.

I feel the night stretching before me for no particular reason, under the memories of the short childhood summers, filled with scents of dry summer sun, and moist fresh-picked wild strawberries, grown under the shade of pine trees and no bigger than the tip of your pinkie finger.

An old woman somewhere is sewing her drunk husband in a wool blanket and giving him a solid beating for coming home pissed at half-past one.

The tidal waves of randomness cover over each successive thoughts. The receding tide may yield treasures of crabs and hidden shrimp inside the cavities of sand, or so say those who pick.

I can’t see them because I hear the waves run back, at the speed of a galloping horse, engulfing the previous thought in the white tumbling turf, and covering over any emerging sense, bringing the precious harvest to nothing.


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