Eye candy · Israel

Skylights with no ladders

I don’t question how my brain works.

Other people do, but that’s just because they’re not inside. Except, sometimes, at some isolated points, for the people who read this funny business. To me, my brain is a multi-media fun-factory, an amazing, powerful decoder that sifts the world, allows me to experience and feel it through all my senses (to the point where I have to remind myself that I am not just covered in senses and emotions, because everything just affects me) and then express it in words, mostly but sometimes also images (I’m still working on that).

I like it like this. I can produce non-sequiturs in conversations that make people ridicule me, and still be a fundamentally logical person, which none but my closest friends can see.

The thing is that sometimes I’m trying to process so much of the world at once (the people, the beauty, the light, my dreams, conversations, words) that my experience of it just comes out in shards of strangeness, like saying “I want to learn Yiddish ” Often, I just don’t realize I do it out loud…and sometimes I even feel I have to apologize for it, but that’s not right either, because, hehe, in the end, it just slows me down.

Right now, my life is in this intense period of absorption, and I’m going to need a couple of weeks to just sit there and have the whole experience just sink in because right now, I just don’t know what hit me. I feel like I have so much to share I just want to be exploring it constantly. I need ten web sites. One for each thing. I feel guilty very often that I even have this one. There are so many things, five this last week, that I post and then un-post, late at night, because they’re too personal. Meditations on beauty, charisma, sex-appeal, self-image, things that I feel too personally about to put on a blog that I am still exploring.


I feel bad that I don’t put up discussions of current issues, “my take on the news” or some such thing, but then there are so many people that do it obsessively, real news junkies, there are so many news web sites, I couldn’t hold a candle to them.

I just need to express what I feel now, and my three-legged duck is a sky-light for others into my eyes, my way of looking at the world, and my sky-light into the person I know I am, but am not really in touch with right now, because I’m at such an intense point.

This all seems very self-centered, another thing I beat myself up about, but really, so are all blogs. Maybe in the end, that’s a bad thing. Maybe it’s not. Maybe I should just give myself a break…

I’ve been hanging onto this idea of a skylight all afternoon.

We all need a skylight, something to helps us face ourselves, mostly, but also the world that we have to navigate in, our own little captains of an uncertain ship. So many decisions, so many interactions, so many judgements.

This can be one skylight for me, art is another, beauty. I never realized how heavily I rely on art to soothe and protect me, it’s the peel of my banana, I wish I had a recordings of my laugh and chuckle to insert where they happen. Right now it would be a tired chuckle, of me imagining myself as a very large banana, encased in a nice thick peel. Minus the overwhelming scent that would accompany such a large banana.

I try to surround myself with more and more beauty to make my experience of the world more livable. But maybe my experience of the world would be more peaceful if I could find a way of living more simply, maybe I am complicated my life for nothing.

I tried to “simplify” once, but it was very simple-minded. I ran into someone once who never carries anything but his one key to his flat. He responded to my incessant questioning about “But don’t you ever need to write anything down?” “Don’t you ever just take OFF and need something?” by saying that maybe I should try it, and maybe I was complicating my life more than necessary, by always having such a large purse full of things like a flashlight, a worry-stone, a spray bottle, lipstick, a USB cable, a Palm Pilot, two notebooks, three pens, food…I almost sat there, in the middle of the alley contemplating how vastly different his life was from mine from this one detail.

So I tried it for four days. No large bag containing everything in the world, just keys and a wallet. And I was so miserable. It wasn’t more simple. It was more complicated.

At the moment, though, I use beauty to make life happier, more beautiful…I found it hard to live here until I moved to a very inconvenient (200 stairs down into a neighborhood with no public transportation, five flights of stairs up–80 stairs no elevator) two-bedroom flat that is so beautiful, white, clean and airy, my sparkling castle in the sky. I found it hard to handle the responsibilities of my job until I brought in a huge book of black and white photographs, and some African art.

Those details made a world of difference to me.

Beauty is one of the most important things for me…I am so moved by it, and cherish it so much. It was my first experience of religion, of the sanctity of nature, of the love of God. I remember my grandmother opening worlds upon worlds of beauty to me in the summers in Auvergne, in her house full of antique treasures, a converted happy mess of a nineteenth-century farm, she would take me by the hand and let me discover the miracles of nature, her way of worshipping God, butterflies hibernating, four-leaf clovers in the wild, edible mushrooms, the jaw of a wild boar, natural sparkling springs, wild chamomile, and so many things that I treasure in my heart like so many beating wings of so many precious butterflies, fluttering with pleasure and magic.

Nature was God manifested for my grandmother, the most amazing person I’ve ever met. Respecting the miracle of Nature was her way of loving God, and she was the most pious and earnest person I’ve ever met. If only I could be one hundredth of the grand-daughter she deserved. One hundredth the non-judgmental, magical, loving, open, spiritual, happy, strong woman that she was.

God help me, I try though…Oy Vey. As they say…

I’m smiling now, through the skylight of my memory, something I just want to bask in and wrap myself in, my own memory, my own fabricated happiness, the world I weave with words I own. Something, anything, everything, too much, a little bit.

I’m counting on points for effort, because I look back and see many broken pots and so few victories, I don’t know how to face tomorrow sometimes. I climb in and out of certainty as if it were a dressing room for a dress I’m not convinced is “the one”. And all I really want is that certainty, that certitude.

How do I get there from here?

That’s the guiding question of my life. How do I get there from here?

There’s no journey more terrifying than the one you have no map for, especially for someone who has a good sense of direction and who enjoys being in control. No journey more destabilizing than the one where your destination is completely unknown. This is one of those topics that is impossible to cap, and I’ll start rambling beyond help in a minute, so I should just put the lid on it now, the night is young and I can do many beautiful things still.

My favorite flowers have always been the wild ones, that grow in the shade of moist woods, and that people pass by, because they’re too small to notice. I’ve often seen myself as those, for so many reasons that are too telling to share, but I’ve always been incredibly moved by them, they seem like the essence of a flower, all the variations, all the color, all the beauty, in such a small, intense, compacted form…so precious and so invisible.

I always loved the Forget-me-not, it’s name a little plea to eternity and the passerby and once, I was reading this book on famous Baha’i heroines and read this passage by Keith Ransom-Kehler, shortly before she died in Isphahan:

“I have fallen, though I never faltered. Months of effort with nothing accomplished is the record that confronts me. If anyone in future should be interested in this thwarted adventure of mine, he alone can say whether near or far from the seemingly impregnable heights of complaisance and indifference, my tire old body fell. The smoke and din of battle are to-day too dense for me ascertain whether I moved forward or was slain in my tracks. Nothing in the world is meaningless, suffering least of all. Sacrifice with its attendant agony is a germ, an organism. Man cannot blight its fruition as he can the seeds of earth. Once sown it blooms, I think forever, in the sweet fields of eternity. Mine will be a very modest flower, perhaps like the single tiny forget-me-not, watered by the blood of Quddus that I plucked in the Sabz-i-Maydan of Barfurush; should it ever catch the eye, may one who seems to be struggling in vain garner it in the name of Shoghi Effendi and cherish it for his dear remembrance.”

And now I have nothing left to say. Finally. It is all quiet.


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