Friday, January 28, 2005

A little faith

The other night I was at a party, sitting around a huge glass table drinking wine and talking about the things you talk about at parties like that, when we started talking about religion.  My friend Maya made some joke about me being a Jesus Freak, and without thinking, I blurted out "ex-Jesus Freak."  The minute the words were out of my mouth, I felt the most horrible sense of shame.  After all, these are my private, painful musings, not meant to be made into a public joke; after all, this is Jesus we are talking about, to whom my entire life was dedicated for so long; after all, I am still my mother's daughter. 

So the question remains, what do I really think?  Who is it that I am becoming, what leg does she have to stand on?  My search seems much more frantic from the pages of this website; the truth is I am more than stalled.  I wrestle constantly with converting to Judaism, even still, but mostly I manage to keep that urge quiet.  As for Christianity, I try not even to think about it anymore.  There are no answers that satisfy me.  Instead I fill up my days with distractions, until some comment at some party jolts me back into the middle of whatever inner conflict it is that I am successfully ignoring most of the time.

But today is gorgeous and the sun is shining, and my only odd urge is to write.  I want to grab a pen and a notebook and sit in the sun in the old city somewhere and make up some people who understand me, give somebody life--you know, be God for a little bit, make things right.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

All's well that ends well

I am finally finished with the semester, and can exhale a little bit.  As for my finals, I'm pretty sure I failed my Hebrew final and aced my Arabic final--so I guess I achieved some sort of balance.  I now have four mini-papers to write, but I'm not planning on starting those for a week or two.  Life is good. 

I'd also like to say Happy Birthday to my little sister Sara, who turns 26 today.  She's 26 and married with a real job, living a real life.  What am I doing with myself???

Friday, January 21, 2005

Advice from my youth

Sometimes I have to remind myself of things.  Rilke helps:

"If you have this love for insignificant things and seek, simply as one who serves, to win the confidence of what seems to be poor: then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more conciliatory, not perhaps in understanding, which lags wandering behind, but in your innermost consciousness, wakefulness and knowing.  You are so young, you have not even begun, and I would like to beg you to have patience with everything that is unsolved in your heart and to try to cherish the questions themselves, like closed rooms and like books written in a very strange tongue.  Do not search now for the answers which cannot be given you because you could not live them.  It is a matter of living everything.  Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, one distant day live right into the answer."

Last night I had a dream that I was sitting on the beach, and the tide started rising really quickly, and I had to scramble up the sand dunes, and even higher and higher, as the water kept rising and the waves kept getting stronger.  There was nothing threatening about it--the waves were almost gentle--but they were eroding something, taking pieces of things away, and I couldn't stop to save any of it, just had to keep moving.  I was grabbing onto things for leverage: trees, roots, heavy stones, and pulling myself up slowly slowly, but I was still wet, still aware that if I stopped moving I'd be swept away.  So of course the waves are time, making loss out of everything, and the things I take hold of are these questions, that help me climb upwards but do nothing to stop the tide, and the sea itself may be mortality, or it may be the answer, because no matter how fast I scurried, I never thought for one moment that I was moving towards anything in particular, and I had the vague sensation that what I really wanted was behind me, that what I really wanted more than anything was to be swallowed up and carried off.  And yet there I was, still scrambling and panting, grabbing onto what I could and watching precious things drift away.  These are the things I dream about.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I keep on keeping on

I erased my last post, as you can see...sometimes I forget that this isn't my own personal diary, that people actually read this, people who might possibly think that I'm crazy...I get a little carried away, you see.  It's probably because I haven't written in my actual journal in so long, which is really strange for me.  All my thoughts have gotten all jumbled up into a big impenetrable mass, which obviously makes it harder for me to make any sense when I try to sort them out (often to no avail).

I am okay.  I will be okay, anyway.  It's so weird how different this year is from last year.  Perhaps I've stayed past my usual allotment of time to any given space--I already feel the urge to move, move, know, keep things whole.  The second year in a place is always hardest; that's when it begins, the little howling.  It gets louder with time.  Here it is, only January, and it's at a fever pitch.