37 – Seeing Life at every turn

This past week was Israel’s Memorial Day, and on it’s heels, Independence Day #69.

The strategy makes perfect sense: Solemn ceremonies gather families and friends from all over the nation to honor the deaths of 23,544 men and women, loved ones forever remembered.

Unlike the U.S., where many don’t know anyone who served in the military, nor have they lost anyone through war, everyone here has lost loved ones in uniform.

Independence Day begins the moment Memorial Day ends, like turning on a light, with upbeat ceremonies, songs, shows, fireworks, flags on cars and homes, barbecue, and even more ceremonies.

Below is the earlier, shorter version of fireworks at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, and the second set were grander and longer. If you have trouble running  my videos, try opening the blog on your smart phone, or another browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox).

If there are other solutions, or you have suggestions how I can make the videos more easily accessible, Please let me know

 


Do you find some people “look” like their dogs? This beautiful young woman and her doggie just might have the same hairdresser. A photo of them from the front seemed a breach of privacy, so tell me: Am I pressing the envelope to include this?

same “Do”

I give smiles away for free if I can catch the eye of faces that appeal to me – old, young, beautiful or not.

Some startle and then give me a smile back. I calculate a 40% return on my investment.


New Friends Old Friends Odd Friends?

How do we grow from who we were to who we are today, and still keep the connection with friends?

Talking about his Independence Day barbecue, a friend mentioned preferring his conversation with the 4-year-old son of good friends over the adult conversations. It sounded like he was growing away from the child’s parents, so I said, “Tell me about your friendships.”

He described changing each decade and appreciating both new friends who know him as he is today as well as those with history, but that sometimes history is not enough. He’d recently met with someone he’d known well 20 years ago. Over coffee, they discovered how both of them had changed, at the same time recognizing the “who they were” within their current versions. It was clear, however, there was no longer a connection.

Today’s dreams being understood by those who knew us back in the day is precious indeed.

Another woman has only friends from her youth. Why?

Is there no need? No time? Or no room for new friends?

Making new friends can be difficult, and is risky, since trust is built or earned, and betrayal is brutal.

I love talking with children and elderly, and so sometimes find it easier to mingle with them than with my age-peers. I’m likely to reach out to people who are alone. Not always, but I sometimes feel expendable in the peer-mingle.

What about you?


A recent home-of-the-week – around 350 sq ft

The sleepy 3am trips-without-tripping from the loft bed to the bathroom were the only downside of this tiny studio


I try to keep my eyes open for moments to embrace. They soften the day. Precious. Funny. Provoking. 

the challenges of translation are found everywhere – even inside the stall

Not a Singles Group, but…

FluenTLV.com hosts a Saturday evening club that feels like what must be like a singles mixer. After paying my 20 shekels (think $5) and receiving a red wristband indicating I’m a native English speaker, (as though they don’t know that from my Hebrew!) I search the restaurant’s huge outdoor bar area for the table with the sign “Advanced Hebrew.”

The 100+ participants will spend several hours in Tel Aviv’s cool evening air initiating and navigating conversation with speakers in their target language. Each table has one or several “Ambassadors” who earn free entrance volunteering half the evening as a coach /conversation helper /question answer-er. Then they swap around so each Ambassador spends the other half of the evening practicing their target language.

I’m certain I’m the oldest of the attendees(sigh), but they talk with me and I benefit from the exercise. I’m amused to see young men sometimes speechless when an exceptionally beautiful young woman is trying to get him to talk. It’s funny, in a sweet way. I confess trying to assess which conversations are “chemistry” and which are merely open and friendly. Surely some loves will bloom as these mostly 20- and 30-somethings meet to stretch their new-language skills over a glass of wine. It’s a better fishing pool than the bar scenes’ “Haven’t we met before?” or “Hey baby.”

I imagine the servers finish their shifts with headaches since the entire area sounds like one big international argument, except everyone is having a good time, so the vibe is happy. The evening is hard work for me and the overwhelming noise level a huge obstacle. Not yet knowing the language well enough, the ambient noise makes it impossible to “fill in” sounds or words lost in swirls of conversations.

P.S. I’m nowhere near “advanced”, but thankfully well past the extreme basics of “My name is/ How are you?/ Where are you from?”


Like Aspens in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, taxi horns in NYC, bikinis on Southern California beaches, Israel’s desert dons Red Anemones in January and February. I sat in this field a long afternoon last winter, filling my eyes with their happy glory, watching children run and sweethearts kiss.  These months later, I appreciate revisiting the moment.

Darom Adom (Red South) Festival. January-February 2017


Emerging

In Rome earlier this year, walking towards David, famously immortalized by Michelangelo, I was introduced to a series of 4 of the great artists’ intentionally “unfinished” works.

The concept is: the person emerges from the stone by the hands of the skilled creator

What are we doing if not slowly being revealed for who we are…what we’re about?

Too slowly, by my estimation, but then life demands to be lived one moment at a time. I was never before the woman I am today, no matter what I wish.

Michelangelo’s Slaves


Have you wondered why hotels don’t crack down on theft? This is the first of its kind I’ve seen. Do you think it’s crass, or reasonable?

Yitzhak Rabin’s life as a husband and father, Army hero, leader, assassinated Prime Minister was a far cry from my own, but still, these words resonate deeply!

“Extraordinary privilege has fallen to my lot. I have done things that I barely dreamed of, or hoped I would do.” Yitzhak Rabin

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.  Ecc 3:1

Last January, I turned off of a 2-lane road in the Arava to explore a site I’d passed many times in Israel’s eastern desert, along Jordan’s border. (see blogs 32, 33, 34)

I found Camels

and miniature horses (compare these little guys to the camel in the background)

and an outdoor cafe with huge pots of homemade veggie and meat dishes.

I noticed a large tent for overnight stays, and thinking I might be interested in staying there sometime in the future, I peeked inside:

 

Communal sleeping on the ground? I lost count after 30 mats. Hmmm  There was a time when I would have loved the adventure of that. Now? Not so much.

I returned from that drive particularly grateful for my mattress, quiet, and facilities.


the translation?

Have a good week

With a smile

with a hug

with happiness

with a dream

that will come true

 

Let this be a conversation – write and tell me what you think, what you’re up to, what you’re dreaming…

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