Wednesday, December 28, 2005

conscious mrs A to be

i'm getting married in 13 hours.

i am -- true to form -- awake in the early hours of the morning. but i guess if there was ever a night when it's normal not to sleep this would be it

despite the lack of sleep i am uncannily calm.

after months of arrangements, hard work and lots of crying the last 24 hours have been serene. i should probably give myself credit for a well planned end of planning that helped bring about this tranquil time (i should also give my friends and family credit for supporting my boundaries with that as they went out their way to make sure i didnt have to anything either)

this serenity began with a very positive mikva experience on tuesday night and continued with a wonderful holistic massage and jacuzzi early wednesday morning. the massage lady said she was going to do some energy healing to get my chakras in line and get rid of the "omes" (burden) off my shoulders. i dont know what she did exactly but she clearly performed a miracle as i was able to spend yesterday relaxing at home while friends popped in and called from abroad - and i didnt cry once.

the waves of love and affection that have been coming my way are overwhelming yet reassuring and calming. i feel so blessed

but i dont know if i've got anymore of a focus on my pending "mrs A" status though.
i wish i had the right deep thoughts, or felt that i handle on the enormity of this day, but i dont.
does anyone ever get that on the day?

i should probably put it on my list of things to give over, not to worry about, to just let happen.

yes thats my biggest challenge of the day is to just let it happen in a very conscious way. be there, be present, take things in to remember and cherish and then enjoy myself like crazy.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

only questions

i've just spent two days visiting different programs supported by the organization i work for in the jewish communities of kishinev and beltsy and my mind is spinning.

what are we doing here? how did jews get here, how are they still here and why? is this still a jewish community - if they have to be taught and the shul is on the bylines (how closed minded am i?) what is a community? can you consider it carrying on a chain having elderly people in day care centers singing a yiddishe mama and avinu malkeinu (and making me cry) while many of their children are far away or they have no one to carry it on? who is jewish? what is jewish? is it better to have a minority very orthodox and the rest secular or is broadly progressive/traditional better? is it ok for me to judge about a community who has next to no kosher facilities and bemoan their lack of discipline when i myslef do not to take on some halachot due to an equal lack?

what am i doing for my community - the poor and the elderly? am i as bad as those children - what do i do on a daily basis to build a jewish community or to care for the needy? did i - by moving to israel - seemingly relinquish this reponsibility to the state and the taxes i pay? how will i convey to my children the pride of being jewish without being super orthodox or rightwing or just plain wishywashy?

how do i communicate the need for support in what i write? how do i communicate it to others so they can write it? how can i be convincing but not shmaltzy? should that be a goal or do i need to just stop being cynical? is it false empathy when i think this could have been my family if someone hadnt made a wise decision at the end of the century? am i being sanctimonious by thinking about A's family who really could have been here far more recently? am i thinking about my wedding becasue i am really moved by the community i see and my role in that chain or is just because i have a selfish need to bring it back to me.

how does a country ever get out of poverty? what would have happened here if communism hadnt happened? should i be suspicious of non-jews here and just remember the progroms and the massacres or should i trust what the community says today -- those who are returning. the new israeli moldovans - big business men who dont know yet what it is to give to their community in a sustainable way.

how do i reconcile staying in this posh hotel when it costs the equivalent of a 7 months pension a night? should i just grow up and know that this is how the charity business works? maybe thats why i'm annoyed with myself that i'm wearing a shlochy dubon and not a smart business like coat. get over it already.

but the most difficult question is why have i just paid an extra 7 lei (approx 1-2 nis) just to stay in this internet cafe listening to a popped up version of TFF's everybody wants to rule the world while i obsessively look at i hate that website. i feel nautious from the terminal clicking to find someone i know. is it a subconscious desire to connect with something i know -- some alternate but more recognizable form of jewish continuity -- even if it is one that makes me feel like an outsider?

or maybe my stomach is just turning after nearly two hours in front of this luminous screen.

time to log off. answers another time

Monday, December 05, 2005

less than a month

its less than a month before we get married
its less than 12 hours before i go to kishinev for a three day work trip
i'm more than excited to go -- its a study trip really so it promises to be inspiring and a break.
i'm more than ready to get married already.

the last few months have whizzed by and dragged at the same time.

normal life is on hold as we are stuck between memories of the 'simple times' when we were just going out - frolicking in meadows with no worries in the world (it is remarkable how 5 months of alternate angst can be wiped by a selective engaged memory) and married life visualized as an oasis of time together not worrying about planning a gala event and just being (naive perhaps but amuse us we're pre-newly weds).

life has become one big checklist of minor details that i would never have imagined i could imagine, keep track of or care about. and scattered among these intricacies are even more lessons for A and I to learn.

thank g-d we do seem to be learning.

we may never have to plan something like this again but we've discovered things about ourselves on the way -- tendencies, traits, patterns, indiosyncracies -- that will be pertinent in the future. i think we're doing ok, becoming aware of them, helping each other make slight shifts amd adjustments, loving each other even when thats hard.

i keep thinking that if our biggest worry and annoyance in life is planning our wedding we will be doing very well so with all the moaning its a good basic training to have gone through.

the best thing we're doing now is trying to focus on being present and conscious at the time. being aware of the celebration that it is without guilting ourselves or expecting too much. letting go of the ifs and the buts and getting ready to enjoy what will be.

its less than a month....