Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Snow

...It is falling hard and heavy out there this morning. I am sipping my tea and trying hard to wake up while simultaneously preventing my quiet, morning mind from having post traumatic flashbacks of the snow in Boston last year. Instead of allowing myself to remember how unusually awful it was to spend the months of last November, December, January and February trapped in snowy Boston with the rabbi and his unmedicated mood issues in his cold apartment with the lukewarm hot water and confusing kosher kitchen, I am focused on the three classes I will teach today.

I look over my lecture notes and realize how focused I am, and perhaps more determined than I have ever been before. While part of my mind prepares, I idly think that pondering memory is one thing, but dwelling is another. I am never the type to look back with rosey longing. Rather, I tend to exist in a place where I neither dwell or stew in a pot of negative energy, yet nor do I forgive. Simply: I move on. I keep going. Sometimes my own toughness surprises me. Other times my vast amount of tenderness brings me to the point of nearly shattering. But, inevitably, it is the toughness that always saves the day...

I sip my tea and do what I always do when I must focus on survival: I check the price of flights to my home away from home--the Middle East. Just a few minutes ago, I found a flight for $1100 to Tel Aviv. I will leave in early January and think about returning in late June. At the moment, I am prepared to spend the rest of the day thinking about this particular time table in the recesses of my head. My students will prattle away and I will nod, and say smart things, and seem to listen while I think about sunshine and the fact that I now feel fully ready to return to that part of the world that never fails to turn humanity on its head, only to be first entered from behind...

"Going is good", I tell myself.

Going is good. It is not just the snow and sub-freezing temperatures that say so, but they sure make the case for a good excuse.


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