Other People Just Live

I even remember the black  vehicle he drove...

I even remember the black
…vehicle he drove

[This is the first time I am introducing Previous Incarnation Therapy on this blog. As introductions go it's not the greatest. I'll probably be expanding on this in the future though… Hope you enjoy. If interested please do look for more of this information in my previous incarnations site: previousincarnationtherapy.com.]

Now that I’ve kicked everyone out of the kitchen and I’m alone again it’s less obvious what the fuss was about.

I had offended my ex-husband by reminding him he doesn’t live here; I’ve been spending all this energy fighting off the tendency to take on a decent job that pays the bills, all in the name of creating a space for myself as a writer. And now, all of a sudden, it’s not clear what I’m supposed to write about.

It was the same, I remember, in my previous incarnation. George had been a book reviewer when he decided he wasn’t writing the stuff he wanted to, and that he needed to leave Glasgow and its much frequented pubs to go somewhere where he would be able to write in peace.

He left everything behind and settled in a semi-detached in Dumbarton, a suburb to the north-west of Glasgow which he soon found, lacked intellectual focus. It’s inhabitants went to pubs, they gathered at church on Sunday, but that was more or less it. Then again, one of the reasons he had left the big city was in order to “neutralize” his surroundings, make them more bland, so that he could better hear the goings-on in his head.

George wanted to write his own original stuff. That is why he moved out of the noise and closer to nature and its intrinsically inspiring ambiance. However, after having put all that effort into creating a time-space for himself as a writer, he found himself disconnected. That is, he found he was too disconnected from the life around him in order to be able to write about it.

His neighbours were families with small kids. George was shy and didn’t really know how to speak to them. He wanted to but never dared lift one of their babies and kiss its chubby cheek. He was shy with the women in particular, so he didn’t go to those Sunday get-togethers. On top of which he missed his volunteer work as an ambulance driver (taken up during the war and continued since. Yes, I even remember the black vehicle he drove…)

George would walk alone in the mountains, come back and unsuccessfully try to write. It turned out moving away from Glasgow and the stimulation the city provided was not enough for him to write. In order to write you need time off, you need some peace and quiet, but you also need to feel like you are part of the fabric of life.

You cannot write about life when you feel entirely disconnected from it. In my present incarnation I am always very aware of needing to be a part of the fabric of life, which has its ridiculous sides too: most people just live. But the up side of my uber consciousness is that I am not repeating George’s mistakes.

So, I’ve banned myself from taking on jobs that clutter my schedule too much and an hour ago I’ve just kicked my ex-husband and son out of the apartment, but unlike George I guess I'm connected enough because here I am, I'm actually writing!

Yes. Miracles do indeed abound.

Miracles Abound

I am so fucked up I can't even feel grateful for the small things. I've rejoined a company I used to work for 20 years ago, and I am not letting myself enjoy. So much stuff, so much weight…

They send me to business meetings and court rooms to translate to or from English. Thursday I went to a court in Netanya. Suddenly the atmosphere was as I remembered it. The animosity of the opposing sides, me stuck between the poor non-Hebrew-speaking witness on the witness stand and the cross examining attorney who would be going for him full throttle.

The trial hadn't started yet so I said I'll be out in the corridor for a breather. When I came back there was a discussion going on. The wife of one of the attorneys brought him something. She was very attentive. The attorney next to him noticed and said aloud that his own wife wouldn't have been as helpful had she been there. Then a man on the prosecution's side, I think the prosecuting party, said he, the attorney who complained, should see what he was doing wrong before accusing his wife. This made us smile.

At that point I went for a full throated laughter. This was potentially funny and I wanted it to be funny, so I laughed and translated the joke to the non-Hebrew speaking witness. A miracle indeed. The animosity melted away. I'm going to actually notice these things more.

On the way back, on the street, a toddler sitting in a sidewalk cafe with her mother standing behind her, put her hand out to the passers by. I stopped and smiled, and put her tiny hand between both of mine for a second or two. We smiled at each other and at the beautiful tall mother, and I went away.

There are miracles, right? One just has to give miracles a chance. The weekend also was nice. My half brother came and we sat round the kitchen table and ate and discussed things until my son couldn't take the sitting down anymore. And on Saturday I walked with a friend in the park. I was so hesitant about inviting her to join me and in the end it was so pleasant.

We sat on a wooden jetty right over the water and looked at the whiteness of the ducks floating about and of the tip of each wave when a boat went by. The white was very miraculous indeed and the whole picture is now stashed away under the "images to go back to sometime" file in my mind.

Then S and I passed near a point from which you can see that balloon you can pay to go up with and see the whole of Tel-Aviv, this over where the two rivulets we call rivers here in Tel-Aviv converge, and over a big round gazebo. That's an image I already have stashed in the file so I just stopped and pointed it out to S and she, miraculously, thought it wonderful too.