Looking back and thinking forward

Month: May, 2006

The Voyage was Bon, Bon, Bon

Tamar_lindos  (click on picture to enlarge)

Well, yes, I’m back. And have so much to write about. Also there is the question of sorting out the photographs. In the end we did not take a computer with us and allowed ourselves only limited usage of hotel Internet facilities. This meant spending a lot of time together: sightseeing, lying on the beach, swimming in both the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, eating enormous amounts of really good Greek food, and, mainly, visiting the Old Town of Rhodos where my fathers of fathers lived way back when. I kept a daily journal of sites and reflections and so I will be posting so much more as the days go by.

The next few days find me visiting Buffalo to receive an award from my old AEYC of WNY, meeting with Bob to process all those intense emotions about discovering the birthplace of my father, and I must drop into Boston to see my son graduate on Friday!

After that, much posting, writing, sharing and maybe even reconfiguring of blog – blogs(?)

Juderia_3 (click on picture to enlarge)

Thanks so much to everyone for your wonderful, warm, heart-felt greetings and wishes. I felt you all with me as I experienced a magical, deeply moving and life changing journey into my father’s Fathers world of yesteryear.

Bon Voyage

Yesterday we received an e-mail from Nelle. Some of you might remember her?  I once wrote a post about Feeling Safe and Nelle featured there too. I thought it was the perfect send off as T. and I make preparations today for the grand trip. We leave tomorrow.

Dear Rhodes Roadies,
…  Thinking about your trip makes me a bit envious.  A real vacation–no conference, no duties, no networking–sounds fabulous. The weather will be perfectly swimable I hope. Sitting in a seaside taverna eating a tomato and cucumber salad. Mmmm. Finding strawberries ripe enough to put over goat milk yogurt sold roadside in little brown ceramic bowls. MMmmmm.

And Tamar what a perfect time to reconnect with another part of your past. I think we love our parents more when we love them as real people as well as parents.  We don’t displace our childhood needs and adoration and fears.  But when we comprehend our parents’ lives from our own adult perspective, we add understanding, appreciation and forgiveness. That multi-layered love is larger.

Enjoy it all
Much love

Well, we finally decided we will be taking a computer. Neither of us can face complete disconnection for 10 full days! So, am not sure about posting but it could turn out quite handy to share the events as they happen …

What an indescribably warm and safe feeling it is to know that my little intimate band of readers will be here and there and everywhere. Yassou!

Face the morning

Well, my Boca Java arrived. Not only did it help Frank out, with his coffee purchases I mean, but I also acquired a free, large, black mug which says Always blog on a full tank. I am not usually partial to bill boardy sorts of things but having this mug at my side as I tap, tap away on these keys blogging my big, nappy, fuzzy, wuzzy head off, it feels like having an old friend standing by. And, yum, the coffee tastes good too.

So, here I am, at my new site. It feels a little strange. Different color scheme and photograph on the right hand side instead of the left like at the old Tamarika site. And it feels a little odd not being as open and public as I was … I mean the password and all. There was always something a little risky, on the edge, knowing that anyone anywhere could find me with a click of a button. On the other hand, I love to write and if one person or a thousand (which never happened anyway) read me, it makes no difference. I just gotta do it! Write it down.

Feelings, reflections, ideas, thoughts, opinions, words, words, words – my words.

Well, it seems that my words were incendiary. I thought I was plodding along searching for meaning to my life, trying to understand how I came to be me. At times I would grit my teeth on my past life experience, shake the material around like a bulldog, and, at the same time, try to hold onto respect and deep love of my family as I explored my early memories and made connections with the me of now. It seems that it became too painful for my siblings to bear. In fact, I was not aware that they were reading me. It had been some time that I thought they had tired of my blog. Most of my readers are blogging strangers, passers-by who come upon me while they are googling for something else.

One of my siblings termed me as "rubbishying" the family.

Ooh, that hurt. I cried for days, wandering the apartment all night long wringing my hands in despair.

It had taken me fifty years to gather the courage to face my demons down and tell my truth. The effect was enormous for me. Releasing, liberating and opening up the emotional space for me to forgive and love my mother in ways I would never have dreamed possible. In my latest visits home to Israel she and I spent hours talking, holding hands, crying and saying that we love each other. So it felt deep and sore and filthy to be called a "rubbisher."

At first I thought, "Just scrap the whole thing! Return to personal journaling and give up blogging. Who needs it anyway? Hardly anyone reads you anyway. What’s so great about blogging!" I tried that on for size, posting a number of different pieces describing my need to end the blog. And each time I felt the blog slipping away, the same feelings of loss and sadness returned. I really do love blogging. Yes, it is personal and just for me, on the one hand, but there is an excitement in knowing that someone out there is bearing witness with me. That I am not alone with all these wonderings, angst, joy, life struggles. I can finally tell my story – stories. Some that have been stored away for forty five years or so, deep in the memory brain, psyche, or right from my heart.

And so, I faced the morning. Dried up the tears and held my head up high. I read through my blog, all four hundred posts, and understanding how my siblings could feel so angry, I still thought, "Hm … I’m not such a bad person. Not such a low-life. Some of the stuff I write is good and meaningful for me. And, what’s more. It’s true. It happened." I remembered Alice Walker and how the truth had set me free. I certainly did not want to write censoring myself continually or looking over my shoulder in fear, even though I try to take care and not tell other people’s personal stories (unless they give me permission, that is). It is tricky and always a balance. Yes indeed.

"Aha!" I cried when I realized that TypePad had just the solution I needed for right here, right now. Create a new blog with a password. That way an intimate band of readers will seek you out on purpose if they want to read what you write and your poor, dear, suffering family will not have to stand guard at the gates to ensure I write the "right stuff," as they termed it. Yes indeed, that’s the term they used: "the right stuff." Just get rid of the "wrong stuff," that’s all. The only words that sprang to mind as I heard "the right and wrong stuff" was underground ... I would have to go underground. Of course they could not put me in jail or punish me, but they are my family and I am certainly not in this blogging world purposely to hurt them, even though a couple seem to think that is my motive. After all, they have busy and productive lives, are all competent and excellent at what they do. They do not have time to stop by and read my blog. For heaven’s sake. Going underground will be a service to them. They will be able to go on with their day’s work without having to keep an eye on Tamarika.

That way we all win. I can continue to tap, tap, tap away at the keyboard freely expressing my thoughts. My family can relax and get on with their lives.

Gee, I hope they don’t forget or give up on me altogether … although I have been down that road before and this time I am stronger, older, and more confident …

… and …

… I will survive.

Welcome (update II)

If you have arrived at this page I realize that you have taken the trouble to contact me for this blog’s username and password.

I appreciate the effort.

Thank you.

Oh, and by the way, the name of this blog comes from a comment once made at the Tamarika site by Jean at This Too. Thank you, Jean for your support and encouragement.

Update I

I hope to post the reason for this blog before I leave for Rhodes Island on Thursday. Will keep you posted (no pun intended … or … intended … hm … )

Update II

Yesterday, this piece in the New York Times Magazine had me gasping for breath. It hit so close to home I looked around to see if Daphne Merkin was in the room with me.

Writing it down

For over a year I have been writing a Tamarika: In and Out of Confidence blog. Looking back and thinking forward I think the confidence level is considerably altered. Self-alteration is never easy but it is definitely worthwhile.

When I left my last home my therapist gave me a piece by Martha Graham to accompany my new journey without him.

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware of urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

Perhaps this blog will be about that. Keeping the channel open. Being open and aware of urges that motivate me. Right now my urge is to start this weblog and see where it takes me.