Looking back and thinking forward

Month: December, 2007


Quote of the day:

Still… is when silence emerges and self stands clearly. MotherPie

Doing a blog stroll this morning I found at Ronni’s place a still list – inspired by MotherPie.

And now I, too, am inspired to still-ness:

  • Still loving Ada Mae
  • Still not done uncovering how I tick, and writing about it
  • Still glad I got all those degrees – my, what a journey that was!
  • Still enjoying the tall oak tree outside my living room window
  • Still doing the laundry, watering the plants, making the bed, cleaning the house
  • Still proud of my beautiful, sensitive and talented son
  • Still amazed at how still the early morning can be
  • Still hoping for redemption
  • Still grateful for the Jacobson family
  • Still wanting to lose a lot of weight
  • Still trying to get it right
  • Still failing to get it right
  • Still passionate about education and compassion
  • Still working with teachers about relationships
  • Still worried about child abuse
  • Still wondering how comfort numbs us into apathy
  • Still pleased that I live close to nature and the city all at the same time 
  • Still wishing there could be peace in our hearts, between brothers, in the world
  • Still thinking about politics, social justice, racism, feminism, socialism, and the kindness of strangers
  • Still dressing in clothes that I am not sure I like so much
  • Still cherishing my life partner, son, my friends in Israel, Europe, New Jersey, California, Philadelphia, Australia, Buffalo, South Africa, and especially the blogging community, and …

Still … getting older …

It’s strange what you remember, isn’t it?

This just in from our Daddy Man:

The other day one of my high school friends found me through the Internet. The last contact I had with her was probably 40 years ago. She wrote:

Hi, Tamar, I think you must be my old school mate at Milton sixth form in 1966 and 1967. I remember you walking into the English class a few weeks after term started and the teacher saying what’s your name. You said Israel. He then asked why you had arrived late in the term and where had you been. You answered Israel again. He then became very confused and I remember you laughing. It is so vivid to me. I expect you have forgotten that. It’s strange what you remember, isn’t it.

As I read the vignette she described many memories flooded back to me. I could see the teacher she was talking about in my mind’s eye. I spent the day reflecting and remembering the old Tamar Israel I once was. It felt like a million years ago.

It’s strange what you remember, isn’t it?

As I was preparing to write this post I looked back a year ago, a habit I acquired … learned from Citizen of the Month. I read through my post of December 30, 2006: So long, farewell:

Perhaps this section of the therapy conclusion chapter will include practical application to the revelations I have allowed myself to uncover from within the emotional memory of my brain. For example, what will I choose to do about taking back my birthright? How will I regain what is rightfully mine? Confidence, feeling beloved, wanted, and worthy of respect. What actions will I take to realize these understandings? How will they affect work, my marriage, relationships with family members, friends, my sexuality, growing older? What kinds of things will I do to nurture, cherish and love my ever lonely, aching, deprived inner child?

I am amazed to realize all the ways I have, in fact, practically applied those uncovered revelations this past year. I forgot that I wrote about it this time last year, but it must have remained somewhere in the back of my mind. In my next post or upcoming writings, I hope to describe those applications further.

Will you hang in there with me?

In the meantime:

Happy New Year everyone!

All I want for Christmas


It seems that when I want for nothing, I receive everything.


Like my son’s surprising arrival.


Or, JJ’s marvelous cooking!


And then … at the end of all the unwrapping of gifts under the tree, … this suddenly appeared …


… For me … from T … and, how embarrassing!

From the sheer surprise of it – I could not seem to stop crying with joy.

I wish you joy


Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration.  Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and savour each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.” (Just in today – from cousin Moira)


A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Blogger’s holiday

The storm abates


Stroopwafels are back at the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop. The morning ritual changes a little as I add one to my coffee these few weeks before Christmas arrives.

Who would have thought that I would end up with a small grayish black cat as my early morning companion sharing the crumbs of a stroopwafel as the dark sky slowly lightens into day? She purrs softly as I stroke her mane and we are content in each other’s company. Book is done, papers graded, house cleaned, and gifts purchased. The holiday begins. It feels peaceful this year.

It seems that I have been living in an emotional storm all my life. And now the sky has cleared – although not starkly bright and clear – just enough to see the glimmer of light above the dissipating clouds, as it blows over and away.

No wonder I laughed so wildly and excitedly in that raging, thundering rainfall high up in the copse by Hadrian’s Wall this past summer.

Laughed in the face of the storm!

For nothing has ever been as formidable as overcoming my life-time emotional storm.

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Tagged?

Taking hold of my brain

Quote of the day:

It is our stories that will re-create us. Doris Lessing from tasting rhubarb

The book is now in the publisher’s hands for review and editorial comments. However, three days later I am starting to awaken to the strange feelings and dreams I have been having after sending the first completed draft out there. I have been walking around in a fog. At first I thought it must be my blood pressure, but when I checked, it was normal. Then I thought I must have a fever, but when I checked my temperature was normal too. And then I received Jean’s comment, and I began to understand what was happening to me.

Writing about my emotional development and early childhood discipline brought me into an atmosphere of yester-year – ancient memories and a long time ago when little Tamar was first developing her self identity surrounded by all those significant adults in her life. That period of my life had taken hold in my brain and was lively and awakened, shaken up from under and beyond. It was astir and pulling me back to those old dark feelings of shame and fear.

I have been concerned for some time now about all young children and how they acquire emotional memory and develop their self identity. Partly because I know what a struggle it has been for me, personally, to survive my own emotional history. But mainly because of the state of the world. I believe our culture of Patriarchy, dominance, and violence just keeps on being reinforced and recycled by how we are treated since infancy. I constantly think about all the raging adults out there, who were never taught how to accept or express their feelings, or allowed to validate their early childhood humiliations, shaming, and abuse. And the hellish system constantly and relentlessly repeats itself.

It has taken not a small amount of courage to write this book, which I have been wanting to do for some time now. It felt as if I was dragged down for the first book I wrote (and the stories on my blog), even attacked and called names. And there were times I felt myself spiraling into an ancient abyss of shame and fear, because even though I had expected and prepared myself for the reaction, it still hurt to the core.

For three years as the storm raged around and inside me, I stood firm within like the huge old oak tree outside my living room window – sometimes weeping as though my heart would break when it was just too painful to bear. And at the end of it all, I came to understand that it was not about me. Rather, people unconsciously trying to pull me back into my box to keep the family system in balance.

So, yes, Jean, as usual you read between all my lines and see into the core of me – you were right in saying: "what a deep place inside you this book has come from." 

Working out on the treadmill with energy rushing around and reorganizing itself in my body and brain, I felt myself pushing the shame and fear away these past few days. I even laughed out loud with joyous relief when I realized what had happened. For if my personal story can help even one teacher realize her own emotional history, bringing her emotionally closer to one child in her care – it has been worth every fuzzy brained moment.


I am reminded of a huge vibrant poster that hangs in the entrance of my office – and Audre Lorde with outstretched arms reaching up to the heavens, saying:

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Online Holiday Concert; and Almost time to fly

Angels in the morning


Rising …


A 2008 angel gift from Blaugustine. Imagine my joy at finding it in my e-mail box from Natalie yesterday just after I had sent off my second book – first draft – completed. How did she know? I guess her angel must have told her.

I once wrote a post about identifying my angels

And here is another one:


… Angel Ada, I mean …

After I mailed off the book I sent Danny an e-mail. I said:

I can’t believe it is finished. I just wished I had sent it to you!
Your support for my writing has been indescribable. As I edited myself through this one I remembered so many of the things you said to me throughout the first book. I gave myself permission to tell my story – write my stuff and not quote everyone else so much. You did that for me.
Well, you are the only person I have told today. I am a wreck. Exhausted, hoarse, stomach churning and eyes burning with tears.
And for ALL of this, I am deeply indebted to you. For you gave me my voice.
In gratitude,

Danny Miller is a writing angel.

Laptopboy_3When we were children, my friend Mimi and I were child bloggers for sure.

Today, I tell this old story over at Ronni Bennett’s: Elder Storytelling Place.

An update to that elder tale is that Mimi and I finally met after not having seen each other for almost 30 years.

I did not know that it would work out so well – telling the story of Mimi and me, right after I sent off my second book. I just love the synchronicity of it – that’s all – as if an angel’s hand was in that too.

Oh, and speaking of angels … LeAnn and I are off to see one of my favorite angels tomorrow …


… come to think of it, and I have a feeling she might not like me saying this … but LeAnn just might be an angel too …


… hm … I might just ponder this awhile …

I don’t really believe in angels, you know.

But they all seem to be fluttering around me this cold, clear morning.

Wish me luck as I wave you goodbye

Ponder on this one until I get back from completing my book:

Quote of the day:

One of the things that will always be inevitable is change, full of both vague uncertainty and brilliant promise. Robert Redford


Hugs and kisses to all who stop by … 

… Au revoir … until my return …

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Festival of light

Don’t rain on my parade (Update)

It has been raining for two days. Excellent weather for writing. And even for putting up those twinkly lights on the tree by the gate and around the top of the awning on the porch. But, I miss the soft, silent, white snow. Gee, I hope it comes back soon.

I have been writing about writing for years it seems and by the end of this week it will be done. Sealed up and handed in. Of course, there are still the editing days to come but those will be the carving and shaping, not the originating, and I will get to meet some interesting people who do that artfully, I hear.

It has been quite a process (still is) because writing about emotions and discipline brings up so many memories and ancient pain. I realized I could not have written this book any sooner than I have. I needed to mature some, overcome my anger and head into forgiveness territory because, oh me oh my, I have faced down one or two emotional demons these past weeks. Yesterday, for example, I wandered through the apartment weeping for hours it seemed.

Anyway, I am nearing the end. The end is near. And I wish it would snow, and snow, and snow …

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Hearing my call


Am not sure if I really want you to see and hear me singing my Hanukah song from when I was a preschool teacher way back in Israel. IF you are interested, wander over to Citizen of the Month. Our dear Neilochka has put together one mighty fine holiday concert for all of us.

Oy! What a guy!

Thank you, Neilochka, and a very happy holiday season to you.



I dedicate this post to Ronni’s return

Oh mama, turn on the light in this place

there’s no smile like the smile on your face

there’s no joy like the joy of the sun coming in

Djin Djin: Angelique Kidjo and Peter Gabriel

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: A day of forgiveness