Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Wish

I hope it's not conceited to think of myself when hearing this song, but I really need to know this kind of thing is wished for me in the midst of all the decisions I have to make and things I have to figure out and next steps I have to take. So this is my wish for all my friends, and for my family, and also, well, for me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Place




It is like G-d grabs hold of the big dipper and spoons out globs upon globs of vanilla frosting, spreading it ever so carefully, ever so evenly across the earth; those glistening, crystal lattices of snow frosting the world like a giant, icy dessert. They gleam invitingly. So clean. So white. So pure. So free of every bad thought, of every heavy emotion. They are the epitome of understanding and the cold, crisp, welcoming bed where dreams become more real than reality. Where there is no distinction between dream and reality. There is only you.

And the sky, the brilliant rainbow canopy that hangs over four corners of the world, your four-poster bed.

You, me, we, anybody. I dream of this place and I am there. The lights, the colors reaching out, lifting me up, helping me to see, bringing me clarity. It is there, here, there...I can see farther than I ever thought I could. I am myself. I am me.


Sometimes, it is dark. The lights, the wind, the world swirl and whirl and twirl in a big monster mess, whirl through my hair, twirl me around. Except that, with all that, there is peace, for I still stand on my cold, crisp, crystal lattice bed and look up at the heavens and know myself in the storm. It is not a storm of nightmares, it is a storm of truth, of essence, of me. It is my storm and I let go in it, I let it consume me until I send it off, like a giant kite, so that it flies away, and I stand there as it looks down on me, and it watches as I grow smaller and smaller and smaller in its eyes. Except I am not as small as that because I am suddenly in control. I have the power and I stand there, my hands on my hips, looking up, glaring at and studying the storm. I think, I wonder, I frown, and then I point to it and change the course of its swirling.

I am a conductor. I conduct the music of the light. I am in control.


Peace again.

Colors, lots of colors, they streak with delight across the sky and I revel in them, in the canopy above my snowy bed that I still stand on, looking up, and I grin because I know that in this place I am safe, in this place everything is clear, in this place I own the world. In this place the world is me and I am the world.

In this place I am above.

In this place I am the essence of me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Party With Lots Of Ice Breaking But No Ice Cream

It occurred to me that, this being a public blog, I may have more readers than the four of you who comment, and being a curious person, I'm infinitely interested in finding out more about you! You don't have to participate, but I'd love it if you all would!

And the four of you who I know read this, you can answer, too :)

So, here goes:

1. How did you find my blog?
2. If you could pick your accent, which accent would you pick?
3. If you were a pirate, what would you call yourself?
4. What is the current soundtrack to your life?
5. What would you prefer your soundtrack to be?
6. What is your favorite animal cracker?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Opening Up

It's tough to both want to be a writer and to be so insecure and afraid of showing anyone anything serious I've written. The problem with writing is - even if it's fiction - you're opening yourself up in such a personal way to the rest of the world. I know that's what this blog is, too, but as far as I'm concerned, it's pretty anonymous (aside from specific people who actually know who I am and I always write with the awareness that those people will see what I'm writing). I know, of course, that people can write with a pseudonym, but I don't want to do that. Besides, that would feel cowardly, like I was hiding behind some false name (a blog is something different, I'm not a hypocrite).

I guess I'm just afraid of sharing so much about myself so publicly when I'm not behind the name "Erachet" but actually using my own name - and I'm afraid of making myself vulnerable. I'm a pretty private person, if you haven't been able to tell, and I don't like too many people to know about all my insecurities, fears, secret thoughts, struggles...

Except perhaps I do want people to know. Maybe I want to be known below the surface that way, I'm just afraid and that's why I like being anonymous (or semi-anonymous) and that's why it's okay for me to touch on these fears on my blog sometimes but I don't feel as okay when I'm not hiding behind a pseudonym. Being Erachet is safe. I like it.

And it's scary, too, knowing that what you write might not be good, even if you think it is. And if you write something and you've edited it and you think it's good, but you show it to someone whose opinion you respect and they say it needs work, or even that it stinks, then what?

All I know is, these fears are not letting me write real stuff. And I have to write. What kind of writer is afraid to write?

I'll tell you what kind. The kind that cares too much. But then - how can I not care? How can I stop being so afraid of writing good stuff, serious stuff, not cute and silly stuff? Cute and silly stuff is safe. I know how to be cute and I know how to be silly. Do I know how to be serious? Do I know how to be real? Do I know how to open up?

Do I have what it takes to be a real writer?

I'm sometimes nervous that I don't.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hachi Tov Mei'Eretz Yisrael

Okay, so I'm a copycat. You know how Ezzie has best lines from shabbos? Well, while I was in Israel (with helpful prodding from the Apple after one particularly funny line before we took off that I told her about), I kept a record of (almost) all the funny lines from our trip AND I took video of fun or funny moments. And so I present to you (without, sadly, a cool box thing like on SerandEz):

Hachi Tov Mei'Eretz Yisrael

1. (Announcement over the JFK loudspeaker) Attention those waiting for the flight to London, the aircraft has been attacked by a large bird.
(We then proceed to be delayed three hours which causes us to lose our luggage in London. Stupid bird. Hmph)

2. Abba (while waiting to take off after a three hour delay in New York): Excuse me, what's going on with the delay?
Tall, lanky, male British flight attendant: I really don't know, sir. I've just come by to get an orange.

3. Trademark (my sister): I hate it when it's like two minutes to Yom Tov and Ima's like "okay, I'm lighting candles" and then we like pop out and our heads are spinning and I want a drink of water.
Erachet: *blank stare* ???

4. Mavis (my little brother): We should make Aliyah - then we can get a Mac!

5. David (my friend's Israeli husband who is meeting me for the first time): Let us know before you come next time - then I can get your chatan ready.
Erachet: Heh. Yeah, if you know anyone...
David: *seriously* Well, he's busy now but I don't think it's going anywhere, so...
Erachet: *chokes* Wait - you're talking about a real person?!?!

6. (After Mavis learns that a 'pencil' is an 'iparon' in Hebrew - his elementary school was too frum to teach him Hebrew. It's sad)
Ima: And how do you say 'pen?'
Mavis: Ummm...ipar?

And, the funniest of the funny:

(We saw this at a carnival thing at Gan Soccer on Chol Hamoed. It wasn't very religious, more cultural, but pretty amusing and fun. This is just a random guy in the audience getting a little over-excited by the music, I suppose)




P.S. Straight Man doing the pen twirl, an important skill:


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Time Out

Over time, there have been a few people I've told about my blog - mostly because they asked me if I had one or not and I didn't see any reason to deny it. And their immediate next question has always inevitably been, "Really?! Wow. What is your blog about?"

Hmmm.

I never know how to answer that one because, the truth is, my blog isn't about anything. It's like Seinfeld - a blog about nothing (and, uh, there the resemblance stops). I just kind of write whatever pops into my head. I can't think of a single adjective to describe my blog except, well, random. Is it funny? Not entirely. Is it serious? Not entirely. Is it philosophical? Is it clever? Is it boring? Is it strange? I don't know. It's probably a little bit of all these things. I don't write about current events. I don't write about sports. I don't write about politics. I don't really discuss Jewish issues or Israel - and when I do, it's from a personal angle. I don't dabble in controversy. I'm not particularly thought-provoking or intellectual. I'm not philosophically engaging.

So...what am I, then? If this blog is not any of the above, it's got to be something, hasn't it? Is that it - just random? Is there any point to this thing? Does anyone even really like reading it? Am I writing to anyone or just myself really? Do my words fall on deaf ears?

Um...raise your hand if you're still reading?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dreams

Okay, what is the deal with dreams? I happen to be very prone to extremely vivid dreams and even kind of scary dreams, so after a few odd ones lately, I started to get a little fed up. Some dreams make sense in their nonsensical dream way, and some are just random and silly, but some are darker and/or scarier and/or more serious and yet totally unconnected to anything I would be thinking, even subconsciously. So why do I (we?) dream things that seem to be so wholly unrelated to anything that would make sense? And what are dreams, anyway? Are they complete nonsense or is there anything, even the smallest bit, to them? I'm not asking this rhetorically - does anyone know? Or does anyone know any way to find out?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

L'Shana Haba'ah B'Yerushalayim

I know in America you're all still having Yom Kippur, but here it's over and we are no longer fasting (although by the time any of your are reading this, neither will you be!). :)

Just a few notes.

First of all, aside from my year in Israel (which I don't count much in terms of chagim at school because the atmosphere created there was created by the school, not just by naturally being in Israel), this was my first Yom Kippur in an Israeli shul and it was a bit of a different experience. I know that when I was younger, I used to get mixed up between Yom Kippur being a sad day vs. a serious day. But here, it is clearly not a sad day. Serious, yes, but there was so much uplifting singing and there was even dancing at the end in the mens' section for L'Shana Habah and it was just so...Yom Tov-ish. Which it should be! It is still a yom tov, even though it's a serious one.

Also, the windows of the shul were huge and open and it was just amazing to daven such intense teffilot while looking out at Israel. There's just no comparison.

Also, when they blew the shofar at the end, the guy blowing teaches a shofar class to some kids so the kids all blew and it was like a choir of shofarot. It was really cool sounding.

Also, I have never seen this before, but in the mens' section, there were guys walking around offering smelling salts to everyone else. Smelling salts. That's what they used to use in the olden days, like in Jane Austen's time and earlier, to revive women who were faint. But I didn't see any smelling salts in the women's section. Only the men. Hmmm. :P

Shana tova to everyone and I hope you all had an easy and meaningful fast!

Next year in Jerusalem! For ALL of us!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Finally!

I thought about writing an actual post but I just can't find the words. So, to sum up --

I'm going to Israel tomorrow!

Who wants to come along in a suitcase? We're stopping in London for a few hours, too - you know you want to come along, even just for the British accents on the way (although South African accents are still the best)!

We're going for Yom Kippur and half of Succos (we're coming back on chol hamoed), but --

Sigh...maybe I just won't come back... :)

(I wrote that mostly just to scare my mom when she reads this)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nondescript Descriptions

When you're reading a well-written book, it's generally expected that each of the characters in it will have unique characteristics separating them from each other, so that it doesn't feel like you're reading about a bunch of cardboard cutouts who all have the same personality. There are certain words, in my own writing and speaking, that I like to avoid. One of those words is "nice." Another is "cute." Sometimes, those words actually make sense. For instance, a two year old is cute. A weekend can be nice.

But when someone is describing a guy to me and the only adjective I get is "nice," well, great - so I know he's not a bully. But what does that really tell me? If you think of all your good friends, I'll bet you can describe them all as "nice." But that would be lumping them all together in the "nice" category when there are so many things which set them apart! So if someone thinks a guy is good for a girl - why? Because they're both nice people? So many people are nice! That's almost like saying, "he's a guy" (I know, I know, there are also plenty of people out there who aren't nice, but still). Why else? Why should this particular nice girl want to date this particular nice guy?

This extends even outside dating. If you want to recommend someone for any reason - there's always got to be more you can say about him/her than just "nice."

The issue I have with "cute" is that it often gets used in an "lol" kind of way. If someone tells you a story or about something that happened to him/her and you respond, "cute," it's often just a way of saying, "I don't have much to respond to that so I'm going to brush it off with this little useful word that doesn't really mean anything in this context." Some people actually use it in a way that means they were interested, but way too often it's used in a patronizing kind of fashion. Think about how it would feel if you were the other person - if you had just expended all this energy telling a story and the only response you got was "cute." People use "lol" in much the same way. How many people actually find something funny when they type "lol" (I'm not even going to ask about how many people actually laugh, because that's even fewer). But at least "lol" is not a real word, so it's useful for its purpose.

Cute is also used to describe a person another girl thinks is somewhat amusing, but not really anything more than that. As in, "Her? Oh, she's cute." Or, "aw, she's really cute." Um, hello, if you're not at least ten years older than me, it's very offensive to be thought of in such a patronizing manor! It means you don't take me seriously, you just see me as a little girl.

"Cute," "nice," so many other words...you know what they are? They are masks for people's laziness. We can all, I assure you, think of better ways to describe someone than just "nice" and we can all, if we put in a little effort, react better to the things people tell us than just "cute." I'm not saying anyone should be overly self-conscious about speaking (although it's generally a good idea to think a little before you speak) - I'm just saying it would be nice if people could put in a little more thought while interacting with someone else.

If I were to describe myself, I would not say merely "nice." And if I were to describe this blog, I would not say, "it's cute." I don't think those descriptions really give a taste of anyone, or anything, even on just a surface level.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Familiarity

There is something to be said for familiarity.

It's always a nice thing to have.

It's a rather cold feeling when you feel like you're up against something completely and utterly unfamiliar.

(Before anyone goes and says - "actually, I think that's living in a bubble, it's better to branch out more" - I'm not looking to argue. Obviously I don't think one should live her life completely devoid of new things. But it's always nice to have something familiar sticking around, too.)