Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Winter festivities  Bois d'Hiver
It's the shortest day of the year, and the darkest night. So it's no surprise that dark thoughts are creeping on me. Although I was voicing them before  - that is  like why the hell did I pull apart my put-together life and drag my daughter with me into the unknown. Was a change so important to me? Was I really up for adventure in the true meaning of it - which is that almost every possible thing will go wrong? These thoughts were shouted out loud in broad daylight (usually in the context of some family drama, so it had an audience that kblieved I'm only half serious about what I'm saying). There is a different feeling to them - that of despair  rather than anger and rage - and having those thoughts come out of the cold darkness of midwinter. 

We're fast approaching the three months mark here in Israel, and there is no end in sight for the situation in which I am with my daughter 24/7. Not that I'm suffering from her company - but I know that she needs more than what I have to offer in this very stressful time when my attention is divided between maneuvering nastily stagnant bureaucracy, managing a construction site, funding the financing for a renovation project that costs three times more than I estimated, living in a  yurt with not even enough electricity to charge a mobile let alone a laptop or run a wi-fi... I'm tethering on my cellphone which is at 25% battery now and the laptop battery is running out faster than it usually does. As does everything in Israel - money runs out faster (because it's worth less), people's word is not worth much (especially when it comes to money or time commitments), and all electrical devices overheat after five minutes of use, for unknown reasons. In short: I'm at over-capacity, in all regards. When I have free time, I sneak into my brother's house where my suitcase of perfume stock is, fulfill my orders and then drive to the nearby Druze village's post office. And then there are some strange quiet times when I find myself in front of my laptop, blogging at long last. Next week we're going to see another program for her (after everything else I've seen was lacking in too many ways to count), and fingers crossed it will be worth fighting for her to be there. Because the temptation to hop on a plane and go back to the rainy desolation of Vancouver seems pretty tempting at the moment. At least I won't be feeling guilty if I do that. And in my imagination I will have the safety of a home again... 

On some more brighter notion (because I always feel obliged towards my reader to be optimistic in some way) - my house renovations are moving along, and I even got approval for some funding for my business expansion. I've never sought any financing for my business before, so I find this approval to be rather encouraging - and a good sign that it will go well here despite the bumps and hiccups of the move. 

Although I'm not feeling it right this dark moment - I know that the feeling of having a home is very important in midwinter. The yurt is not exactly cozy right now - it's too cold most of the time, and too crowded now too, because we had to move the bed from the little extra room to the mail tent... And there is a big Pilates chair sitting in the middle of the space.

I miss the Canadian festivities this time of year - as much as it is stressful with too many holiday parties, shopping and mailing to do - the coziness of the season's social gatherings is something I sadly miss. I miss having friends stop by and drop in for a visit (it took me years to "train" them to do it - Middle Eastern style! -  and now I left and my Middle Eastern friends are acting all Canadian on me and are too busy to ever get together unless it's for me to teach them Pilates). And unfortunately I've been so up to my ears in survival mode that I've been hard pressed to find time to reconnect with my childhood friends here -and have been largely out of touch with my friends from Vancouver, and that's not easy either. The combination of time difference and the sheer exhaustion that attacks me very early each evening is daunting. 

I don't even have an oven to bake any holiday cookies, so thankfully Chanukah only requires stove-top pan-frying. We got some Christmas lights from Kfar Massif (the neighbouring Arab-Christian village) and lighting them up already cheers me up quite a bit. I found our electric Menorah (but will have to hold off lighting it because the voltage here is way too high for it), and that's also cheering me up a little bit... And to pass the time when all my phones and laptops die, I now got into basket weaving and am making experiments with branches of mastic bush. These are extremely fragrant and even if the basket did not turn out that great - the whole yurt sure smelled amazing! I want to also make wreaths from them and from cypress trees. They should smell quite heavenly together... 

Tomorrow the day will be a few seconds longer... So don't be discouraged by dark thoughts today. Let them pass through you and know that the sadder and heavier you feel today - the lighter and brighter your mind will shine tomorrow with the rebirth of the sun and increase of light.

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