This post is a continuation of “A Taste of June: Part 3 of 4“.
Summer is an excellent time for family visits. Though it saddens me that no one in my nuclear family has made the trek to Austin, I played host to younger brother Yoni just a few weeks ago. Yoni was en route to San Francisco for a summer internship, and took four days to enjoy our beautiful city. Yair and I whisked Yoni around to food trucks, the acroyoga jam, choir and his first foray into swing dancing. Yoni also got a taste for co-op life and my cousin Lauren will soon be getting an encore experience as she is moving to Austin this Thursday, and will be staying at Rosewood ’til she gets her sea legs. Welcome, Lauren!
Opportunities continue to present themselves, though I am taking great care to think through each option before choosing any. For example, I was invited to be part of a founding group for a top-notch Broadway-quality Jewish performing arts camp. I love camp, the performing arts and Jewish stuff, so it should be a no-brainer, but all of those things fall into the “fun” bucket and I want to focus more on the “meaningful” one. I told them that I would gladly advise or come on as faculty at some point in the future, but could not be part of the core founders group at this time.
The best part of having a leisurely existence is that – by virtue of the free time on my hands – I am open to new experiences, adventures and connections. I met one interesting person at the library just a few weeks ago, and that chance encounter has led to nature hikes, impromptu swims, and deep conversations that challenge my assumptions on reproductive rights among other topics. (On that note, I have attended both the pro-life and pro-choice rallies at the Texas Capitol in regards to the current HB2 proposal. What an intense time.)
Being open to new and intense human connections is perhaps the greatest blessing of my lifestyle. But every pro has a con, and I can’t shake the feeling that I am not doing enough.
I was not designed for traditional retirement or sabbaticals. I gotta move and be and contribute and create! I do know how to relax, but relaxing and “extra curricular” type activities are most appreciated in contrast to the hustle bustle of life. So, while I am taking time to appreciate my Austin season through music, acrobatics, humans, volunteering, rough-housing at Barton Springs and the absorption of random new skills (my rope handiwork is getting real good – go boy scouts, go!), I am ready to ramp my committments up and be accountable to someone or something each morning.
I’m also keenly aware that what re-charges me is, in no particular order, a combination of exercise, project productivity, time with family and helping others. I’ve been slightly lacking in some of the above lately, but I believe that my time in Jerusalem may prove to be fruitful grounds for all four.
Ah, yes, Jerusalem. I’ve rented an apartment near the heart of downtown and the open air market for August and September, and will be splitting my time between Israel and America in the coming year. I’ve missed my family, and my entire nuclear family will be in Israel in 2013-2014, so ’tis the season to get my butt overseas and rejoice in the unity of family while the opportunity presents itself.
I hope to keep up blogging as I value its role in my life and I enjoy sharing, but I will close out this post by sharing the two primary reasons that I have not been blogging as much:
1) I have been blessed to connect with beautiful people and nurture once-in-a-lifetime-how-am-I-so-lucky relationships and experiences over the past weeks and months. Some of these connections have been on the intellectual and spiritual plane. Though I have held off on plunging into an official relationship, other connections have been on the romantic plane, one of which snuck up and took me by surprise.
Back in March, I started keeping a “real live” written journal to record many of the memories, thoughts, epiphanies, experiences, hilarities and profound developments that now find their home within the confines of my moleskin. The journal is a more fitting place for these recordings than the blog for the sake of my and their privacy, but the keeping of a journal for sharing and reflection makes the writing of blog updates often feel less urgent.
2) Due to one particularly deep experience (and partially due to what I consider to be what I feel is overexposure in the media from Jewrotica), I have been blessed to embrace the partial dissolution of ego.
I am acutely aware of my cosmic insignificance, but also of how much of my life is (often unintentionally!) spent crafting an image and it’s all laughable. I still want to share. I still want to be a smile-inducing, loving, living presence in others’ lives. But, as I wake each morning and smile at the leaves who wave at me and sway in the wind just outside my window, as I open my eyes and say the Modeh Ani thanking the heavens for giving me a new day, I become part of the vastness of everything and the mystery of all, and the idea of self-documenting my antics can seem pedantic and laughably tedious.
So, if I learned a new trick? Good. If I had a dreamy date? Darling. If I helped another soul through a chance or scheduled encounter? Beautiful, but none of these are out of the ordinary or so universally grand that they merit being broadcasted on a daily or weekly basis – at least for now.
I suppose the key to healthy balance is nurturing an appreciation for the universal while maintaining enough of a grip on the day-to-day to function and thrive in the microscopic events of history that are our lives.
Who has something to say on this, or any other topic mentioned? Write me below.
Wishing everyone a wonderful July, and perhaps I’ll see you again when Israel season arrives.
posted by ayo