cry, laugh, cry, repeat

There’s lots to cry about.

Trump – is he role-playing his wildest psychodrama fantasies? My heart weeps with fear.

People – promising their services, then doing nothing. Rug pulled out from under my feet.

Family – pitching in to support my parents in their hour of absolute need, while I’m far away with no real ability to be doing anything. How far, how heart-rending.

But laughter? Of course!

Bill Maher with his weekly: “What did he do now?!” segment pointing out the satirical absurdity of Trump’s doings for this past week. He manages to convert outrage to laughter of the bewildered sort.

People: When the one you count on doesn’t come through and others offer understanding, empathy. Funny how we forgive even though we’re f*cked.

Family: All the familial touches that make life worth living for my parents: bagels from the best bakeryBagels-bagels-and-more-bagels-at-St-Lawrence-Market.jpg

sugarless pie from the famous St. Lawrence Market, a colourful rollator that works for all shapes, sizes, genders. It all makes me smile.

Cry again

Wait a minute! What have I just admitted to? Insane USA president playing with fire. Is there anything in my power that I can do to change that fact? Helpless, I am.

People: If others forgive someone, based on liking them, no matter how little that person has actually done to fulfill their promises, then what can I do? Helpless, I am.

Family: Can I get up and leave to visit my folks? I could, but is it wise? Frustration grows as I wonder. Helpless!

yet, a day and a half and I’ll know more. The tears may slide, and then I’ll be stronger for the wait.

Laughter again

It all comes down to releasing emotions. Might as well laugh.

but, then again….

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Cry, laugh, cry….

 

So, what’s new – June 3/2014

It’s been almost a year that I’ve been involved in MindCET.

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This has been a first-time pilot bringing educators together with entrepreneurs. We were offered lectures and guidance and hands-on seminars in how to build a start-up, how to think creatively, how to present. We were given workshops in how to present our idea and hone it to a form where people understood what we were getting at. We were drilled in how to hone our idea until it became feasible enough to form a site or app.

I started the year with my idea of building a meditation app – something that would know (via handheld phone) when i needed to time-out for a breathing session. the app would warn me and then offer me tactile methods to take that all important break.

That idea warped into a cocoon while I was asked to work with another educator who was building an app for interactive Museum visits. I loved the idea and we worked with imaginative advisers and UX designers.

Till she shrugged off the idea.

I went back to re-think my Meditation app.

Slowly it passed into the idea of a site where I could offer meditations.

Now it has become interactive and in a few weeks I’ll be presenting it in a big Demo Day called MindBlitz!

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I’ll be practising my presentation, remembering my words and the statistics to back up my interest.

That’s what’s been going on with that.

I’ve been teaching puppetry to a group of 8th and 9th graders who are talented in various ways. They are very different from last year’s group who worked well together and fed each other’s differences within the framework of the puppet stage.

This year, I have individuals who have expressed themselves visually through their puppets.

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I’ve been running the Partnership 2gether project between Albany and our school in the Western Negev. These students have met via Google Hang-out since the fall and have worked on various projects including mailing one another gifts, and drawings, and ID cards. They’ve participated in online bulletin boards like linoit.com and google chats. They’ve played online Charades. But the big fail was a lack of independent chats – whether facebook or google

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Most of the American kids were not digitally connected – perhaps because of their age.

Will the project continue next year? I hope so! I want to see Dorit my partner in the project!

End of school year means end of teaching 4 classes as well.

I still have plans – to complete my haiku book

to finish my series of puppets which I’ve been working on this entire year – usually on Saturdays and school holidays.

To visit Toronto in the summer.

To finish a pilot for my Meditation site for implementation in September.

and so, this is nowtherapy – a brief review of my year – it’s been a while since I’ve had time for a review.

nothing deep here – but a skate-through – and a smile

Exploring Personal Limits

I used to say that ‘you never know what your limits are until you bypass them’ or something like that.

well, i think i passed ‘limits’ a while back.

blue bear puppet, Einav Shapiro

blue bear puppet, Einav Shapiro

It started like this. I said ‘Yes’ to the puppetry course to teach excellence. I jumped in with all of my appendages and definitely ‘Yes’d’ again and again

I said ‘Yes’ to doing morning meditation with Grade 7 classes. It was my idea. I wanted to do it. I certainly could use the company for another meditation everyday, and I so hoped/hope that starting some mindfulness even in a small way, will help teenagers cultivate a sense of self, and responsibility for their choices.  So Yes. Yes.

I said ‘Yes’ to the project with the American School in Albany. I love this project, and want to continue being a part of it, so obviously ‘Yes’!

I said ‘Yes’ to the poetry group. Of course, not even a ‘Yes’ is required. It’s like breathing. Even the long afternoon haul to Be’er Sheva and back is natural lung capacity. so Yes -Yes!

I said ‘Yes’ to 3-day Arts Happening. Yes!

I said ‘Yes’ to my online Yad Vashem course and its bi-weekly assignments and final project (which I am currently procrastinating in order to get all this down)

still recovering

still recovering

I said ‘Yes’ to presenting my digital prowess feats before an audience of digitally fanatic teachers in London at the end of the month. Yes, I said, but I began to doubt my staying power. A lot of  ‘Yes-es’ preceded this particular opportunity.

And now, what do we got (as I ask now and then)?

We got a woman who gets up at five, meditates and exercises and gets through the normal teaching day with prepared lessons and energy to work with students. We find her getting home (3rd person observation session) and melting on a couch and after not having eaten for most of that school day, she may be seen chomping salad, dripping tehina, stuffing in some minerals and vitamins.

We see her fall either into a shower or straight into her homework bag to mark quizzes or tests or look for assignments handed in by e-mail, or via the school site, …..this woman is clearly on automatic.

Then comes the evening when it’s time to regenerate motivation to address another Yad Vashem issue trying to balance the horror of that reality with a few human stories, a little heroism, artistry, compassion, foresight – something to make it easier to address. She hopes that by some miracle, energy will have slithered up and down her meridians readying her to take on a new focus. This woman lives her essays, you see: she =them. They are her. And it takes a long time for the two of them to work things out.

And the brilliant digital feat thing- okay, I’m back to 1st person. I have to work out the bugs of the concept, prepare a pilot to make sure it is as user-friendly as it should be, and then record it all in order to make a brilliant powerpoint presentation (who has time to learn prezi right now?). A ten minute delight of inspiration and ingenuity. How long should a thing like that take? 100 hours of work? at least.

And then…that’s when I got sick. It truly occurred. One little chink in the armour and in flies the flu bug to see what damage it can do to my equilibrium.  At this point, I’m forced to admit that damage is noteworthy. This I say after I’m well into recovery. I can’t focus properly. My timing is off. My charm is missing. I’m a little scaled down.

of course i believe.... i think

of course i believe…. i think

I have hopes. I still dream of meeting these commitments and then going with the full-flow of new ideas. My puppets – the three in mid-process and the one, or two more, in my mind.

My idea for a stop-motion cartoon. And a video series of my partner sharing a few cooking secrets.

I need an 8th day. I promise to rest on the 7th if I get an 8th.

Operation Pillar of Defense

When a military action has a name, you know it’s serious.

I was in Be’er Sheva on my way to a poetry meeting, when I heard that Israeli Defense Forces had hit Jabari, head of the Hamas. The people on the bus froze at the news – there was silence and then there was a flurry of cellphone calls.

I got off the bus and my friend, Miriam, called me to find out where I was, what i was thinking and if there’d be a meeting. I started to feel anxiety. Should I be turning around, getting on a bus for home?  Her question got my questions zooming.  But no, surely it wasn’t worth not attending a precious poetry meeting which was therapy in itself – meeting other poets, focusing on their work and commenting, receiving attention and comments on my own. All so nourishing.

but as we made plans to meet and travel together, I started surveying friends back home in Otef Aza. What was going on? Were there Red Alerts? Had there been rocket attacks? What was the prognosis. Was it wise to stay in Be’er Sheva. The first responses were  to go ahead, follow my plan. Then the response of Adele, a suggestion that coming home would be smart, infiltrated my resolve. I let it simmer and then made a decision. I got on a bus, headed back west.

Home with help from my son and his girlfriend, I enjoyed a delicious dinner interrupted by constant text  messages, and booms and lo and behold…Booms were headed at Be’er Sheva. I’d made a wise choice to leave the city before their arrival.

today? I’m glued to facebook, for updates from people in the area, the News on TV and ynet.co.il for constant news flashes.

I did my usual routine, up, coffee, exercise, meditation but nothing is normal. We’ve been told to stay in our safe rooms, and although it’s an absolutely gorgeous day outside, I’ve not yet enjoyed the sun.

I will. I’ll re-claim my old self any moment now!

military maneuvres

No School – orders to stay close to shelters

So, on one hand, it’s fun. No school. Yay!

On the other hand, it’s a pain in the ass. Why should my life be interrupted by a few rockets fired at my community?

me in my pyjamas

Still, how to spend a day when given a chance to spend it at home?

There’s completing my comments for report cards. Done

There’s posting polls on my class facebook pages. Done

There’s offering online quizzes for students who might be bored or interested enough to try to learn something. Done.

There’s offering online songs with spaces for fill-ins for those students who might be teased into learning something. Done

Then there’s chat

and google hang-out for attempting to have a meeting.  Not done, but perhaps in the making.

And homework. Spiritual Resistance in the Ghettos during WWII.

Spiritual Resistance. Doing whatever it takes to raise the morale when faced with oppression. It’s fitting. So my puppet was a good meditation guide this morning when my meager brain was insufficient. And I up the joy of practicing puppetry together with a repeat session of morning meditation.

Spiritual resistance. When the body is told to stay put, the mind soars

laughter therapy

You know how it is when you’re absolutely in dire need of a huge cathartic waterfall of laughter?

You call up the one who would guarantee such laughter within milli-seconds but

s/he’s not available. So you put it on the back burner but meanwhile,

you’re just not centered. You’re missing that huge empty

space that full-fledged laughter releases.

So, then, suddenly it happens.

Someone tells you a glorious story, so utterly absurd

but so very obviously true that you give it up and laugh

with all your glob of pent-up laughter. And

the light streams in and you’re ready for action. And later

you think about the story

and  laugh again.

That’s therapy

plug unplugged

idea speedway

judih, now is oct 19,2013

What’s so difficult about rearranging the world?

A lot of good people have a lot of good ideas.

They share them with other good people.

They discuss, hone, perfect and set the wheels in motion to implement the good ideas.

But something seems to stop a lot of that flow

Then,

some twist of sociological interworking seems to crop up, preventing that good idea, worked on by good people, from being actualized to help other people live more reasonably.

Why is that?

What’s so difficult?

Look at Dean Kamen and his Segway. A simple pedestrian sized form of wheels created to deliver people in cities (or malls) to where they want to go without a lot of mess, fuss or inconvenience. Why aren’t our cities populated by simple little Segways? Why are we still forced to inhale fuel pollutants, risk our lives to cross streets, deal with unnecessary noise – all because people insist on taking cars from block A to block D?

The Segway. A good idea. It could rearrange the world. It was invented over 10 years ago. Why aren’t we seeing it in all of our cities?

Doing business via Segway

Back home, I’d like to rearrange my classroom. I’d like to rearrange students’ thought processes. I’d like to rearrange my own priorities first of all. Why is it so difficult?

How much inertia do we all gather as we live our successive years on Earth?

Is habitual ritual so very sacred that we refuse to give up things that we know are doing us harm?

What’s so difficult?