Passover Thoughts

A break from classes. No class relax last Monday, this coming Monday and perhaps only half a session the Monday after that.

I’ve had time to step back, pick up some books for my own practice, and note down a few observations.

Here’s my list of Spring Cleaning of the Mind Post-its

  1. Wish students well and then step back. Contact should be positive and easy.This is no time to keep a tight leash.

  2. Wish myself well and repeat often – Lovingkindness meditation. More than ever, self-kindness is a well-needed nutrient

  3. Clean my space and throw out what I don’t need and check the inventory of what I’ve so diligently collected

  4. Allow new connections to form. Get a step away from old traditional routines emphasizing others, allow for the chance to vibrate to a new beat. Top suggestion – open the book Search Inside Yourself and let Meng provide some inspiration.

  5. Do something I love. Do it. Sing, make puppets, practice.

  6. Eat loquats.

    loquat2 (1)

  7. Investigate location of sense of humour and encourage it to reappear. This is a challenging one. Where has my humour gone? On-going search

  8. Do not take everything personally. Not everything is an assassin hit. Not everything is intentionally pointed at my sore spot. Probably not anything. Listen and detach.

  9. Do not take, but notice and appreciate. It is not necessary to own a moment or a comment. Appreciate it as it appears.

  10. Drink water, walk and listen to body. The physical form needs attention. My own schedule, no need to postpone food or rest because of an externally imposed agenda. Listen to what I need.

  11. Old habits? Are they still around? Notice. Who said that the thing I once worked on to conquer forever is truly gone. When I least expect it, that thing might just be leading me into past paths.

11. Meditate. A lot. Whenever and however. Investigate new guided meditations from new voices. Find the sounds that inspire me to focus.

Read. Eat. Walk. Hug. Drink. Laugh! Smell the blossome. Listen to the birds. Move on. Offer what can be given. Do not hold back.

Spring is the time for affirming what it is I’m doing on this planet. My time.


Meanwhile during the Military “Operation”

Operation Protective Edge

not a war. no. an Operation.

Red alerts sound

take cover

Booms. and quiet

How do I spend my time?

I am doing intensive puppet therapy.

As I do during such times and also as I do in regular times, but then only on Saturdays,  the only days I have available for foam rubber, paint and glue.

How does it work?

When I work on making puppets, I am focused. Time is irrelevant. Life is good.

puppets await further body parts

puppets await further body parts

Do I like interruptions?

When I am asked to speak about the current not-War situation: how I am, if the kibbutz was targeted, how many red alerts we’ve had, I prefer not to go there.

Back to foam rubber shaping and the artistry of a paintbrush on an eyeball.

It all connects with contact cement.

Still waiting

Still waiting

What are the signs of happiness?

My paintbrushes stand drying beside my toothbrush. A sign of life!

March 31 2013 – sigh, puppets and books, end of vacation

What a marvelous Passover break!

judih by jeremy

judih by jeremy

The gift of time.

A chance to see my children. All of them!

An opportunity to be together with family for a few hours of laughter, wine and food in the location where I first arrived back 35 years ago.

A chance to meet up with writers and friends.

A moment to think (about things other than how to revive a half-comatose student population.) A glimpse of life within walls other than those heavily fortified, in rooms with windows, a chance to sing into nothingness.

Time to eat as I wish, as much or as little as I choose.

The possiblity of long walks with my partner

Time to be with no constant scheduling.

A present of a day to venture forth into the unknown metropolis of Holon to visit the Holon Puppet Center.

To see puppets of sorts and forms that were made by those who love to make them. To see a school where learning the art of puppetry is celebrated.

To visit Design Museum in Holon. To walk through the visuals of Lea Gottlieb and her teams of creators. To feel intentional building design.

Design Museum Holon - Lea Gottlieb

Design Museum Holon – Lea Gottlieb

A time for one-on-one with my eldest daughter.

Today, as I sense these days winding down, I see the half-made puppets on my still unscrubbed floor – & my stacks of semi-inspected papers. I re-read the NLP course notes of techniques and skills that I long to apply to others; I shrug at semi-hatched plans to publish my haiku into a hard-copy chapbook.

I smile as I sit and meditate this morning. I know that half-whatever will always remain half as I constantly re-vamp my conception of ‘whole’. Half-way along a permanent moving sidewalk still brings enjoyment and chance for growth.

A vacation

refresh body

reshuffle mind


March 1st – roll call


basic face

basic face


January – My trip to London (alas I didn’t blog it – but who had wi-fi when it was needed?) was phenomenal. To be in a conference of brilliant minds all wishing to share what they do and learn together new concepts to put into practice – well, that’s such a high bar of attention, that it’s hard to beat. (World ORT Wingate Seminar 2013)

I learned about gamification and how to step inside that new domain.

I heard from others that they would have been delighted to hear about puppetry in teaching. Next time!

I attended Chuquai Billy‘s poetry gig, and was happy to read some ku with him accompanying the breaks with his keyboard accents.

I met Jean from my ancient childhood and saw her current day incarnation – similar to then.

shops on High Street, Camden town

shops on High Street, Camden town

February – a month of catching up. Re-teaching that which hadn’t been taught in my absence. Re-dealing with kids who wanted to watch movies instead of study. Jumping into puppetry lessons with kids who want more per week. More and more!

Re-applying learnt concepts and re-kindling enthusiasm for a school day that doesn’t begin to offer the intense high of London’s Wingate Conference.

Sharing what I learnt with teachers in meetings and on the way to other things.

Re-thinking how I can engage my disengaged students.

Now March.


I feel the anxiety of students needing to pass Matriculation exams. I feel their lack of enthusiasm and preparation. I feel ill-equipped to deal with those who chose never to work. I feel helpless to help those who won’t work because they’re frustrated. I feel dismay with those who fear the work more than anything.

When free from feeling them, I devise wonderful techniques for implementing language. It’s all so simple without my students! Why is that?

(It’s complicated)

alter-ego mid-process

alter-ego mid-process

Saturday ku:

school dreams
haunt the morning

And so I awake way too early on a pure sweet Saturday. Not even coffee brightens my mind. Luckily the sun is out and the neighbour’s coughing session has ended. I can open the window and breathe in pure sweet refreshment.

anemones in the Negev

anemones in the Negev

The day after Ceasefire

with each breath
yesterday’s promises
expand in silence

drones in the background. Facebook friends wonder, mourn, rejoice. Noise from their fears, post-war venting, and relief.

There’s huge relief in that perhaps, this time, we’ll be able to walk outside without scanning the scene, wondering where to run when there’s a sound of a rocket launching. We’ll be able to gaze into the horizon without seeing smoke from where a rocket landed. We’ll look at the splattered concrete from rockets fallen and know that it’s firmly in past tense.

These are my thoughts.

I’m still a little nervous (or perhaps it’s the coffee)

Now the questions flow. Aside from ceasefire or no ceasefire, it’s back to my own world. Will i have time to finish 3 puppets mid-work? Must i open my school bag to see what work remains to be checked and marked?

Will school resume with its many hearts to comfort? When?

And time flies by as always. The clock ticks no matter what. Its speed varies depending on my state of mind, whether I’m avoiding something or deeply embedded within.

This day after ceasefire.

of course i believe…. i think

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


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?

i’ve lost you again

life swells and joys
bongo beats
new and fresh each day

then a sudden swish
a breath of hothouse air
and i’m breathless

a heartbeat of memory
and my heartaches

a moment of you
far back from some highway
way back in time

and i’m lost in your loss
all sounds melancholy
all visions blur

a call from you
and i’m thrown into pain
i’ve lost you again

(amazing how loss can be renewed)
sept 15, 2012