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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
~Rumi

No one heard me when I was younger. No one. I got used to it – so used to it that I nearly buried myself in drug abuse. With no way out and no one to hear my cries, I found solace in remaining wasted.

I started young and covered up the disarray  of my soul with more blankets of dysfunction. And no one knew; no one heard my cry for help. Instead I had to find my own way out. At 16 years old, I decided to leave the world of mind altering drugs behind and to build a new foundation.

The only trouble is that I never learned how to handle my emotions when I thought no one was willing to listen. Even now, I feel a deep sense of loss when I am not being heard or my thoughts are even temporarily being ignored.  Intellectually, I know that people are busy, but inside I am still the little girl no one heard.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yesterday, I wrote about how I was feeling drawn to listening to the quiet (https://wp.me/pthnB-3bP), but I do so with the awareness that my beloveds need to be seen, to be known, and to be loved as my spiritual mentor and writer SARK would teach.

Over the past weeks, I have been amazed at the silence I have needed to surround myself with, but I have been equally aware that I have had some friends that have needed me to be present. So, that is exactly what I did. I found myself taking a flight from Houston to Tucson so that I could nurture a friend who was recovering from major surgery. I also, connected with friends that were struggling with other challenges, and I almost helped a woman reunite with her 5 year old son by driving her four hours to pick up her son and then return to Houston. Fortunately, I ended up not needing to take the drive, but I would have.

Life happens.

AcknowledgeHere is the thing I have learned over the years. I am virtually alone. I have amazing family in Israel, but they are too far away to help without notice. AND I have the most dedicated friends in the world, but they are all over the map. Currently, I live in Houston and if it weren’t for barely a couple of people from my community and my sons, I would struggle if I really needed help; I just don’t have a support system here.

There is some really good things that come from feeling lonely and being virtually alone. I have come to understand that even when I know that my beloved friends and family are busy/distracted by life, I need to feel like I am seen.  Not all the time, but sometimes feeling ignored can hurt me deeply. Unfortunately, my childhood sense of alone-ness is never too far behind.

That realization is helping me become a better friend. If I need to be acknowledged, so do others. Everyone wants to be seen.

I am far from perfect, but I am improving over time. I am also getting better at telling those that I love, that sometimes I need a quick response with a promise that the other person will reach out as soon as possible.

My own loneliness has lead me to becoming a more beautiful friend; I think that is a good thing.

May we all show up the best way we know how; may we give those that need light, a spark from our own reservoir. And if you need me, please let me know. I am not a mind reader.

Onward with love and light,
Chava

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Beto O’Rourke, the 2018 Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas, will get my time, my money, and my vote.

For the first time since Paul Wellstone (z’l) started his career in Minnesota, I am totally turned onto the possibilities of what a politician can actually accomplish for his home state and perhaps for our country.

In truth, I have never lived like I wasn’t interested, but I didn’t always believe in one person making a difference. Tonight, after listening to Beto in person, I have hope. . .real hope. Truth be told, watching Beto over the last several months has inspired me! He is such a powerhouse!!!!! I love how he is meeting with every possible person regardless of economics, race, party affiliation, religion, address, gender identification, citizenship, education, etc. He is meeting Texans and trying to not only hear their concerns, but absorb them so that he can improve the lives of all Texans.

You see, I have tried to connect with Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn to no avail. They are completely ill-equipped to meet with their constituents, especially those that disagree with them or those that have little money. Instead they hide and deny those they represent a voice. Congressman John Culberson also lacks the ability to hear or speak for many of his constituents.

Chava and Beto March 2018With that in mind, I have work to do and I can’t hide behind my busy schedule, my work, my budding nonprofit, my writing, or even my family. Even tonight, I was not feeling too much like hearing Beto or anyone else for that matter. In fact, I really wanted to hide underneath a rock or curl in a ball. I haven’t been feeling too energetic or even remotely positive in the last couple of weeks. Still I showed up exactly as I was and I left invigorated and ready to get to work for my candidate, my now home state, and my country.

What I like most about Beto and what I have been really learning since the election of our current POTUS (who I hope is history real soon) is that listening to those I feel are the most limited is EXACTLY what I need to do. My work and the work of every activist who wants to make a difference is to listen and try to understand where others may be coming from. Only then will we get things done or know what we are up against.

Here is the deal, I am not sure that I agree with everything that this man stands for. In fact, I probably don’t. BUT I do agree with everything I heard tonight. He understands the issues; he knows how to address them. And while I didn’t want to join in this town hall style meeting, I know that I made the right decision.

Now let’s all get to work and get Beto O’Rourke elected to the U.S Senate 2018.

With love, light, hope, and blessings,
Chava

PS: Coming soon, I will share some of the issues that I find most troublesome and fascinating; I will also share some of the questions I hope that Beto will answer as soon as he can – he promised he would.

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If you don’t like the news. . . .
go out and make some of your own.
~Newsman Wes Nisker’s closing salutation
on radio station KSAN in the 1970s

Living in Texas, I have learned. . .
hatred doesn’t need a disguise.
police aren’t here to protect you.
the kindness of neighbors is not a given.

Living in Texas, I have learned. . .
red traffic lights allow for another three more cars to pass.
minorities expect disdain from every direction.
prejudice can be worn on your sleeves.

Living in Texas, I have learned. . .
giving up is not an option.
I am surrounded by an activist village.
when I feel alone, all I have to do is open my heart..

Living in Texas, I have learned. . .
that things are not always what they seem.
sometimes life is not black or white; in fact it is often grey.
what you see is not always what you get.

Living in Texas, I have learned . . .
there are beautiful people wherever you turn.
sometimes you need to look deeper to find the gems.
patience has a way of paying off.

Living in Texas, I have learned. . .
the importance of finding those that fuel your soul.
that my voice matters and can make a difference for good.
working with others makes all of our voices stronger.

Before coming to Texas, I believed that my voice didn’t matter. In fact, I was so sure of it that I loved my ability to fade into the wood work. That isn’t the case today, I have begun to realize that I have a purpose. And even if I want to hide, I can’t.

There is work to be done – a lot of work to be done.

Over the last two days, I have been blown away by beautiful souls that make up the Pantsuit Republic: Houston Chapter. I have found like minded souls that are willing to do what it takes to make our leaders accountable for their actions and to support the work that needs to be done so that no group of people go marginalized.

I am in awe of what I have found right here in my back yard, in Houston.  And I am even beginning to believe that together we can make our world a better place.

Authenticity and compassion reign.

Onward with love, light, & blessings,
Chava

Chai Wallhanging

presented by: Milky Wave Tie-Dye*

  • The tie dye says life in Hebrew; a friend made this for my son Aryeh when he was suffering a life threatening illness. . .it somehow feels appropriate now (different, but right).

 

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Our trek to Tucson has been empowering, challenging, and fun.  While I do not believe any of us would have called this trek easy; the boys and I seemed to thrive as we traveled the many miles from Washington DC to Tucson. The wild thing was that with the exception of three hours on an Arkansas road, nearly every mile went smoothly.

  • The traffic went smoothly.
  • The people we met were without exception kind.
  • We saw beauty along the roads.
  • We ate one gluten free meal at a Subway in Texas.
  • Aryeh nearly obtained his goal of collecting one knife a day during each day of the trek.  At one point, we found a knife from Subway in our bag, but the cheap plastic knife was not up to his standards. 😉
  • Dovi read a book a day and would have read more if he had the next books for his newest series.  Boy can that boy read; he reads 10 times faster than Aryeh and I put together.
  • Jill and Jim have been amazingly giving.  They have opened up their doors to strangers and become fast friends.
  • Our moving truck came on Thursday and then a crew of movers unloaded the truck on that same day. I am so grateful to Michael for finding the best movers and handyman in Tucson.  Locals should let me know if they want Joe’s information.
  • Friday, we started unpacking our house and on Sunday we are moving in.
  • Even with some challenges, the new house is awesome.
  • Feeling the love of our friends as they support the newest journey has helped us move forward.
  • Our last day of traveling was amazing.  We went to an incredible Antique Mall on the border of Texas and New Mexico.

  • We drove in pouring rain through Arizona towards Tucson.  We were surprised by the rain, but later realized it is normal.

With all the good, there are also some challenges.  I feel concern that my boys will take a little time to make friends; summer realities make it challenging to connect with people.  There is an exhaustion that is running deep within my bones from not sleeping well and from dealing with all the emotions of this move.  Wrapping up life in our nation’s capital, moving cross country, and leaving many beloved friends is all part of reality. I am anxious to get started in my work and am feeling a strong sense of both excitement and overwhelm.

New beginnings are scary and exciting too.  Meeting my new community will take time, yet I feel like I need to be able to get everything done today.  🙂 Our new home needs to still be unpacked and we need to find time to purchase a new sofa on a limited budget.  I also need to weed through some books and lose what I shouldn’t have traveled with in the first place.  I don’t want our home to be too cluttered.  And finally, with all that needs to be accomplished, family time should remain a goal; I love motherhood and hanging with my boys.

Below you will find the final insights that we found along our journey:

  1. Folks in Texas sure do ‘Drive Friendly’ even at ridiculously high speeds of travel.
  2. Success in Tucson can be solely graded by how Ginger and Meg welcome me each morning.  Their wagging tails/bodies put a smile on my face each and every day.
  3. We will need to adopt a puppy (all dogs are puppies) as soon as we finish unpacking our house.  We are missing the dogs that Michael took with him to Florida.  Dog energy is what every healthy home needs.
  4. Navigating dark moments is a part of life.  It was amazing to see how quickly we moved through bad moods never allowing them to stick with any of us for more than a brief time.
  5. Border Patrol gave me the smallest taste of what it must feel like to move through a border each day and be questioned.  Because we were American, spoke English well, it took us a moment.  Even in the moment, I felt anxiety because I had never faced this experience before. I am so sorry that their a good Palestinians that have to face this journey daily and with more hostility than I have ever faced.  As Aryeh said, “We didn’t fit any profile, so we were waved through in 5 seconds.”
  6. Happy people prepare better tasting food regardless of being at a nice restaurant, fast food, or ice cream stand.
  7. It’s a long way from DC to Tucson!

The biggest lesson of our Trek to Tucson was remembering the concepts taught in Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird: When the miles you travel become overwhelming, just take a small step  and then another and then another.  Ultimately, you will reach your destination one action at a time.

Now on to new beginnings!

With love, light, and blessings,

Chava

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Traveling through Texas has been easier than each of us thought it would be.  Even through some of the boredom, we have found our time to be both enlightening and fun.  We are gaining insights and laughing as we explore and enjoy each others company too.  We are also exhausted to the core from traveling and would love to curl up into three balls today instead of hitting the road, but we need to keep moving, so we will. 🙂

The Texas terrain is absolutely majestic in places, yet we have also struggled through some of the obvious industrialization we have seen.  Fortunately the beauty is what sticks in our memories now.  Aryeh is surprised that he likes the landscape, but he still misses the green.

With each mile closer to Tucson, we are anxious about new beginnings.  Will I be able to serve Temple Emanu-El with the deep love that I feel for all Jewish communities? Will we all make friends and find our places in Tucson? Will we have what we need? We don’t know the answers, but we are hopeful and a little anxious too.

With the final leg of our trip expected to begin in a little less than hour. Here are some of the insights from yesterday’s excursion.

  1. On a road trip, Aryeh thinks it is OK to be a terrible person.  At one point, we bought some gas at an Exxon station (sigh) because the only other station was a Chevron (sigh).  We feel like we might have picked the lesser of two evils.  Still Aryeh and Dovi would not let me purchase a chocolate bar that was not fairtrade.  So, I guess we couldn’t be completely terrible poeple.
  2. We are absolutely out of element driving down the Texas highway in our Mazda 5.  A large pick up truck would be the only ‘real’ way to socially be comfortable as we drive on the Texas roads.  We might feel like we fit in a little more if we were driving a RV or an 18 wheeler :), although maybe not.
  3. Baird is a well kept dive with nothing but friendly people and tons of antique shops that were mostly closed.  We found ourselves wanting to remove an open flag when we parked at a cute store and it was closed.  We didn’t do it! 😉
  4. Also in Baird, we found an automotive parts store that also happened to be the town’s pawn shop, hardware store, cast iron cookware, gold and silver buyer, and finally real estate office.
  5. Aryeh’s loud burp startled Dovi and I; his burp was nearly worthy of causing an accident.
  6. In Texas, we found a lot more RV stores and less adult novelty stores being advertised along the roads.  We are wondering what that might mean.
  7. Ann Patchett obviously did not spend much time in Baltimore as the ending of the book Run demonstrates.
  8. Aryeh and Dovi were perplexed by waiting for four minutes behind a man who was buying expensive water and trying to choose which chewing tobacco to purchase.  Sounds a lot like people who purchase a chocolate bar to go with their diet soda.
  9. Rest stops are always worthy of rating.  Some are clean, some are artistic, and some are really gross.
  10. Hunger made us notice some things from fields growing food to Noodle Dome Road.
  11. We noted in our notes from yesterday that the signs that say Drive Friendly made us snicker, but as we are wrapping up our time in Texas, we want to acknowledge that Texans do, in fact, drive friendly even at a brisk 90 mph.   (The speed limit was 80 mph – wow.)
  12. Time changes are part of traveling.

Looking forward to seeing what today will bring.

With light and blessings,

Chava (and the boys)

 

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“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” ~Thomas Merton

For most of the day, Aryeh, Dovi and I have been traveling through Texas.  We started off  in North Little Rock, Arkansas on Interstate 30 and then crossed over the state line in Texas and stopped tonight in Weatherford, Texas.  Today’s trek was uneventful and a bit boring, but all was fine too!!!  We drove all day long and while google map said it should have taken just over 6 hours, that isn’t the truth, it took a lot longer.

While we are finding the trip to Tucson to be a little grueling, we are doing well.  Without the time to explore and without the stamina I had in my 20s, the trek is taking a little longer than we expected and in truth we haven’t really enjoyed the terrain we have passed on the road.   At the same time, we enjoy each other and we have really enjoyed talking to each other, listening to books and music on CD, and stopping to take short walks.

The beauty of our time together is that we have really been getting along.  Moments come and go and yet we start our days and end our days with smiles on our faces.  My hope is that we find something fun to explore tomorrow, but if not we are looking forward to landing in Arizona in just a couple of days!  I keep wondering when we will stop having something to talk about; I don’t think that will ever happen.

As we drive, we often think about Michael and hope he is doing well in Florida.  The boys have a great idea for a gift for their abba, but I can’t share the idea here.  😉  Will share after the idea comes to fruition.

Aryeh is enjoying keeping a log of our travels and Dovi reads constantly.  As for me, I drive and drive and drive. . . . . While we aren’t loving the drive, we are rarely bored!  We are looking for simple ideas of where to stop on our way into Arizona, any ideas?   Both boys seem to enjoy their roles in the trek.

Now for some realization or insights that we have from today’s trek:

  1. There are more adult novelty stores than churches, gun stores or antique shops.
  2. New favorite Dovi-ism to get out of work – Instead of just folding paper to put in an envelope, Dovi asked, how do you fold paper.
  3. Hope was following us to the next two exists; Emmet (truth) followed us too.  (Note: Hope and Emmet were the names of two towns that we passed.)
  4. We accidentally drove back into Arkansas after we had left.  We really do like driving in circles.
  5. Drive Friendly seems to be the Texas’ driving motto.  Even with the printed words on the signs, we are wondering how this is possible with a speed limit of 70 MPH on both rural roads and rocky roads.
  6. Texas is full of acknowledging the different leaders from President George Bush (although we aren’t sure which one) and Cesar Chavez too.  We find ourselves wondering how both can be acknowledged on the same interstate.
  7. We are missing our loved ones and wondering how we will maintain the beautiful connections we have been blessed with during our lives.  We are hoping everyone comes to visit soon!!!

May the journey continue to be mostly easy.  May we find new opportunities that give us moments to pause.  May we find peace within each interaction we have not only with each other, but with those we meet.  May we continue to grow with each mile.

Thanks for taking the time to see how we are doing.

With love and light,

Chava and the boys (Aryeh and Dovi)

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