Long overdue update

Well, at about this time I realize that it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and even longer since I did a podcast.

So on the update side: I’m feeling loads better, thanks to a lot of rest, good food and well wishing from everyone. Thanks.
The strep throat and tonsillitis are gone, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine (which I am very wary of and prefer not to trust. However, a good friend of mine who is a doctor referred me to another doc close to home, and she’s been great) however the mono still has control of my liver and spleen. No caffeine, alcohol, smoking, contact sports, riding bike and more. How depressing.
Last Friday night was a hit – there’s still a little chili left over. I have to figure out a way to prepare food ahead of time, so as to allow my kosher-keeping friends to experience the wonder that is my cooking. Maybe next time I can collaborate efforts with & and use their kitchen for cooking. We shall live and learn.

During this period of time that I’ve been home I have done some thinking, and some of the heavier thoughts have been during bouts of depression that can really grab you by the balls when you’re not looking on a random afternoon have turned to the future, and specifically my own future within the confines of this gradually shrinking Middle Eastern country.
Some come to this country to support the Zionist approach.
Some come here for a better life than what they had elsewhere.
Some come for work, and stay, whilst funneling funds out of the country while the locals unemployment rises,
Some come to escape from their own humdrum world, not unlike those from here escaping to the Far East. (Internal monologue here: It seems to me that as an American, the frontier was always to the West – keep looking for some free land. Now, Westerners come to the Middle East, and our people go to the Far East. Where do far Easterners go? Since when did the East become so attractive? I’ll tell you why – Money!)
Some come for a year-long program, in which they pollute this land and then leave.
Some come for a short visit, and end up staying much longer.
Then some come because they were “baggage”, along for the ride, not really included in the decision-making process, not asked whether or not they appreciate the uprooting of their entire life during developmental years.

Some may call me bitter, or angry, but I’m not.
In the philosophical paradox – If you could go back and do it differently, would you? – even if that paradox had any merit, the answer would still be no, as every step in my life has led me to this moment, the experiences, the hardships, the victories, have all been part of shaping my existence. My folks did what they thought was the best in the part of their life where they were somewhat new to Judaism – somewhat being 5-6 years veterans – and believed (as I’m sure they still do) that Israel is the place for a Jew to live.
My own experiences in Israel have slowly shown me that Israel is becoming a place where it is literally trying to make it hard for you to live in. Call me crazy, and I’m sure some will, but I’m finding it harder and harder to justify to myself staying here.
I am one of the many who have an alternative. Many who come here of their own decision make that decision, and have to live with the consequences of their own actions. I’ve been living with the consequences of somebody else’s. Now, I’m not blaming the folks, or trying to moan and groan that my life is so hard, why me, why me, oh god, life is so hard – because that isn’t the case.
Life ain’t too bad, but it sure ain’t easy. It’s been steadily getting better, and over time the graph lines keep rising in some sort of fashion. But it’s still no picnic.
I might be in a funk of “grass is greener”, but I don’t know – I’ve never really stood on my neighbor’s lawn, stepped on it barefoot to feel it’s reality, rolled around in the sun, smelled it after it was freshly cut.

Over the years I’ve had to field a lot of questions f the nature, “Well, why don’t you leave? What’s keeping you here?” And to tell you the truth, I’ve been here for 18 years now. This is pretty much the only world I know – and I’d like to think I know it fairly well. To uproot and change now – it’s not easy to do, much less think about. This has been my home for so long, the prospect of trying to develop this kind of connection somewhere else is scary. But I believe the day is coming close where the state of my own lawn is such a mess, all pitted and covered in dog crap, that I might need that stroll across the street, to try the other firsthand.

So that’s just a bit on my mind.