This Is Not Happening Now - You Can’t Escape It, You Can Only Witness It
It happened one day after the shower. It had been more than a year since the time that Darian didn’t invite me to his birthday party. We had probably broken up and gotten back together one hundred times since then, and I probably got angry and forgave him for a hundred other events, among them another birthday party that I didn’t attend because he just couldn’t assign me “the girlfriend” role and I just couldn’t settle for anything less. “You’re invited,” he said, “but I can’t give you any special attention”, the reason being that his ex-girlfriend would be there, too. And so I didn’t go.
But one day, as I took a shower and was so sad, probably because of him, a wave of tears emerged from my deepest depths and washed over me, the kind of wave that all of the sadness in the world can surf upon, and so I took the opportunity and I cried. I cried over my dead father, and the script I never published, and about being so talented and yet still a bartender, and about all the animals that are being brutally abused every second of the day for years, and about the fact that I’m not doing enough about it, and about how things are so complicated and difficult – and then the memory of Darian’s birthday snuck in, and I cried about how I made a whole plan to buy him a guitar, together with all of his friends, and then ended up being “invited but..” and the crying switched to a new level of “crying out loud”, and it was accompanied by a remake of the scene, of me in his room before he left, then me in my room waiting for him to regret what he said, and then every 10 minutes after that when he didn’t call to apologize, when he didn’t call to say that he’s an idiot and that I’m the best thing that ever happened to him and that he’s calling me a taxi right now – and it all felt like I was hearing again and again, “you are invited, but..”
But on this particular day, as I got out of the shower, naked and lobster red, my head throbbing from the heat and tears, fainting on my bed, I suddenly remembered – and I don’t really know where it came from, but I remembered – that this is actually not happening RIGHT NOW. “Noa, it’s a memory! It happened a while ago, and now you’re in your home, and what is happening RIGHT NOW is that you are remembering what happened and you are reliving it with full intensity!!” The epiphany that it was all happening in my head now, that it was and is no more, was such a relief. It gave me the feeling that I have some control (even if just a little); that I can, at the very least, notice what is real and what is not, see what is happening and what is not.
And I suddenly giggled, still totally wrecked from the crying session. A stupid, little giggle. How totally absurd to hurt so badly about something that only exists in a memory. Theoretically, I thought, I can think of something else and stop hurting. So I looked around my room in an attempt to not think, and it worked! And my heart became lighter. And then I returned to cry the pain, and giggled too, because of the absurdity, and this time, the pain was different. This time, I chose it. I wanted it. It was fine because it was allowed. I wanted to think about it and remember this shitty scene, and to feel the pain of it a little more, but I knew that this time, it was my choice. I think that at this point, my pain and I became friends.
The Dead-End - Conditionality: An Anatomy of Misconception
I’m in motion. I’m doing, I’m sitting, I’m writing, I’m texting and meeting, finishing another draft, going out on another date, discovering a new scene, having a wonderful night. I’ve got plans and I can see the future – but deep inside, deep, deep, deep where I’ve learned not to look, there’s a vibrating sense of fakeness, of fear. It’s almost hysteria. My friends are tired of hearing about the guy and the project, the project and the guy, and I’m tired of talking.
Honestly, I can’t bear to hear myself anymore. The fake-feeling is not going anywhere. It is only getting buried deeper and deeper under my smile and my words and my joints. Nothing is happening with my project and the wonderful nights leave me empty in the mornings. It’s not hard to see and not easy to admit, but I’m terrified and I’m in a loop.
The thought that I need to be someone in order to be something or to be something in order to be someone who is something… The thought that when I get him, I’ll be complete, I’ll show him the beauty, I’ll show them all (!!!) how brilliant my script is, just as I am, and how fun, because fun is me! “I need to be in a relationship…. I’m a couple-y kind of person… I need to create… I’m a creative person… I love touch… I’m friendly… I need to be alone before I enter into a relationship… I’ll make a short film and then get funding for a feature….”
Thoughts and rules, clichés about stories, about me, about life, about what is good and how is good… we think we know so much, collecting beliefs and opinions, creating patterns, reaching conclusions… if I do this, that will happen… gathering and collecting stories and opinions so that we have ground to stand upon, so that we know what we’re made of… but it’s fear that won’t let us just be who we are, without conditions or demands. Stopping for just a second and waiting. And then asking, for real: How did I end up back here again?!
Frustrated, everything feels off-track. The need to know and have control is wearing me out. Everywhere I go I am uneasy, always pushing, somewhat forcing, and the feeling of unfulfilled potential is chewing me up from inside. I want to be stirred. Maybe then i’ll know what is the truth??
The truth is that I both know and don’t know who I am. The truth is that I mustn’t, at least for now, trust ANYTHING. I must not believe my thoughts. I must not believe my feelings. I must not trust my friends, my creativity, a man, a vibe. I must totally release my grip and free-fall – and only then will I discover what’s real and what’s a metaphor.
I have this notion in my stomach that everything is one and that everything is moving and since I am also a creature of this world, I am also a part of this, a moving-happening-existing part. So I am not “stuck” because there is no such thing as being stuck, and I also don’t need to DO anything to keep moving, because moving is my nature, so this shitty feeling is really (even with all the clichés) ONLY in my heavy head, pumping me along for as long as I believe in it.
How shitty! But also, how great! Because it means that if I can learn to stop and observe and start recognizing the smell and taste and colors of thoughts vs. reality, I can slowly allow the engine that is me drive curiously and wondrously along the road which is my life. At the moment, I am more like an hysterical driver stuck with my eyes on Google Maps because I need to know EXACTLY where I am and where I am going, and while doing so I mostly run over, break, hurt and get hurt… and I don’t seem to notice that I’ve been driving in circles for years. Enough already. The battery is running low. .
What a Fucked-Up Pattern - Pain
The last time we met for coffee he told me that he could have given up 10 out of the 11 years we were together. I was insulted, but I also laughed. I didn’t mean to. I just did. And that was a sign for me – that I didn’t really believe him. Instead of listening from my ears, I listened from my heart.
This is something I learned in coaching – to listen not just from my ears, to know that when I laugh, it’s a sign that I don’t fully believe. And this time, while listening from the heart, I could feel that he was still very hurt and that he wanted to use these words to hurt me back.
He said he wanted to go home, that these coffee dates are not good for him. I walked him home, the home which had been our home, and after he went inside, I stopped at the next street corner and cried. The pain still remained. His pain. Which was also my pain.
At that moment he called me and apologized and asked if I was still around. I told him where I was and what I was doing and within 30 seconds he was there. “You’re crying… did you think I wouldn’t come…?” I laughed and we hugged and remembered how much we love each other, no matter what happens. He said that this is exactly what he had wanted. That I would cry. So that he could see that I still care.
Good for him… He got what he wanted… What a fucked-up pattern.
About Michael - Suffering
I’m scared of being patronizing. I’m scared of standing on my own two feet and speaking “The Truth”, because there’s something in me that still believes there’s no such thing as “one truth”, that things are always more complex than that (even though, if I’m truly honest, I do believe there’s only one truth and I always have). But I’m also still scared and unsure of how to communicate myself, because once something is out of my mouth, it becomes “my opinion”, and then it turns into “words” in the “world of definitions”, and then we’re back in the loop of opinions, strategies, of ways-to-deal-with-this-thing, and then I get lost in my true wish – to help, to enlighten, to free the other person from the chains of his own personality, of his stories and intellect and psychology. And then there is my other wish, which is to just be there for him, to listen, to nod, to let him talk, to let him wallow in his pain and shame and anger and – let’s face it – drama.
So what do I do when my friend doesn’t want to see the truth as I see it? Or is just plain disagreeing with me? It happened so often with Darian that I would say to him, “How do you not see?” and he would respond, “There’s nothing to see, Noa, we just don’t see it eye to eye”. Or as Michael often says to me, “Your words and the way you say them hurt me! I can’t even listen to you. I know you mean well and you’re a good friend, but we just don’t speak the same language”. My language hurts him and his language sounds to me like old-fashioned psychology bullshit. And I’m scared to hurt him, scared he’ll think I am being disrespectful of him and his pain, and I’m scared to lose him, scared he might not want to talk to me anymore, scared that if I no longer support his drama it will mean that there is no room for me in his experience.
I know it’s not true and he also says it with lots of love, he doesn’t give up on me or push me away, but he does tell me that it’s very hard for him now. He does ask to please be extra-sensitive.
But I can’t seem to fully succeed in doing so. And the more I try, the clumsier my words become. And they become more hurtful, as well, even though “nobody can really hurt us.” This is where I find myself quoting you, Ruthie, because as the rest of the sentence goes, “We’re a vivid energy of life, the pain we feel comes only from the belief that we’re lacking, the belief that our existence is dependent on specific conditions, the belief that if we are only like this or like that we would be worthy to walk this earth, the belief that only then would we have a right to be happy and loved and complete”.
This is something that is still hard for me to tell certain people. For Michael, it’s like I am saying, “Your pain is your fault and your responsibility”, and this is more than he can handle now. I think. But this is also where I feel that I, as his friend, need to tell him that it is inside of him and not something external. But hearing this means a total disaster and I’m not equipped to ride this rollercoaster with him.
And he doesn’t even want to. Maybe he even knows deep inside that it’s true, but what can I do? Force him? Demand that he listen?
Come on, Noa, you know what to do. Just stay. Be sensitive. Talk about yourself, not about him. Share from your life, from your experience. You don’t have to be right, you don’t have to preach. You can tell yourself that you’re a vivid energy of life and that your happiness and wholeness are unconditional. Maybe you can’t always LIVE like that, but at least you can remind yourself, and that helps a lot.
A Person With No Respect For Time / written by Adi Shpigel – Sorrow
A person who has no respect for time will always find a reason to avoid doing what the moment is offering. A person who has no respect for time is used to not hearing that which his inner voice is telling him to do. And if he, afterwards, wants to not feel remorse or guilt, he will feel nothing but a simple and unexpressed sorrow. A looming thought about all of his neglected dreams, a memory of all of the past “almosts” that are gone and all of the future “almosts” that have yet to come.
A person who has no respect for time should fear getting old, should fear those tired eyes and that heavy head telling him to “go, but the road is already too short.”
Everybody wants to be good, to receive confirmation from God. It’s easy for the good Christian, for the loyal soldier, for the person who knows how to obey. It’s easy for the person whose inner voice shouts the laws set by others, the person who allows others to direct his path.
But what about the person who has no respect for time? What can he do? A good Christian always has the song of regret in his ears. An ample amount of regret can domesticate even the wildest inner voice. Regret contains within it sorrow for what could have been, it makes me recognize myself as the one who is to blame.
The fear is of what is yet to come. It is the fear of punishment.
A good Christian regrets, but there’s no love in regret.
Loving something truly means accepting it as it is, with simplicity, because it is what it is, and not because it could have been something else.
On Sugar and Lies – Destabilizing
It looks right and it feels good. We talk and we cook. We both like spicy food and ping, that’s another coin in our favor. And then we watch a movie together, eating slices of melon that he cut for us. His head is in my lap, which makes it easier for him to be the one to reach the melon, so he takes a piece and puts it in my mouth and then takes another to his own mouth, and sometimes we share a piece in both our mouths, with a kiss. It’s all pretty hot.
And then we’re in bed, talking more and slowly peeling off our clothes, shedding our defenses, and talking some more, about the days before we met and about the days after, about other men and other women, about those who remain in the past and those who are still around. He has more stories to tell and he talks more than I do, much more, and I listen, and my inner voices are telling me to accept him as he is, to love, to make space inside of myself, to “see how beautiful it is that he’s sharing with you” and that “it’s so amazing that we can talk openly and honestly about everything” and that “he thinks so highly of you because you’re so open-minded and open-hearted”, but really it’s because deep inside I think that I’m special, I think that with me it’ll be different, that I will be the one who’ll help him solve this drama he’s gotten himself into, and that together we will grow and explore the wonders of polyamory, together we will discover what true partnership really is.
And he keeps touching me, and I touch him, but my own pain, and the pain of the other women, penetrates me and distances me. I tell him that what he’s doing with Laura is cruel, that they are playing a game that will not end well, a game that can have deep consequences on their souls, and that I feel my own soul, that I know what it’s like to be crazy about someone, to take whatever shit he offers as though it’s fine cuisine in a gourmet restaurant just because it is him who is serving it. And he agrees, he understands exactly what I’m saying, he knows it well, he is very aware. He too is working on himself, doing consciousness work, observing and growing. That’s the reason he loves listening to me and my insights. He is charmed by me and my wisdom.
I tell him that I feel sad and distanced now, that all of this talking was a bit too much for me, that I’m cool and all but that it gets to me, that I can feel the pain that these relationships bring to him and to all of these women, and he sees it too and apologizes, it really was too much.
I already know that I have a tendency to use sex as a tool for intimacy, and God knows that he has this tendency, as well, and I know that this night won’t end without sex and I want to have sex with him, I want to love him unconditionally, and maybe I already do. And I want to get closer, and we are close, aren’t we..? And I also know that sometimes I want to have sex even when I don’t really want to have sex, not to please him but to see what it does to me, maybe just to discover that what I think I want is not really what I want. So we change the subject and we lighten the mood, and the vibe is nice and easy again, and we get closer and we have sex.
He quickly tries many different positions. It’s important for him to cover all bases, to conquer my body as he does all women, and I call him to come back, to come to me, face-to-face, missionary position. Let me see you. Let you see me. Maybe like this we will be able to tell? Is anyone there? Is there something there? Is there a connection? It has to be real! But it’s also not. And where is the fucking line? Mine? His? What is imaginary and what is real?
People get really annoyed when I say that there’s one truth, that no, not everything is subjective, because beyond our individual points of view there is reality and it happens as it happens. Of course there is one truth. But when it comes to conversations about philosophy and perspectives and interpretations and personal experiences, I tend to very easily get carried away. We want to understand the truth and we are mostly skilled in working with our senses and our minds, but truth cannot be understood like that. It can only talk to us through a state of being, and this state of being is hard to see or express in words.
To be continued…
Here I Am - Total Surrender
I thought about writing this book anonymously. I knew that I shouldn’t listen to this thought, that it was just fear wearing the disguise of modesty, which itself was a disguise of inferiority, which was its own disguise for me being stuck in my own ass. How many times have I imagined being interviewed on talk-shows about the script that I never published? (Perhaps this is the reason I could continue fantasizing about it forever!) About how clever the script is, and how smart I am, and how I manage to unfold life in so many layers, expressed in such unique characters with such complex relationships, all performed with such brilliance and such intimate connection with the audience…
And now this book comes and breaks it all apart without a shred of complexity, with a simplicity that is both penetrating and uncompromising.
Saying “here I am” can seem so self-important and, on the other hand, so quiet and gentle. And still, they are the same words. If someone says “here I am” does that mean he’s spiritual? Well, here I am. Good enough, not good enough. Knowing, not knowing. It’s my destiny, it’s not my destiny. Whatever. Here I am, ok? As I am. Now. And now. And now. Everything is new to me. Even the new guy, who is already a man but has the eyes of a child. The fears never go away, but they do become less scary.
When you’ll ask me how am I – Everything is a mirror
When you ask me How I am - Everything is a Mirror
This gentle movement of living slowly. Of not believing anything. Just feeling, no believing. No grabbing. Less words. Intentionally. Even when i’m asked: “how are you?” don’t ask me. Feel me. You’ll know. And don’t try to answer too. Be satisfy with the answer you got. It is the most accurate you’ll get. I will trust you to feel me right. I will trust you to feel me better than I feel myself. Also if you’re wrong. Be wrong with me. Be wrong for me. And so we will practice being one. Each one.
About the Protest Party - We Are Light (A Life Force Energy)
Instead of walking through life, we often walk beside it, where we feel comfortable, where it feels safe. We stick with our opinions and they help us to reinforce our beliefs that the other side is ignorant, stupid, violent, detached from reality. And we protest against “them” – just in “our” language, that of “our” generation, of “our” Berlin, using music instead of words, turning to drugs and sunglasses to avoid seeing the complexity, to avoid seeing the other side, to avoid truly meeting.
These protest parties, just like every “normal” protest that we’ve ever seen, help to maintain things as they are. They further ingrain the status quo, the inherent separation – the feeling that it is “us” vs. “them”.
The deeper problem is that we’re fooling ourselves if we think that we are actually spreading love and unity with these parties, if we think that we are actually inviting them to join us. “Come, you ignorant people! Think like us, be like us! Come on, look at us! We love life in all forms! Don’t be so hateful, we’re all human beings, racism is old! Look how we dance all together, black people and white people, European and Africans, reggae, techno, trance… We’re so diverse! Listen to the DJ, he says we’re all one! Join the One that is Us – not the One that is You!”
I see it now. I see it and I acknowledge it and I feel a healthy amount of shame and hypocrisy, the kind that makes me sit up straight and feel a bit of disgust towards myself when I remember myself dancing in the streets, not even reaching the meeting point for the AFD demonstrations, not even seeing them, those that I protested against. To be honest, it was a great party and I felt a strong vivid energy coming from the people around me, a feeling of togetherness and of change, but maybe if I feel so good in a demonstration it’s a sign that I’m stuck in my comfort zone, and if I’m stuck in my comfort zone it probably means that I’m not really encountering, that I’m stuck in my own habits, that I’m avoiding.
So I guess I’ve missed the point. But did the whole protest party event miss the point? Did we all miss the point? Can it be that this kind of even has NO positive result? 22,000 people dancing in the streets in the name of equality, peace and love – could it all be JUST an empty shell of avoidance? A human interest piece for the cool Berlin papers to report? Is it just us making ourselves feel good about ourselves? Is it just masturbation?
Maybe Oedipus Is Just a Story – Awakening
“It’s my destiny,” she says. She means being a mother. She’s 40 now and every time she begins doing something about it, it somehow remains stuck in place. When Oedipus heard about his destiny, he attempted to run away from it but it caught up with him just around the corner. This woman is chasing her destiny in circles but can’t seem to catch it, and she keeps wondering (I keep wondering!): What is she missing?
If you truly believe in destiny, then why do you put so much effort into achieving it? If it’s indeed your destiny, won’t it find you in exactly the right place? And if you don’t believe that it’s true, then who are you trying to fool? And why? Maybe because Oedipus’ story is just a story? Just like yours?
And also, what kind of destiny is it, being a mother? You’re a 40 year old female mammal. It’s not destiny. It’s biology. So why are you making such a big fuss about it? After all, it’s natural and simple. Why do you feel the need to decorate it with all the different colors of the chakras?
For example, she says, “Listen to your inner voice, be precise with what you want and summon it from the universe with an open heart. Then, release all expectations.” But I have so many inner voices, which one am I supposed to listen to? And what I want has been revealed too often to only be that which I think I wanted and not what I really wanted, and I also don’t really think that the universe is listening specifically to me. It’s nothing personal against me… it’s just like that with everyone. And to be honest, when I summon something, I do expect to get it, even when I tell myself that I don’t, so from the magnificent list of your spiritual truths, I’ll go with “whatever happens to you is exactly what’s supposed to happen to you”, because I’d like to believe that the universe is more precise than the cacophony of my inner voices.
“Destiny”, “heart’s desire”, “inner voice”, “the truth of the soul”… Why do these words trigger me so much? After all, there has to be some truth in them. Everyone can feel this inner truth. It’s not bullshit. We know that tickling feeling when we submit to it and we know how it burns when we don’t… So why do I want to slap my friend in the face when she says, “I feel that it’s my destiny”??
I’m angry because she speaks a language that I want to speak but I don’t dare. This new-age spiritual language makes me sick. And something doesn’t seem right about that reaction because I am a spiritual person! I’ve made my peace with it already – I AM a Spiritual Person(!) so why can’t I make peace with the language? What am I afraid of? What feels so forced about it? And have I mentioned that she’s an alternative healer?
When People Ask Why I Left - Observing
When people ask me why I left, I always answer too quickly. “My partner and I decided together to leave. We always knew that we wanted to try living in other places, to experience life in different ways. We both felt that it was important and interesting to try new things.”
Meanwhile, we broke up and I’m still here. I’m staying. I don’t want the c.o.m.p.l.e.x.i.t.y. So what do I do? I leave. To another country. Another reality. Another bubble.
Here, it’s easier. It’s not in my face. Not on my street. But it’s in my heart. And they say it’s ok there, in Israel. My mom, for example, says that she’s absolutely happy living in her own country, the only country she has, Israel. At some point, in Israel, you don’t feel the pain anymore. “What happens one hour away from Tel Aviv…” That familiar sentence, a reminder. And then back to numbness.
And here, what? Now I cry. And cry and cry. Later I will feel better. In my sweet home on the canal in springy Berlin. It used to be like that here, too, you know… and somebody stayed, and wrote and/or died, or left and cried. As long as I leave because I believe I can’t stay, I won’t really say goodbye.
The Way Out - Seeing, Knowing, Understanding: Breaking Down the Confusion
It’s alright. There’s nothing we can do about it.
It’s a paradox, but the truth is hard to see.
You have to stop, because only when you stop will you feel the movement of all things. Give it a moment to let it sweep you away, and then you’ll learn the difference between the movement you force and the movement you are.
Think of yourself like an automobile. This is you, in your entirety. It’s true that you are at the wheel, and to a certain extent you are responsible, but what is your actual responsibility? To reach your destination on time? But where is your destination? And when is time? And who said it’s this way? Or that way?
Your responsibility is to listen and to pay attention. To guide us with care and awareness, together with the road. Everything is connected, everything is sending signals, but sometimes they are quiet, gentle.
I step on the brakes. I stop and I listen. Sometimes I pull the hand-brake so that I can remain in place for a bit longer. And I wait. Until I hear. Who’s talking? What is he saying and where is he coming from? I learn the different vibrations, I learn the different motivations, what comes from hysteria and what comes from curiosity. At first it’s hard and it takes a lot of energy, and it feels never-ending, but the more I practice, the better things get. The mad-loop-feeling comes less often, and creativity and relationships flow more naturally. Sometimes it’s pleasant and sometimes less, but we can only discover how things are when we let them be.
In Line at the KitKatClub - Giving Oneself Over
We had wanted to go there for ages but it hadn’t yet happened. And then there was an opportunity. I don’t even remember if it was during a period when we were together-together or not. As if it made a difference… As if it really matters…
I invited him, of course. I told him it’s a good opportunity because a friend said the music is good and I have a Friday off and that there is no one in the world with whom I’d rather go than with him. Sex is our realm, the only space we manage to be a queen and king for each other.
By the evening it became a bit complicated to schedule. I wasn’t coming from home and the trains weren’t working and he was out with friends and I tried to get a car but then my app didn’t work and he was already waiting for me and I felt impatient, all of which made him more moody and I felt myself being annoying, complicated, and again, was overwhelmed with the feeling that it was too messy, that it wasn’t working, that we’re just no good together…
I apologized for the mess because I always apologize and because I was a mess, because I was stressed. I wanted this to happen so badly. In the end, we said we’d meet at the club.
I arrived 20 minutes before him, because of the mess earlier. At the entrance, I double-checked that straight people were allowed in even though it was gay night. And then I stepped aside and waited. I exchanged smiles with the bouncers. I was very smiley, because I was very happy, and also because I was embarrassed to be “waiting”. I was literally “waiting”. In the cold. Why is “waiting” so embarrassing…?
And then he arrived, dressed in his fancy jacket, with all of his height and his body and his face and his hair and he was happy to see me. What a relief. “We made it,” he said with joy and accusation. I hugged him and kissed him and wrapped him in my positive energy. The bouncers welcomed us in and we joined the line which ended at the cashier’s desk and the coat-check. He quizzicly looked at the people in line and I explained that it’s gay night but that all are welcome. His face dropped. “What? Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked. “What does it matter?” I replied. The line was moving pretty fast and the whole vibe went to shit. It was almost our turn when he decided that he didn’t want to stay. His world was shrinking and the walls were closing in on him.
So we left. The bouncers looked at me with such compassion, as if to say, “poor girl, he’s such a dickhead but she loves him…” They were lovely, not something one can easily say about bouncers in Berlin. We walked to a car with our heads down. It felt like in about 10 seconds we end it all. My heart was beating so hard. I was so sad and I didn’t know what to do or say. I so wanted to get into this club with him.
He stopped at the crosswalk.
“Wait. I need a second to digest the annoying way this evening has gone until now. It’s too much and I need to relax for a moment. It’s okay, just nothing happens the way I planned and I have to get used to it happening differently. Did you know that it was gay night?”
“Then why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t think it mattered. I only saw us both there. Who cares who else is around…?”
I was silent and he looked at me and I guess he remembered that he loved me because he enveloped me in his arms. We stood there for a while, hugging.
“Let’s go inside, Darien. Come on, it’s happening. We’re here. We finally did it. Come.”
We went back inside. The bouncers smiled at me again, as if they knew everything. While we stood in line, I looked at him. “Are you ok?” He answered “yes”, and held me with one arm until we paid at the cashier desk and left most of our clothes at the coat check.
About Ugliness and Beauty / written by Ayala Argaman Levi - Motion
Ugliness: The belief that there’s a specific order to things and that they are “beautiful” when performed correctly and “ugly” when performed incorrectly (the “wrong” size/shape/structure/time/place).
The concept of ugliness stems from a world that consists of statues and masks.
“You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Ten Commandments).
It comes from a mind that is static, a mind that is stuck on ideas and thoughts, that believes that there’s only one way and that way is beauty; and that any other way is ugly, wrong, a mutation or an imitation, of that beauty.
Seeing ugliness in this way leads to great suffering because reality itself is an endless stream of change.
We see this clearly in nature.
Flowers and trees.
All follow a wondrous cycle of motion and change.
This is completely unlike the modern model of feminine beauty, which has a very specific and clear image of what is beauty and what is not, leading women to experience suffering and self-hatred, to feeling disgusted by their bodies, which they connect with their persona just because they compare themselves to this arbitrary model that we have invented. So they try to adjust, to design, sometimes obsessively, when failure is presaged because one day, they will get old, or give birth, or just gain and lose weight. Their skin will wrinkle and their bodies will change a million times before they permanently die and return to the earth, according to the wise cycle of nature, as it has always been and will always be, forever and ever.
Absolute surrender means residing in the absolute realm of love and compassion.
Everybody is a piece of art created by nature, made by God, if you will.
A unique expression, each moment anew.
It’s impossible to compare it or coerce it into a static picture, or demand that it be this way or another.
There’s a marvelous beauty in surrendering to our nature, to celebrating creation as it is.
In this dimension, there cannot be ugliness. There can be some kind of distortion, and then one can try and deny the beauty of the soul and try to “fix” it, to create a fake beauty, some sort of alternative beauty that will be a distortion to the soul, because she knows the true nature of things.
Because in the realm of absolute love and compassion, the realm of the soul, beauty can be found even in the heart of any distortion.
Perhaps You Can Never Know, You Can Only Find Out - Mystery
“Maybe you’re like this with everyone. Maybe what we have is not so special. Maybe I am not so special. You’re an actress, a performer. That’s what you do. Maybe I’m just another person in the audience who enjoys looking at you”.
I get what he’s saying. I like to perform. And I can see how it’s enjoyable to watch me perform because I myself am enjoying doing it. It’s real. But I also know how it feels when I am faking it, when I’m performing to sell something, to sell my coolness, or my wisdom or my talent or my directness or my vulgarity. This was very present when I was a teenager and I don’t know how, but it worked. People bought it, they believed my performance. And I shined in front of them.
When is it real and when is it a show? And how can I know the difference and why should I?
Maybe I can’t know. Maybe I can only find out. And maybe I can only find out when I give it time. While doing. While moving.
It’s like this with everything. Even with him. When we’re spending time together and even when we’re apart, but still together. Even when we’re going through things alone, each in our own lives. But also when we are together, when we meet. When we share our experiences, our lives.
Because of course I don’t always shine, right? Sometimes I’m scared and angry and sad. And what happens then? What does it look like to you and what does it do to you? And what does it do to me when it does something to you? And vice versa?
Do I really fall in love so easily or is it just a good opportunity for me to shine? And if so, what does it say about me? About him? About love?
I can’t know. I can only find out.
Hello There, Fantasy - Thoughts Create Reality
No wonder guys are constantly drawn to me. I’m like an open playground. Come! The door is wide open! Bring it on! Enter, mingle. Come in quickly or slowly, whatever suits you. Romantic statements or not, defined intentions or none… Fears, clarity, relationship, friendship, taking advantage, experiencing confusion… I’m all IN!
I already know the fantasies. I can smell them from miles away. So I invite them in, they can’t hurt me anymore. Come, I tell them. I see you, come closer (as if these fantasies are asking my permission…) Let me see you. Show yourself. What does life look like?
I have children with him? Ah, wow, lovely! And we go camping on the coast? Nice! And we travel the world in a van? How cool! And what about my career? I manage to do everything and he supports me and I support him and we make decisions together, and he loves my friends and I love his, and I go with the flow, and we experience all different kinds of lifestyles, like living in intentional communities, and we explore and we experience, yes also with the children, they’re still very young so it’s easy, and the sex! It’s amazing, and we learn each other, and from each other, and we grow, and we really connect, each time more and more, breathing each other in, looking into each other’s eyes, and sometimes it lasts for hours and neither of us even needs to come. And we also give each other space! We each have our own lives. And there’s a lot of nature, but also city, yes? And what else…? He doesn’t mind my grey hair. He likes it. And when I give birth and look like shit, he admires my beauty and strokes my sweaty face and I smile at him and he smiles at me, pure happiness, I never imagined it could actually be like that…
Is that it? Are you done or is there more?
Yes, there’s more. With time we also open up to be with other people, we learn that love doesn’t have a limited definition, and we learn to love others inside our love, and all life experiences increase because we don’t resist, we flow, we allow, and we practice and we hurt and we share and we grow anew. Together. Every time.
Ok. Is that it?
… I think that’s it for now.
(Ok. Now what was that for? Nothing. Just to express myself. To see. Is it the mind or the soul? The mind. How do you know? Because it’s an image. So? So it feels like a movie. So? Aren’t movies an expression of real life? They are, but not my life. So what is your life? I don’t know, it hasn’t happened yet. Now my life is like it is, for now. So what about this whole story? Is it ONLY a picture? Give your soul some credit. Maybe it’s inspiration. Inspiration for what? For togetherness. After all, what’s inspiration? It’s something which inspires me to create my own creation. And how will you create your own creation? I will live. And I will meet. And I will co-create with whoever whatever will be created).
Whatever That Means – All Is One
I once told Darian that I don’t understand physics but that I feel like I know physics. He laughed, also with me but mostly at me. And then I felt stupid and small because I couldn’t really explain what I was saying and I sounded like a weirdo.
Now I have no way of explaining but also no need to explain. Of course I know physics. I am physics. I am a part of everything. Physics is everything and so am I. I am physics and I am biology and chemistry and history and astronomy. Stardust and all. Even Carl Sagan said so.
I am love and I am shame and I am creation and I am music and I am life. Not because I’m particularly special, but because everything is connected and so everything has everything in it! This is way too huge and mysterious to comprehend and I am but a limited creature, especially when it comes to my mind. There are so many things that I don’t understand but it doesn’t make me any less physics.
But if everything is connected, it creates in me a conundrum, because where is the limit? If everything is one then what am I and how will I not be lost in this infinite oneness? If the homeless and the cow and the rapist and the girl with eating disorders and the hippie and the pathetic ex-girlfriend and my racist neighbour who thinks he’s so enlightened and my horny boss who thinks he’s a feminist and my friend who hates almost everyone and everything and doesn’t see it’s her choice to live inside her own ass are all one, and I am one with them all, how can I save them? Or hurt them? Or patronize them or despise them or get away from them? What will I do with all this pain and injustice and evil that is absolutely NOT ME and how will I feel sorry for myself for being so small and insignificant and how will I take responsibility and how will I gauge it…?
If everyone is also me, then how can we be so different and what about “fuck this, it’s not mine / this is none-of-my-business / I need space / they don’t respect me / they don’t see my needs / what about my wishes / don’t stick your nose in my life / get out of my plate….” But if everything is one and everything is connected, this is a false war. I have no chance of disconnecting. There’s no such thing as “space”. And even if you tossed my stuff from our old apartment and changed the lights and performed a shamanic sage smudging ceremony to clean my energy, you can’t expel me from your life because you and I and life are one, so you’d better accept it – you’re a part of me and I’m a part of you, maybe forever, and it’s ok, because with every wall you try to build, you will only reinforce the illusion that you are separate, you will only take another step away from the reality that is you and everything. Physics. And here’s another oxymoron. Can we stay away from reality?
Jesus… I’m really baffled by that. I know that if I see a contradiction, it’s only in my head because nature can’t be “wrong”. If everything is one and there’s still me and there is me, as long as I live, at least, whatever that means, then these both exist in parallel inside the one that is one, just like every fucking snowflake has a unique pattern and falls in a certain place at a certain time – and still, they’re all water. Let’s embrace it. Just because we can’t explain it or grasp it doesn’t make it untrue.
“You’re Sleepwalking” – Destabilization
I think I get it. I think I’m on top of it. I think I see improvement. I think I see change. And then I meet you and tell you about it and I can sense that my voice is not totally honest. It’s hovering. Like a dragonfly above the water. Touching but not touching. Telling a story, a report, an update.
I thought that the last couple weeks were good. I felt that things were different even though I was not totally on top of things at all times. And I smoked weed. More than usual. And met too many people. And didn’t work enough. “You’re sleepwalking,” I hear you saying in my head, but really it was me.
I’m scared to think that you’re the only person who can make me sit up straight. It makes me feel like I need you. Like I depend on you. And it’s hard for me “to own” the truth like you do. I’m even scared to call it the truth. I’m scared I quote you without even truly understanding what you’re saying. I’m scared to dive into conversations and not find my way out. So I shrink myself. I shut up. I return to “who am I to speak the truth?”
I’m confused and sad, partly because of how much you stir me up. I had a good feeling about the protest-party and about the cool weekend with Yaniv, even though I know we’re not really together, that it was only for fun, but so what? I felt present and I agreed to be where I am, to live what there is. I felt good about meeting Michal after weeks of broken communication, at least all the shit came out, or rather, she spit it out. Or at least she said she did. I didn’t spit it all out because I’m no longer sure what to say. And I’m also sick of it. I feel like muting myself for a long, long time. And also not. I feel like spitting it all out at them. I feel like telling Yaniv he’s a coward and telling Michal she’s stuck on her opinions and telling myself that I’m a wus. A happy wus. A sensitive, flowing, loving wus. I want to tell Yaniv there’s no real chance for us to meet because he cannot even see the depths I’m diving in, because he’s lying on a sea mattress with a snorkel. And it makes me miss Darian. How deep we got. How deep he felt.
And until I talked to you, I was just fine.
An Annoying Kid - Responsibility
It’s hard to separate my love for you and the memory of my love for you. Pictures from 2017 bring out disgust and pictures from 2016 bring out softness. I miss it, I yearn for it. I have such few good memories of us but oh, how juicy they are, how vivid and how deep, and how distant they are, buried beneath layers of “NO” and pain and disappointment and lies and false pictures and jealousy, jealousy, jealousy, and desire and all that comes with it, and hope and all that comes with that.
I don’t want you now. I’m angry at you. You, and the memory of you, cause me pain. I glance at pictures of you and you look like an idiot, out of context, out of my context. It doesn’t make sense for me to love you, but still you’re in me. Is it you? Or is it just the memory of you? It cannot be you. You’re not here. You’re so not here, you’re so out of sight, but still, your songs, our songs, jump out at me, as though inviting me to not forget, to not let go, and inside of me there’s a voice saying it’s not over and another voice saying it is over and it never really existed in the first place, but I don’t believe that. It existed. My heart asks for peace now, to mourn for you because honestly, you’re a dick, and who would spend another minute thinking about you… you’re just like an annoying child. Thinking of you brings out disgust. The thought running through my head is saying: How did you let him treat you like that? So disrespectfully! How did you stay in the name of love? How did you lie to yourself thinking that you’re so cool? How did you get yourself and him into this mess? How did you get so tangled up in this? How did you get so confused?!
It’s true. I did. I saw a picture. No. I saw the truth. I saw them both. And I chose. I chose what I felt inside. I chose what my heart ordered me to do – to stay. Stay and try. Stay and see. Insist. Give in. Until it’s enough. And now I have to forgive. And I do forgive. Myself and him. But I’m also hurt. Because of him. And for him. Because it’s in me. He is. Or his memories are. Whatever.
I don’t need him in order to love him. And I don’t need him to be mine. I don’t want him now. Not like this and there is no other way. And no one can know what the future will bring and we can’t manipulate it, we can only live what there is with all its ups and downs and confusion and pain and yearning and disgust and repulsion – and then forgive, and remember that our choice is very limited, not to mention a complete illusion. I do as I’m told and if I can’t really hear the command or if I don’t really know what to do, I just wait, confused.
Wondrous People - Humility
I don’t know where you came from. I don’t know where you will lead me. I feel you in my stomach and I immediately begin to tear up. When you flow through me, I know it, I can sense it, and I can barely do anything else. It’s rare that I let you stay because it’s too powerful. I immediately start looking for reasons why you came and what I am meant to do with you. The right word for it is “overwhelmed”. Maybe that’s why I am crying. Because I can’t contain it, it spills out of me. It’s bigger than me.
What am I afraid of? Or maybe it’s not fear? I sit down to feel my body. My body can tell me what’s going on. What is it? Love? For what? For a project? For The Intuitive Story? For myself? For those people that helped me along the way who I’m going meet tonight at the launch party? For life itself? For the journey? I’m so used to being afraid but fear is an understatement for the excitement I feel when I think of the future. I’m also scared to fuck it up, but I know I can’t. What you are is not something that I created so I also cannot ruin it. But I assigned you a form and gave you a shape and maybe I feel like this today because today is my deadline. Today you’re out of my hands. I hope. I hope you’ll fly off and spread out and millions of hands would catch you and play with you and play in you and get mixed up in you and confused through and thanks to you and you would play with and in them. I hope you will continue connecting me with wondrous people and I hope I will continue listening to myself though you. Good luck, my child.
5 Basic Qualities Necessary for Living Truth – “Dying-To-Self”
- Wanting to see. Wanting to touch. Wanting to live life fully with all that it brings. All of it! And wanting it all! Perhaps being sick of the current state of affairs.
- Knowing from within (even if I don’t totally believe it or sometimes forget) that everything is one, that everything is connected in one motion, that I’m a part of it all and therefore can never really be separated or lacking. And that when I feel separated and lacking, it’s a feeling. It’s in my mind.
- Remembering that every encounter (with a person, a project, myself, whatever) comes to remind me of my true nature, whether through pain and discomfort or through love and ease. When it is through pain and discomfort, it is so that I can see where I am still resisting, where I still believe that I am lacking, where I still think that I need something in order to be happy or complete. When it is through love and ease, it is to remind me how it feels when things are true and authentic, naturally flowing. Experiencing both is how I learn intuitive sensitivity. I can’t make a mistake because if I chose the path of “pain” again, it’s a sign that I still have a thought standing in my way – and that’s a good thing! I want to see it and go through it – again! – so that I can remember. Again! And again! And again! Until the confusion is no longer there and I can move forward.
- Accepting that I cannot be somewhere I’m not. Not emotionally and not physically. Remembering to be soft with myself even when I feel like I’m not where I’m “supposed” to be. If I’m here, I’m still here. I, like everyone, can only be where I am right now. Respecting each moment as it comes, even if it’s a very unpleasant and annoying moment, and being one with it. And while I’m one with it, noticing what is happening to me, observing my feelings and thoughts, and maybe awakening one step further. Or perhaps seeing that it’s time to move on – but recognizing that until I’m there, I’m here. And not deciding in advance, because that prevents me from being here now, truly and authentically. When it comes from the mind, the confusion will once again catch me at the next corner, because if the thought is still in me, I will find myself in the same loop again. Which is also fine, because when we are stuck in a loop for too long something will, at some point, bring us back to movement; maybe we will realize it for ourselves, maybe we will have some sort of an accident that jars us, maybe our “batteries” will run out, maybe something else. But something will happen.
- Not preferring one thing over another. Saying yes – fully – to whatever comes my way, whether from within or outside of myself, letting everything stir me up and affect me deeply, all while remembering the previous points discussed, especially number 2. Remembering that there are no shortcuts. Knowing that if I choose the path of “love” over the path of “pain” it’s not because I am scared of the pain, but rather because the path of “pain” no longer resonates with me.
TO OWN IT - Questions That Reflect and Remind
I cry at how little is real. At how a true and honest encounter is so exceedingly rare. At how sad you were when you spoke about us, about my generation, about my friends, about me. At how so few people know how to make real contact. Or even look for it. At how so much time and life is lost.
I am confused. And I am tired of it. I am so easily shaken. I cry for hours. What is going on?? I have so much to do for The Intuitive Story and yet I am absorbed with this. “It’s all part of everything”, I tell myself. And then I also say: “You’ve fallen asleep standing up. Own your shit, Noa, in every meeting, in every encounter, with every person, with everything.”
This is how I used to be. Coming, saying, taking, staying, leaving, connecting… and I was often accused of being insensitive. Now I am learning how to be like this but also sensitive. And I have found that sensitivity borders on and becomes intertwined with modesty, insecurity, acceptance, and compromise. And that confuses me. I don’t know. I really don’t know anymore. Our conversation has blown me away. I just want to cry. And I’m not sure why.
Maybe everything is once again broken. I thought I was somewhere and then you came and showed me that I wasn’t. Nonsense. I am. I am also where I think I am. Also. And I am confused about a number of other things. I don’t have strength for this anymore. For all of this. But what can I do? This is what there is. I can only be where I am. And the people in my life and my relationships with them offer a very accurate reflection of where I am.
The answer to it all is so simple – to be present where I am. “To own it” doesn’t mean to always know what to say or how to act. It just means being one with what is happening. And to be brave enough to allow what is happening to pass through me and find its way out through my words or actions.