I come with my grandchild to the water’s edge, Tel Baruch beach. He is a two year old toddler. I hold him in my arms and together we look at the gigantic sea. After and quiet pause he turns his gaze to me and says: “I want to drink the sea”.
אני באה עם הנכד שלי לשפת הים, חוף תל ברוך. הוא תינוק בן שנתיים. אני מחזיקה אותו בזרועותיי ויחד אנחנו מסתכלים על הים הענק.
הוא מפנה אלי את המבט, אחרי רגע של שקט, ואומר לי
“אני רוצה לשתות את הים”
Tomorrow my daughter is leaving to live in New York. A farewell brunch at her favorite place. Like always, a beautiful place, terrible service. Inside her omelet, served in a cast-iron skillet, is a shard of glass!! She says she is going to call the waitress over and say: “This is unacceptable! I can’t take it, I am leaving the country!” We all laugh, me also, while inside, I swallow the broken glass.
For the daily run, instead of going down Nordau towards the Tayelet, then south to Mike’s Place, he decided to cross Gan Ha’Atsmaut and run down the sea shore, to watch the sunset. While he ran down the steps that go down to the sand, he saw an older man, maybe waiting for a sexual opportunity. He thought how pathetic it is, and in the moment he passed him, he saw it was his father. He kept running and running while inside the world was collapsing… Or maybe he just imagined it?
I went to the garment district, I think, a small area where there are a lot of fabric shops to buy the fabric for my wedding dress. My fiance and I went to travel and elope there in Israel, hoping to find our home. It wasn’t until years later that I had an epiphany, that Israel was not to be my new home. I haven’t been back since, it’s been over 7 years.
Late, on a warm night in early spring, I ran down Dizengoff, with a close friend, and large black permanent marker in my bag. On walls, signs, and poles, I tagged the words “i ME mine,” after the song by George Harrison. After seeing images of “Know Hope” and various other illegal markings throughout the city, I became part of the inspirational delinquency, in an effort to remind myself, and those around me, to forfeit the cage of our own egos, our “I,” in search of something more meaningful outside of ourselves.
I was a teenager. I skipped school. I took the bus to the city and smoked cigarettes everywhere.
I was 15 and came to Tel Aviv with my family and spent the summer at my Dad’s TA apartment, on Ben Gurion corner of Dizingoff. It was 1994 or 1995. My father had a sailboat in the marina that I used to love sailing. Our family made some new friends with another family from Herziliya. They were being nice to my grandfather who lived in a tiny shack there that was built in the 1920s and hasn’t changed since. Anyway, they had 3 beautiful, blond, muscular sons. I was at the height of puberty, felt totally awkward and totally crushing on two of them. My father invited them for a day of sailing on our little boat. It was a glorious day! Everyone laughed, a few people fell into the gross water in the marina, we ate watermelons and dropped anchor in the sea and all dove in to swim in the middle of the watery vastness, with the Tel Aviv horizon spread far in the distance. We sailed back at sunset, went to my father’s apartment, everyone showered and there was no more hot water left. Then we went to a “workers” restaurant and had a big table spread outside on the sidewalk. We ate pickles and shishlik and kebabs and I think it was the most delicious meal I had ever had.
I’m not sure if this was an “Unexpected feeling of oneness with the universe” but it definitely made me feel at one with myself. And my family, and my environment. A sense of belonging.
my first boyfriend’s wealthy stepfather had a house in jaffa facing the sea that he didn’t use often. we were in the army, i was 18, and i came to spend a weekend with him during my training course. it was this luxurious beautiful chic house, i was afraid to touch things. he got me special take out from a fancy restaurant to celebrate our 6-month anniversary. i was really shy and didn’t know how to act the entire time. we had sex a lot and i just tried to act normal. a few months later, his mother and stepfather were in israel and invited me for dinner at an extremely fancy restaurant. the kind with a prix fix menu and stuff. his sister and brother in law were with us and maybe some other people. i was still super shy. i couldn’t finish my meal and the dinner went on and on. it was awkwardly long. finally a waiter came and asked if i was done, i said “yeah!” like as if he couldn’t tell. they cleared the plates. when we got back my boyfriend asked, “didn’t you know that you have to put your fork and knife together when you’re done eating?” i was horrified. i always thought i was so well educated at home (no elbows on the dinner table).
he dumped me a week later. we were sitting on a bench in the kibbutz we were living in during the army. i was sitting to his left and that night i developed an ear infection in my right ear. as if that ear couldn’t handle hearing the dump. it was one of the most painful illnesses i ever had.