Monday, May 5, 2014

A Time Away

I've spent the last three hours or so in Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. I drove here in a rental car to send Ponczka off to spend the last two weeks of our month long vacation with her mother and various friends in Poland. Having a chance to hang out on the internet for awhile, to make some necessary connections and handle some business, was the ostensible reason for hanging around. But the motivation that emerges is that some time in solitary anonymity feels good after two plus weeks of constant visiting with friends and relatives.

It's been absolutely wonderful - don't get me wrong on that! The reconnections made have been long awaited. And they have been richer and sweeter than I ever imagined. The world feels warmer and cozier than it did two weeks ago, because of this wondrous experience of travelling from country to country to continent to share love, memories and embraces. The knowledge of how long it's been, and the mystery of not knowing when, if ever again, suffuses and enlivens these meetings. Again and again, I find myself trying to fully take in a moment, so that I'll be able to recall if not relive it, days or weeks or years from now. Not really possible, of course - better to just be here.

But, truth be known, it's too much to take in at once. Every moment deserves more than just its moment. How to take in and savor the laugh of a friend you've reconnected with after decades of not knowing if you ever would? How to ask all the questions that need asking in a mere evening or two, when you also want to simply enjoy that evening for the simple, blessed thing it is? How to express the love and gratitude and the levels of still-evolving understanding, of a ninety-year old father, slowly losing his grip on now, and who fights that with a humor and crustiness that keeps you always a slight bit off balance?

I haven't even begun to digest it all: my own father coming around towards completion of his grand circle; my brother and I, walking streets together that we last walked half a century ago; Ponczka and I, continuing our beautiful epic of journeys together; the meetings with her family and mine, and with the loving friends, that only miracle and modern technology together can explain.

All of that is why I've been sitting with my computer in this airport terminal for three plus hours. Makes no sense, does it? But I'm grateful for this too. A kind of pause and regroup button.  A breather. I think I'm ready now to pick my ass up and get to the rental car for the 2-3 hour drive back to Tiberias.

Blessed, blessed, blessed.

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