Love and Kindness

The past week has been the perfect send off, and for that I am so thankful. I was invited to attend Shabbat service at the Flemington Jewish Community Center last weekend and was given a blessing / sendoff for safe travels to the home land. The warmth and kindness of the entire congregation was overwhelming. They treated my family and myself as if we were old friends– and invited my mother to begin attending Saturday services… which was a great gift to me, because I want so much for her to have some connectivity and a Jewish community.

The following day I attended the Maitreya Festival at the Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center (TBLC). This is a long-time tradition for my family, and a festival I have had the pleasure of attending every year for most of my life. It was so great to have such warmth following a day that had previously been filled with such munificence. The essence of Maitreya as an overall theme is quite applicable to the work I will be doing once I am in Israel, so it was also great to clear my head in such a beautiful place as the TBLC and take in some mantras before I depart.

I spent this past week in NYC, taking care of errands during the week and relaxing and spending time with family and friends over the weekend. I was in the Met wandering through the newly installed Iranian art exhibit when I stumbled upon a map of the Middle East that was probably about 20′ X 30’… I stood there staring at it for a moment, and finally realized that I am moving to Israel. In the words of my friend whom I told of my experience, it was like a bomb. I felt like I was the subject in a dolly zoom, just like in Jaws. I spent a long time standing there after that, with everything that has taken place in the last few months spinning through my head. I am glad, however, that the realization finally hit me and that it was before I was getting off the plane.

Following my excursion to the Met, I had a lovely evening with my brother, where we hit up our usual spots such as Gueros and The Crown Inn, then topped off the evening by watching Godzilla atop the roof of his building. The weekend was filled with brunches with the brother and his girlfriend, a party, and on Sunday evening my Aunt and Uncle cooked the best “leaving America” dinner I could have ever asked for. Meatloaf (and we’re talking the snazzy kind that puts any other meatloaf to shame, with bacon strips on top, cooked by a true chef) and my favorite mashed potatoes ever. Then I took one last stroll in my city, gazing at all my usual haunts from where I get my coffee to where I buy sunflowers to brighten my day, and headed to NJ to spend the next few days putting all of my belongings into storage. Only 5 days left, I’m nearly there! I just hope I can get everything done in time. Cross your fingers for me 😉

“Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”
-Henry Miller

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