Monday, October 5, 2009

I am back

Hi - I am back. I returned two weeks ago, straight back to work, and the nitty gritty details of living!

My trip was really good. It was meaningful in terms of my parents and my family. My sister kept all of my mom's stuff and we went through the meticulously filed piles. It took a week during which we entered another world, that of our ancestors. Our sifting through photos and boxes and objects shed light on where we are now, our life choices, and our history. We alternated between crying and laughing, sharing memories. Mom kept all our letters, our school reports, a lock of my hair, essays, all carefully preserved, and shipped from South Africa to Israel. I read my fathers' letters he had written home during his years of service as a legal officer during the Second World War. He had such a clear vision of South Africa, of Capitalism, of his experiences in the Middle East. I found the letter in which he announced his engagement to my mom. We sorted out paperwork, put aside objects for relatives and friends. Thus we worked through 90 years of a life well lived!

Then my sister, brother-in-law and myself went with a tour group to Montenegro. No, it is not in Africa, nor is it in South America. It is the newest country in what were the Balkans, nestled between Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Albania and the Adriatic. Quite beautiful - rugged and raw. We drove jeeps up forested mountains on hairpin bends which passed for roads, hiked through the last remaining rainforest in Europe, and had hair raising adventures. Besides anything, it is so refreshing being away from any news, from the internet, from microwaved food, from the ridiculous pace of life we all live.

Returning is always somewhat unsettling. First, there is that state of jetlagged induced insanity to overcome. Then, for me, the shock of America, with, as a friend put it, its 'tidy widy' sterile suburbs and malls. In the Safeway in Marin the clerk nearly fell over herself with her pleases, thank yous, have a good day and false smiles, I felt like slamming her! Of course, when I am dealing with gruff rude clerks in Israel I miss the bland and polite American way. Such is life!

Of course ...returning to work which I will write about very soon.

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