Thursday, January 16, 2003

”To be or not to be, that is not the question” (Thich Nhat Hanh)
I don’t really want to talk about what we should or should not be doing or what chances we have of surviving here. This is the reality of my life. Feeling bad or afraid won’t help or change anything.

Unfortunately, this knowledge is not enough.

Today was a beautiful day. The sky was blue, the trees were green and I could hear the birds singing even in the middle of Tel Aviv traffic. Tomorrow something from outer space could hit Earth and destroy it. More likely, I could cross the road and be run over by a bus. I could live in mortal fear of these things happening, or I could live in such a way that if they happen, I will die happy. Am I living in such a way? Not really, but I would like to. As Thich Nhat Hanh wrote in 1987 in his book “Being Peace”: “Each day 40,000 children die of hunger. The superpowers now have more than 50,000 nuclear warheads, enough to destroy our planet many times. Yet the sunrise is beautiful, and the rose that bloomed this morning along the wall is a miracle. Life is both dreadful and wonderful”. Do we dwell on the dreadful or do we enjoy the wonderful? Can we enjoy the wonderful, while being aware of the dreadful?

I don’t want to live my life angry and unsatisfied by things I can’t change. I often find that strong beliefs, that I once held, turned out to be completely wrong. I’m thankful I haven't been spending my life trying to change things that once angered me, but no longer do. Bish is much better at taking life as it comes, but I’m learning. Slowly. One step forward, two steps back.

There are two lines in a very famous poem by Hebrew Poet Rahel, which always move me to tears, however many times I hear them. She wrote (and please forgive my terrible translation): “I only knew to tell of myself / My world is as narrow as the world of an ant.”


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