Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 3rd, Settling in

Greetings everyone, as my inaugural post I will take a few steps back to get you all up to date.

I arrived in Israel on february 28th, after leaving Portland on the 27th and flying through Toronto, and Vienna, and into Tel Aviv. It was a long process, but not as long or difficult as getting ready for this trip. That alone deserves a post and perhaps I'll get to it, but to sum it up I finished taking my ARE exams about a week before my departure, and spent the intervening time packing my house, seeing friends and saying goodbye to Tsuki. Yes, it takes a week to say goodbye to my dog for three months. Don't get me started, she's the best.

I have some truly amazing friends and family in Portland, and this post is dedicated to you. Thank you all, and a special thanks to my friends and family who are helping me try to rent my house for a couple of months while I am gone. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

So that's how it goes... work work work, then hop on a plane at an ungodly hour and wake up somewhere... else. Like Dorthy, I was whisked away, wrought by winds of an unnatural nature, spiraling elsewhere into a foreign land, with hopes, dreams, fears, and excitement twisting my inner self into a web or tangled jet lagged miasm that led me anew into a strange and familiar land.

I fell asleep at the gate in Portland, after setting alarm after alarm to avoid just that fate, and was awakend by a gate attendant asking me if I was on this flight... the gate area now empty but for the two of us, I rushed alarmed down the jetway. A shaky start to a time addled journey but yes, I was off. All aboard, the journey began. Sleeping awake, my intercontinental fate, I wove myself through foreign lands and airports, through red-eyes and gates to this final destination that is my long awaited fate.

Tel-Aviv airport, I'd been here before. 17 years ago when I was 17 years old. A time of transformation, a time of discovery. Self awakening, or was it just teenage change? It doesn't matter, it's baked into who I am now, and who I've become to bring me back here, all this way through all those years. It is a new Eli who stepped off that plane and into the mele of Israeli customs (cultural and official airport kind). So I landed, and waited, and slid on through, received my bag and walked through the doors into....

Bright shining light
Strange sounds and smells
Warm sunny air
and Rayna sailing towards me
gliding across the floor arms outstretched
her excitement buoying my weariness as it all came thundering back
the world, the newness, the excitement, the joy
the reunion of my love and myself
the gulag of our distance
over and done
together again at last

In an instant, in a heartbeat our eyes meeting (not through the false lense of skype, or the tin of long distance) our arms hugging, reality crashing together in a hammer of hearts and love. This is how reunions should be. She slid across the slick Jerusalem stone floor in her Israel bought boots, joy on her face and anticipation giving way to glee. I'd arrived.

The rest of the day was a mix of reality checks, drowsieness, elation, and fatigue.  We took a sheroot to our apartment, got in, unpacked (like really quickly, I think I packed light), rested and refreshed, and walked into town for dinner.  Rayna took me out to dinner at T'mol Shilshom (bookstore and cafe and delicious!) and walked back to our apartment where I fell asleep exhausted.  Sleeping after a journey through space and time like that tripple jump I'd accomplished is one way to get a good night's sleep.


  1. Yea!! So happy to hear you're back in Rayna's love filled arms, offering the joy and happiness awaited so long. Big smile over here, reading your wonderful post Eli. Thank you for sharing!! Nice writing :-)

  2. beautiful poem. Brought me back to the moment in an instant!