En Route to Amsterdam

Listening to Dylan, my face bathed in the glow of the seatback screen and this laptop. I’m on my way to Amsterdam, and then on to Israel for Operation Groundswell. I feel oddly calm, though I did have a moment of panic on the ascent that there’s no turning back now. I spent hours today deliberating over a job decision: ultimately I went with my instinct (which was none too strong anyway) to accept the position of volunteer coordinator of the Jewish Disaster Response Corps. I hope it will be good. I hope I will make a difference. I hope I won’t be on the computer all the time. I hope it’s a good use of my talent and passions. I guess we’ll find out in September. I want to hear stories, and tell them still. I hope that the people of Oklahoma will have use for that.


Until then, I’m in Israel. Leading this trip that I can’t quite picture yet. Very excited to be back in Israel. I love it there. I hope I don’t get sick or hurt. I hope I’m a good leader. I hope the students have the time of their lives, or at least that they’re glad they went.


I went to a weeklong creative writing workshop last week in Amherst. Realized how little I really know about reading: and how rarely I actually read literature anymore. I want to do more of it. Tell stories. Write. Express myself. Finish my Jaffa stories, make sense of it all, and help others do so too.


Not much else to say, I guess. I’m listening to Dylan. It’s weird being an adult. I sort of accept things as they are much more than I did when I was younger. I feel less idealistic, less grandiose in my dreams, less angsty. I pray for happiness for my friends. I take interest in the stories and thoughts of my grandparents and ancestors. I miss my family, and hope to be close to them sometime in the near future. I hope to get married and have a family with someone I love, and who loves me. I hope to create something that helps humanity. If it’s my writing, great. If it’s just a smile, or a bit of ease or empathy in troubled times, even better.


I don’t know how much I believe in a higher power these days. I certainly don’t leave much space for it. I want more prayer and meaning in my life, as always, but yet my life feels rather full without it too. I do a lot of Jewish activities, and wonder what it is that makes me Jewish other than my ancestry. What do I believe in, if not just humanity and love? Not sure. I don’t even think of the environment anymore, too much. Am I complacent, or just content?


Hanna’s meeting me in Tel Aviv this August. I can’t wait. I’m sure she’ll be married soon, so it’ll be nice to spend quality time with her, just us. In Israel. Enjoying the beach, the holy sites, the desert. Drinking cool drinks and eating sweets in cafes. I pray it will be safe. I pray there will be peace and no danger. I know better than to hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict… more likely, things will follow the course of history here in America…. Where inevitably the newcomers take over and suppress the natives, and claim their destiny in the land of promise. And then things will evolve from there. But I pray if that happens, there will be no more bloodshed. I pray Israel will respect multiculturalism. I pray it won’t stamp out Palestinian, African, Mizrahi culture. I pray people will respect each other. I pray no more children will die, or teenagers. I pray adults can live out their lives.



One comment

  1. Sammy, I understand your feelings as expressed, and at your age , uncertainty about the future is the natural course of life. You are bright, talented and I know you will make choices that are right for you. You will make good use of all your attributes, I just know you will. Also, the right young man will come along and you will know he’s the one, of that I am sure..Meanwhile, enjoy Israel and be safe. I love you so much. Nanny

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