Saturday, December 24, 2011

Filling the Void with Light

My Jerusalem apartment always feels cold to me, and on a normal Israeli Winter day, I walk around the house with a sweat suit, socks and sometimes a hat. 

At my Chiropractor this week, she offered an alternative explanation to the phenomenon, one other than the obvious top-floor-apartment and cold stone floors.  After examining me physically and energetically, my Chiropractor (and friend) said that I was always cold because I was "empty" inside, because I constantly give and care for others and do not have physical intimacy in my own life, I do not receive enough hugs and emotional support.

For me, it was a "duh" moment;  if I am not taking care of my clients, I must give all my attention to Raphaela, and only have time for myself once she goes to sleep.  Mind you, I am not complaining about the time I get to spend with my daughter, but no one asks me about my day, and I have no immediate family in the country.

This week as well, a matchmaker told me that I would have successful matches and more potential for marriage if I just "gave up on living in Israel."  It is one thing to move away because I am actively involved in a long-distance relationship; it is quite another to be told that I should remove myself from a place and a life in which I am happy and settled, with no guarantees.  It made me angry.

This weekend certainly repaired some of that damage, as Raphaela and I spent Shabbat Chanukah with Savta Shira and her family.  Hugs, free and frequent baby sitting, adult conversation, nature walks, and delicious meals that I did not have to cook.  Marred only by the fact that Raphaela refused to nap in the afternoon, it was a much needed break from my own reality.

It was only on the way home, where we waited to pass through the security checkpoint for 20 minutes, that real life intruded again.  The IDF had to be extra-careful this evening, because it is the night before Christmas.

1 comment:

Amy Charles said...

First of all, the "cold because you're empty inside" thing is nonsense. You're cold because it's cold and you're getting older. Physical intimacy isn't just about sex; it's about any loving touch, including the ones you give, which is why doctors recommend that widows and widowers keep pets. My guess is you and RR are touching and hugging and kissing all the time when you're together.

I'm not discounting the importance of sex and emotional support, but this needn't come from a man. Not at all. I have no family within a thousand miles, but I do have friends I talk to almost daily, and we kvetch at each other and support each other, and that's really important.

Don't be too offended by the matchmaker's words. They're true for me, too. I don't even bother looking, when I do look, anywhere nearby. The odds are miniscule. The kind of man I'm looking for, in a suitable age range, has no reason to be here. If I were in a major city, yes, maybe. But I'm not, and I'm not likely to move for years. So be it. In the meantime I have plenty else to do, and to tell you the truth, I'd be lying if I said I was all that impressed by what a man can do for one's life. I think the whole thing's a little oversold.

Here's what I'd try if I were you: a lefty middle-aged American temporary-kibbutznik. He won't be without macho, but you'll have to dig for it, and he'll be impressed by you and what you're doing, he's trying to decide whether to stay or go back to New Jersey, you'll be his guide and a haven, and what he really wants is a family with someone comfortably his own age. He'll also know that a chiropractor isn't a hooker.