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This is dedicated in gratitude to those who in this world, made all this possible: Tamara Gottstein, who has never failed in support of my work, Sara and Pesach Rothberg, who opened their home and their hearts for a holy night of Torah, song and story to raise funds, Steve Levine, for standing at my side and in his perfect in his way, Herme, for providing a home away from home with a smile. There are so many more who have played a role. But I must acknowledge two brothers who have stood by me and have supported me above and beyond the call of duty for twenty years, without whom I could have not have accomplished anything: Ayal and Yaron Telem. You know what you’ve done and what it has meant. Thank you.
I should have known!
I should have known that this would be the trip of trips! Two week ago, today, I flew home to Israel from Albuquerque. Three weeks ago, today, was my last in the forest at Gathering. FIVE! Weeks ago, today, I didn’t know if I was going to Gathering! And it’s all a dream.
It came to me in the first glorious months of Yeshivat Bat Ayin, (almost 13 years ago!), that most people think, first you have dream and then it comes true. It’s no longer a dream, it’s reality. But the truth is, if it’s a real dream, a holy dream, a heavenly dream, when it come true, it’s more of a dream.
Maybe I’m finally waking up to this latest dream.
I remember so clearly. In the dead of winter, heavy with the weight of the passing years, internalizing the heaviness that seems to have settled on the planet, I lay in bed dreaming of what would be the perfect jump start to healing, to dropping the heaviness, to seeing more Light than Darkness. I dreamt of Gathering as it used to be for me, when it was good, a place where I could still be a little innocent and naïve, where I could be instilled with a renew hope for the future, where I saw manifest before me, a world of glorious people striving with an inner nobility to live the Coming World, NOW!
I had gotten so lost in the Jerusalem Camp dramas, in the hellfire’s of fundraising, in the role playing, in the organizing and overseeing, that I lost my connection to the redemptive magic of Gathering itself.
But I had determined never to leave the Land again and Gathering had seemed to be on an inevitable slide into darkness. So I dreamed the dream, knowing it would and could never be again a place to experience magic and be constantly surprised by wondrous people and sights. It had become a place of burden and a place of sadness, as so many more faces of beauty and light no longer appeared. It was evolving into a place where only strife and ugliness were shared, rather than be the center for healing such things.
Never give up on a dream.
In the dream, I headed up no camp or kitchen. I went as an individual Gatherer, open to the possibilities that could not be foreseen. I dreamt that I would camp at “Lovin’ Ovens’ as they were always furthest away from EVERYTHING! And I would have to hike to get anywhere. And did I hike! In the dream, I was all over the forest, like in the old days and my stomach shrank and my body got lighter and my legs and lungs got stronger. And in the dream, I was able to do the work and make the kind of positive contribution to my Tribe and the Gathering that led me to do JCamp in the first place and I was more critically effective.
Among the bountiful blessings Gathering can be is as a place where one can try oneself out, so-to-speak. Where can one go and have the freedom to be just what the best of one’s insides contain? Where can one go that is safe to make mistakes and learn from them instantly? Where can one go to experience the personal contraction great mountains and forests inspire, while at the same time enlarging one’s spirit? Where can let go of even trying to be in control of anything except the direction of one’s consciousness? And having done so in safety, living a constant revelation of the Creator’s loving active involvement and guidance with Creation?
Only in a dream.
Never give up on a dream.
To be continued….
Thank you Rainbow Family. Thank you HaShem.