Moving…..

I’m migrating from WordPress, as, try as I might, I just couldn’t get to grips with blogging there. I can read, comment, on other folks’ blogs, but found it too difficult to get my head around. And I really do want to get back into blogging, so rather than keeping on trying and getting nowhere except frustrated, it seemed a good idea to try blogspot, having been used to blogging there a while back.

Will post this on the WordPress if I can, so that hopefully anyone who follows me will join in in the new one…..

Hope to see you over at

Dance first. Think later.

http://danceonthepolkadots.blogspot.co.uk

( with thanks and gratitude to Dr. A. S. For the inspiration for the new title)

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A poem which encapsulates my agoraphobia

One thing leads to another…..I love Leonard  Cohen; one of my favourite songs is “Alexandra Leaving”.

Going a little further, I found out that it was based on a poem by a poet called Cavafy, so I bought a book of his poetry, and am very taken by his work….I hadn’t heard of him before. The poem is “The God Forsakes Antony”.

I read more, and more, and I really like his poetry, in many ways. One, however, stood out for me, as it describes how I feel about my agoraphobia(from my own experience, every persons agoraphobia is different; before I had it, I thought it just meant someone who was unable, for whatever reason, to leave the house. It is that, but in many variations….there is so much more to it than that, and unfortunately I only found the hard way….when I realised I have it. In fact, I think(and this is only my own opinion, based on my own experience) that one can’t truly understand it unless you have it, which is both unfortunate and unpleasant.

Anyway, the poem….

“Walls”

Without consideration,without pity, without shame

they have built big and high walls around me.

And now I sit here despairing.

i think of nothing else: this fate gnaws at my mind;

for I had many things to do outside.

Ah why didn’t I observe them when they were building the walls?

But I never heard the noise or the sound of the builders.

imperceptibly they shut me out of the world.

by Constantin Cavafy

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Agoraphobia and observance(not necessarily related)

I wrote this as a response on this blog:
http://coffeeshoprabbi.com/2015/01/03/what-if-i-cant-get-to-synagogue/#comments

Still getting used to bloggery…..love the welcoming wee beep beep boop here….

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I wrote this and lost it….thought of not bothering to try to write it again, , but it’s a subject so dear to my heart that I really want to….I so appreciate you making this a topic, Rabbi Ruth.

I live in Scotland, and there is not a huge Jewish community. I began my Jewish journey just over three years ago – since which time I have had to try to come to terms with my mother being burned to death in a house fire, my husbands increasing decline in health, (and my own)him going into a nursing home, and then last May he beamed up to heaven.

I have agoraphobia, among other health problems, and the online community has been and is a huge source of support, help, understanding, and education for me….sometimes three steps forward, two back again – learning from experience not to trust everyone ( I have always been a little naive, and still am, aged 59. It’s a learning curve)

I have learned to try to remember not to jump into things without thinking properly, first( though I still do, sometimes); I have learned that it’s not a good idea to compare myself to others….one thing I remember reading early on, and which stuck with me, was that G-d will not ask me whyI Was not more like Moses: rather, why was I not more like me? Or words along those lines.

Trial, and error. Keeping going. Doing what I can, and not giving myself a hard time over the things I cannot – yet, who knows? – do….and one thing I do want to say is that I am observant; up till now, Ive always sad that with ‘becoming’ as a qualifier….which never felt right, as it was me comparing myself to others, and always, always coming up short. There will always be Jews who are more observant, and less observant, to me; I see it more as building on a foundation.
My way would very definitely not suit many, or perhaps even any, but it is just that – ‘my way’. It’s the best that I can do, under my circumstances.

There is a Rabbi in Scotland who visits Jews who for whatever reason cant get out; I keep in touch with him. I know he would love to visit, but right now, Im not ready for that. My flat is a mess….as am I; I know that that is something which really doesnt matter, or shouldnt matter, but right now it does…….maybe in the future.

I do have a wonderful Rabbi, with whom I communicate, and she is supportive, helpful, and unbelievably kind and understanding. I have several Jewish friends, with whom I connect, and my online community is a huge source of support, learning, humour, and many other things. I love to read, and books are something I do indulge in.

All in all, all things considered, I insider myself very fortunate to have the sources and resources I have.

And apologies for repeating myself….Ive talked about my life, here, a few times, and don’t mean to be ‘all about me’….just trying to explain how I manage in the circumstances I find myself.

Thanks again, many, many thanks for the lins in your article.
Alex

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Broken hearts

image

 

 

Something happened yesterday, which only struck me this morning as deeply symbolic.
I love fountain pens, and inks, and ink bottles, especially reds and greys. I sent for a few bits, including the picture below. A heart shaped bottle of Herbin Rouge Opera, in a silvery tin.
When I opened it – and the tin was sealed, so this must have happened in transit – at first I thought my thumb was bleeding….but, at the top of the bottle, where there is a wax seal, the wax had partly cracked away, allowing a little red ink to seep out. I called the shop, explained, lovely chap, sending replacement, I keep the broken one(still useable, though slightly cracked)
So, that was fine.
It wasnt till this morning that the depth of how symbolic it was sunk in….a red heart, full of red ink, the seal cracked.
A broken heart is what I have….indeed….

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Saturday

Saturday, Shabbat. I use the computer, watch tv, all kinds of things that a lot of Jews do not. This has been a very draining week, and Ithink it’s just caught up with me now. The pain of widowhood and the 3rd yahrzeit for  my mother. The first year without A., although he was in the home for the dat two years….he was still ‘with me’, I could talk to him. I didnt feel alone.

I feel alone.

(thank you, WordPress: my browser closed in the middle of writing this, and I assumed it was gone; no, you had it stored for me. I appreciate that. I really do…..even though I can’t think of how to say what I feel. Sometimes words are inadequate – for me ….. one reason I enjoy graphic novels, and online varieties, such as this one, which I saw courtesy of the Coffee Shop Rabbi

Depressioncomix.wordpress.com

i don’t know if that link will work….Im still figuring out this blog, and I couldn’t get it to paste.

im so fortunate to have had the love of my life, but the flip side of that is the pain of the grief.

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Today

3am, 19th November, my mother and her wee rescue cat were burned to death.

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Joan of Arc

Approaching the 19th November, when my mother was burned to death in the fire, along  with her wee rescue cat, Sonny Boy. Leonard Cohen singing Joan of Arc seems very meaningful…..Who By Fire, I feel already, both for my mother, and for my beloved, who beamed up to heaven in the merry merry month of May. I am a mess. How to keep going? Feed the cats, clean the litter trays, take my meds, eat what I can when I can, even if it’s strange food at strange times. Read. Write. Listen. Pray. Keep going. Why and how, moment by moment. Don’t let the panic gather me in.

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