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Long time!

March 18, 2013

*I originally planned to post this last Friday.
It looks like it’ll take a while for me to get used to the pace of blogging again…
*このエントリーは本当は先週の金曜日にアップする予定でした。
ブログの投稿ペースに再び慣れるのにまだ時間がかかりそう、、、。

Flower field in the West Bank | 西岸地区の花畑

Flower field in the West Bank 1 | 西岸地区の花畑1

20130209FieldB

Flower field in the West Bank 2 | 西岸地区の花畑2

These photos of a flower field in the West Bank were taken this past February. What was the most stunning to me, even more than the sight or the smell, was the deafening buzz of the bugs.

この西岸地区の花畑の写真は今年2月のものです。風景よりもにおいよりも印象に残っているのはまるで吸い込まれそうだった虫の鳴き声。

* * * * * * * * * *

How have you been, my friends? I have let so much time pass by since my last post that I almost feel like a stranger here writing on my own blog! Slowly and surely I want to get re-acquainted with this space again, and hopefully, with you too.

So far my year has felt both dynamic and slow, with wide gaps between the eventful and uneventful.

In the beginning (literally on the 1st of January) one of my co-workers’ father passed away, and I attended my first Jewish funeral as well as my first funeral in Israel. We had some intense rain that month, making the ground overflow with water like I’ve never seen. Even lawns were filled with puddles, and many sidewalks were under water.

In February, I took a week-long trip to Japan for the freelance work I’ve been doing since last September. This business trip materialized in a matter of days and I didn’t even contact any of my friends this time, knowing I wouldn’t have the time or mental space to go and see any of them.

As with all trips to Japan, I had a hard time adjusting back to life in Israel for a while after I return. I was better this time around, having just gone through it only two months ago. But sometimes I feel like I am going back and forth between two completely separate worlds.

This week, my boss at the laundry was in my thoughts a lot. Her son left for the army on Sunday. Soldiers are part of the every day landscape here in Israel, but I think I will look at them with different eyes from now on. The date of my boss’s son’s departure had been written on the work calendar for at least 6 months, and it had been talked about from much earlier. My boss had blocked off a week or so afterwards for “very needed recovery”.

In these last few weeks leading up to it, I got a sense of just how difficult this day was going to be for her not just from how she acted and talked about it but from how everyone else treated her and the subject. On the actual day, we at work knew my boss and her family went to see him off at the bus station, and my heart crushed just thinking about it. The next day my co-worker told me she had tried to call my boss the night before, only to be told she was already in bed at 8:30.

I wasn’t sure how she was going to be back at work, or even if she was going to come back any time soon, but only two days later she turned up, mostly her usual self. She was able to talk about how difficult it was, especially when cleaning up her son’s room after he left.

But after all this drama? He’s already back in the kibbutz for the weekend, only 4 days later! They told me he will only be returning every few weeks, but from how they acted I thought he won’t be back for a while.

This is what makes me feel like I will never look at a soldier the same way again, though. Just because almost every mother has to send her child to the army in Israel doesn’t exactly make it any easier, and I imagine every reunion doesn’t make saying goodbye each time less harder either.

My other co-worker whose only daughter will be going to the army in 2 years is already talking about getting a dog.

I hope you’ve been well, my friends.

皆様、お元気でしたか?
ブログに投稿するの久しぶりすぎて、自分のブログなのに
他の人のスペースにお邪魔しているような(?)不思議な気分!
でもずっとブログのことは頭の隅にあり、また復活したいなと思っていたので
少しずつまた更新していけたらと思ってます。

今年は今のところ多忙な時期と全くそうでない時期を行ったり来たりで、
あまりにも広いギャップの間をさまよっているような気分です。

1月の初め(正真正銘の1日目)にはランドリーの仕事仲間のお父さんが亡くなり、
初めてのユダヤ教のお葬式、そしてイスラエルに来てから初めてとなるお葬式に参列しました。
1月は何度か大雨が降り、今までに見たことのないくらいそこら中に水があふれていました。
芝生上にまで水たまりがたくさんでき、キブツ内の歩道の多くも水に覆われていました。

2月には去年の9月からフリーランスで働いている仕事の関係でまた一週間日本へ出張。
今回は短いし時間的にも精神的にも余裕がなかったので仕事以外で会ったのは両親と兄のみ。
友達には一人にも連絡できませんでした。

一時帰国後はいつものことなのですが、
精神的にも肉体的にも平常通りになるまでに時間がかかります。
今回は去年の12月に帰ったばっかりというのもあってそれほど大変じゃなかったけど
日本での生活とイスラエルの生活、余りにも離れ過ぎていて、
ある意味おもしろいのだけど、なんでここまで別世界なのかな?とも思ってしまいます。
あと、正直、やっぱり日本がいいなぁ〜。

そしてこの一週間はランドリーの上司のことが良く頭にありました。
彼女の長男が日曜日にアーミーに向けて出発したんです。
イスラエルでは兵士は日常的に良く見かけるけれど、
これからは今までとは違った視点で見ると思います。
上司の息子さんの出発日は職場のカレンダーにも最低6ヶ月前からメモってあった気がするし、
初めて話題にあがったのはそれよりもっとはるか前。
そして出発前後の約一週間半ほどは上司は「心の休養のため」と言って休みを書き込んでいました。

ここ数週間、出発日が近づくにつれ上司の行動や話し方からだけではなく、
周囲の人の彼女へ対する思いやりや気の使い方、言う冗談などから
どれだけ彼女にとって大変な日なのかがしみじみと伝わってきました。
実際の出発日には息子さんを家族と共にバス・ターミナルまで送りに行っていることは
わかっていたのですが、職場でもみんな気になるようで、なんとなくそわそわしていました。
仕事仲間が当日の夜上司に電話をかけたそうなのですが、
8時半の時点でもう床に入ってしまってたとのこと。

職場に戻って来た時の彼女の様子も、そしていつ実際戻って来るかということも
予想がつかなかったのですが、出発日のわずか二日後に彼女は出勤しました。
ほとんどいつもと変わりない様子で、出発日当日のことも話してくれました。
見送った後息子さんの部屋を片付けに行った時が一番こたえたそうです、、、

でもこれだけ騒いどいて、、、実は息子さん、出発後のわずか4日後、
またキブツに戻ってきているんだそうです!
数週間ごとに週末は帰ってくるそうですが、
みんなの騒ぎ様からはしばらく帰ってこないのかと思ってた、、、

でもだからこそ、これからは兵士を違う目でみるようになると思うんです。
イスラエル人の母親のほとんどが子供をアーミーに送らなければならないからといって、
一人一人の辛さは決して軽くなるわけじゃないし、
また、再会ができるたびに別れが楽になるわけではないのかもしれない。
そんなことを考えされました。

一人娘さんが2年後にアーミーに行く仕事仲間は今から既に犬を飼う予定だそうです。

皆様は元気でしたか?

Much love,
Kaori

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Abby permalink
    March 20, 2013 10:11 pm

    So good to hear from you, K! I was wondering what you were up to. I can appreciate how difficult and exhausting it can be to travel between to different “worlds.” Otsukare-sama. I love to read your posts so I hope you will keep it up🙂 xoxox

    • March 22, 2013 5:12 pm

      Hi Abby! Thanks for your comment. I miss you! I remember you travel quite a lot for your job. Otsukare-sama to you too! I’ll do my best to be better about posting🙂

  2. March 27, 2013 11:37 pm

    Oh, Kaori! How do I say this without sounding strange…. I’ve missed your posts as well!!! Very happy to read something from you. So glad the sunshine is getting stronger each day here…. this winter was tough! Sending you warm thoughts, the other K. = )

    • March 28, 2013 4:57 pm

      Ah, kaie, thanks for your sweet comment! I’m flattered🙂 (and the other K… love it :D) I’ve been missing your posts too! I hope you’re able to go out with your ‘pa more often now that the weather is getting better.

      • April 9, 2013 12:15 am

        Yeah… bit of trouble with the old ‘pa lately. I plan on getting it all fixin up in July sometime and going on more adventures, hopefully. It was a tough winter, ha.

  3. Sammi permalink
    March 31, 2013 1:24 am

    I was beginning to worry about you it had been so long! I do so enjoy hearing about your life, travels, and observations. Now don’t be so long before we see another post. But do take time to enjoy life. Shalom! Hope you had a good Passover too!

    • April 1, 2013 9:47 am

      Thank you so much Sammi! I hope you had a nice Easter? Passover was nice but I’m ready for life to return to “normal”, the holiday mode always feel a bit too long every year!

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