Ok, I'm ready to outpour. I'm so full of stories and moments and insights my sinuses are clogged. It's time to let the river flow out of the sea. For the first few months my senses were so saturated at the wonder of all and it is so personal, I could only sit in it. Today I rode my bicycle up Yafo Street into Menachim Begin to the corner of Kaplan where the Misrad Hapnim מסרד הפנים lives (the ministry of the Interior). Hmm that must mean I am IN the interior! I'm in, inside, in the heart, in the lungs, in the gut of it all. Inside the language, inside the womb of history, inside the fire and intensity of the center of it all. Inside. Inside myself.
Then with the help of a kind Israeli who could read Hebrew I found I did not have all the needed documentation. Of course. So biked to the sea, caught a glimpse, and went to Ulpan to study Hebrew for 4 hours. I biked back along the תילת, the promenade along the sea and bumped home to walk Hollow and grab some food. And the rental contract from Micky (more later). Then among the cars and shopkeepers and baby strollers and motorcycles and cell phone talking Israeli's and crazy taxi drivers and fearless flying buses I cycled again through Florentine to the מסרד הפנים.
I braved the the intensely Hebrew reverberating governmental security and lines and changed my address from Kibbutz Mashabbei Sade to REHOV YAVNIEL #1 Tel Aviv 65154 ISRAEL! With a bit of humor and the low grade anxiety that accompanies not understanding anything around you, I experienced the Electric Company version of what I learned earlier in Ulpan. In Hebrew: are you last in line? who's last? are you after me? I was after him! what line is this? I was first! Is this the line? All simple when you understand the language.
And then I rode to מסרד הקליתה for another awkward governmental exchange and back to the neighborhood to the antique store on שלוש to see if I have a bed and sprinted to the sea to catch a swim at sunset. I stashed my stuff with a sweet looking grampa sort and I dunked and drenched my hot and tired body in the Mediterranean Sea and cleansed the years of living in places that did not feel like my soul's bed.
So here I sit. On my merpesset. My balony in the sweet and rich neighborhood of Neve Tzedek. I live in Tel Aviv. וגמ הולו and also Hollow.
As the days follow I will tell the stories as they come back and forward to me. The journey through the desert carried me back and forward again through all my life's stories. As if the first 4 months of Aliyah repeat the last 40 years, and then you go forth.