Drew T. Noll © 2022, all rights reserved

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The place we truely live


When we are born, Sages have said that, we slowly begin to forget what came before. We fill our minds with the necessary things to get what we need to grow and this information just types over the existing memories. This idea speaks to me of how we live, day to day. We rarely operate from a place that incorporates the whole of our existence. What if we were able to hold onto the memories of what came before? Could we really exist in this life if we knew what was before it? And if we knew what was before it, would we also know what was after it? To know the whole of our existence would beg the question, ‘what would be the point of living? Why do we live?’

I believe that every day we spend the time we have doing one of two things, either nothing special or contemplating the idea of "why do we live?" Is there really anything in between? When we are happy or fulfilled we feel alive. When we are sprawled in the gutter, we also feel like we are alive. It would seem we live in order to feel. I have said that I moved across the world in order to live, but what if it was just to feel? Or maybe just to feel alive? In my life in the perfect cocoon of Boulder, Colorado I perfected the art of loving life. Life was handed to me with a great big "flatiron"(for the Boulderites reading this) spatula, here you go, eat up! There is always more! My life now is always subject to questions like what in the (beep) am I doing? Why am I here, in the Middle East of all places? And at the same time I am amazed every day at the hidden surprises behind each corner.

Here in Israel, time seems to be manipulated by a greater force. I feel the days go by just like before, but it isn’t just like before. Time is compressed to a day to day context and it is, at the same time, expanded to include all of history and creation. It seems to be all about awareness. Being in Israel feels to me like the center of the Universe. It is a place where time and space intersect and condense and stretch, all at the same time. That is a tough one to relate to, I know… remember that scene in the movie ‘Men in Black’ when the universe was inside a locker and inside that Universe there was a world with a Universe around it and on that world there was another race of beings, with lockers and everything? Does the Universe ever stop? Maybe thinking about the idea of ‘why do we live’ is really to search for our Universe’s center. Maybe the whole of the Universe comes down to a simple thing like; in order to know that we are alive we need to feel and to feel we need to be tested.

My Son, Josh came home from school today with paint and clay and whiteout and dirt and more embedded into his personage. I just smiled at him. He said that his day was just OK, but I know better. Just looking at him tells the story of his day. When we look at our lives, we can see the story that lives there. It isn’t about what we want it to be at all. It is about what is really underneath all of the lead-ins and lines that we invent to package our lives. What if we decided to not try to package our lives? What if we lived our lives in such a raw state that it was absolutely impossible to label anything about it? I think that would be the closest thing to what it would be like to be in the presence of G-D. Living in Israel is not easy. There is no Costco here (yet). The movie theatres have intermissions. There are tractors puffing down the road in front of your daily commute. There are jellyfish. And, oh yeah, there are violent terrorist neighbors that want to annihilate you. We live here with all of this and more, and then realize that the day was spent doing nothing special. That is the fine line where divinity lives. It is the place where we are tested and feel alive. In the end, I believe that it is the place where we also, truly live.