Wednesday, March 25, 2009

(Picture from the Purim party a couple of weeks ago)

A word to the Semitic-linguistically impaired (is that grammatically impaired?), I apologize for the Hebrew entries or rather your inability to comprehend them. For the most part I will be blogging what's going on in both languages so don't worry, you won't miss anything too heavy. In the most recent entry I talked about what's been troubling me lately. I don't feel like delving into the topic, but in short, the stability of my situation is starting to destabilize. That may sound more grave than it is, actually. It's just that the avocado picking season will soon come to an end and from there the only work that remains will be trimming the trees. Unfortunately, there is no profit from tree trimming and hedge work so they will have less work for me if any work at all. My host family, the Perry's, continue to be beyond hospitable and warm and they have no problem with me staying them even longer, however, I would not feel okay just sitting around in the house half the week or not working. Hopefully there is more work on Kibbutz that will keep me busy until my November 1, 2009 draft into the army (then again, if it turns out that there IS in fact more work with the avocados, there will be no problem at all!). The second thing that is getting under my skin is the army. I called the draft office, more specifically the Sayarot department, to make sure that they received my personal request asking for the opportunity to try out at Yom Sayarot (Special Forces Day would be a decent translation). They said they did, of course me having faxed it 4 times prior as well, and that "they" (very Orwellian) did not approve me to try out. The weird part is that I fit for Air Force testing (considered higher than special forces) yet they turned me down for this. Tomorrow I will get a recommendation, as per the Special Forces Department representative's recommendation, from my trainer from the fitness groups. I assume that he has influence and hopefully his recommendation will suffice in getting me an opportunity to participate in Yom Sayarot. If not, I also know others who may be able to help.

I got so wrapped up in the last section I forgot what I was dying to write about before I even started this entry. I have not written about this until now (I think) but at the beginning of the ulpan about 6-7 months ago I asked my Hebrew teacher for a key to the music room. It's quite a spacious room with an aged but sturdy and bright-sounding piano. The piano has been the one thing throughout this whole experience that I have been able to depend on as a sort of calming or zen therapy if you will. I only took note of it tonight but I guess it happens everytime I am playing -- I become so focused and entranced on what I am playing that I forgot about everything else going on. The stress dissolves into the background; I forget about the blisters on my feet from running in wet shoes at 9:30 pm the previous night, the army, Hebrew, English. You name it, it disappears. In a good way obviously. It is almost like a very intense form of active reading. It doesn't matter if I am playing through the piece fluidly or whether I miss a few beats to correct my hand position on the A minor seventh chord, the bottom line is that I am IN the moment and in the piece. I don't think this happens in any other instance in my life. I was just playing Praeludium in E Minor by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and, though it is not one of my most practiced and fluid pieces to play, I think it is the composition I enjoy most (of course, outside of Chopin's Prelude in E Minor). I have no doubt that if I were given the choice to pursue any career I wanted to I would pursue music. Unfortunately, it will simply have to remain a much-loved hobby since a music career would be nearly impossible at this point. This would be the realist Ben and not the idealist Ben speaking but I am not dissappointed by this reality at all. That's all for now. Stay in contact.

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