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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Life as an Air Plant at the Kotel

I used to live like an air plant, like the ones growing on the massive stones at the Kotel, taking their sustenance only from sun and air, anchored to the face of the stones, but not actually rooted in anything, tethered onto a space where they absorb what they need quite literally only from the air.
I can feel my roots unfurling, lengthening, digging deep into soil they’ve been desperate for, but deprived of, and energy is seeping back into me, snaking its way up through these roots, filling me with new understanding, new insight, and new intention. And I can feel Holy Jerusalem re-imagining herself again and again through us and our connection to her.

This was me, living a spiritual life, attending to my physical and human needs only as much as required, giving myself over as much as I could to the Divine Dimension. I breathed in the air of solitude and silence. I drank in the nectar of quiet and peace and contentment. I stepped around and away from the ugliness and the complication that human existence brings, and cultivated detachment as my answer to every unpleasantness.   

Life as an air plant has its benefits especially in the sense of deep relationship with G*d. But there is also an arid quality to such a life, a sense of disconnect from everyone around me, which is, I guess, part of the intention. But more and more strongly, I felt pulled to plant myself, to root myself somewhere, in something, as if gravity itself was pulling me towards earth, towards humanity and towards life.  

And more than anything, I was pulled to Jerusalem, a place so intense, so compelling, so complicated, so conflicted, that detachment wasn’t an option. A place so bustling, and noisy, and in-your-face that silence and solitude and quiet lose their meaning. This Jerusalem, the one in whose streets I walk, the one on whose ruins I stand, the one from whose mythic narratives were birthed countless lives and countless more deaths, is a place both so human and so divine that I cannot turn away.

I cannot turn away from its humanity or my own. This Jerusalem brought me down from the wall of spirit and planted me deep into the ground. This Jerusalem rooted me into humanity, into community, into religion, into history. And this Jerusalem is feeding me from the roots up, filling me with power and intensity and intention as holy as the land itself.

I am rooted in the energetic field of some supernatural crystalline geological formation that I know is buried deep in the sacred ground here, channeling Divine energy into humanity, into those of us who feel it, filling us up with the potential to transform ourselves, our relationships, our thoughts, our words, and our actions.

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