all in a day's pain

Graffiti and other wanderings.

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all in a day's pain

Post by judih » May 5th, 2006, 1:26 am

There's a glorious irony that Israeli Remembrance Day, when we remember fallen soldiers - all friends, relatives, students, colleagues, gives rise to Israeli Independence Day - the 58th year of statehood and the reason for our greatest joy.

That strange second when one ceremony ends and other begins is always a snap of the fingers. Our kibbutz ceremony went from remembering our roots to gazing into the sky, as we enjoyed a 6 minute display of fireworks shot into the dark sky from the roof of our beautiful communal dining room. Sometime during the switch from ground to sky, I caught the flu.

So, with a dubious song in my heart, I excused myself from joining the communal singing in the pub - even though my son was to play guitar after the 'singers' grew hoarse and/or quiet enough to listen. I went home, drank tea and went to sleep. School the next day - had to rest.

The next morning, I gathered my forces to teach, to create magic juice in the hearts of my students to help them digest the particular english structure of 'I am..' In this special, special ed class, the 'I am...' unit has been going on for some length.

We've investigated it from the point of view of name, age, nationality and present moment states such as hunger, boredom and tiredness. We have used the southpark caricature site to build our own self-portraits. We have computered, written and spoken.

And yesterday, the day in question, I brought along Counting Crowes singing 'Colorblind' with the wonderful line, 'I am ready, I am ready, I am ready, I am...fine'

With enough repetition, any language structure can be learned and even internallized. I thought the song could help instill that particular sentence in their minds. I am ready. Always a good concept.

Then, after the lesson,I scraped myself back to the English office which is 3/4 of a kilometer due south. There was an 11:00 meeting scheduled, but since my trip was lengthy, I arrived late. A pair of red eyes greeted me. (I am ready, i thought)

'You remember 'Y' from Kibbutz B,' she looked at me. 'Yes, yes,' I said, tensing at what might be next. I give after-school tutorials over on Kibbutz B and Y was someone I knew.

'Y killed herself. Yesterday, sometime during Remembrance Day.'

'What? no. no..'

Y. A 49 yr old woman, the mother of 2 students of mine. Her first son had been my student for 6 yrs straight from 7th to 12th grade. And now I'm teaching her younger daughter in 6th grade. Y, herself, had called me this past winter to ask if I'd agree to help her learn English.

She started to come in January. Immediately, i saw that she was one of the club. She was one of those undiagnosed ADHD adults who'd been suffering, not knowing what was up. She knew her own intelligence but was unable to teach herself and could not sit in normal adult education classes. She had always had to trick herself to be able to concentrate. I knew the score.

She wanted me to help her, to listen to how her brain worked and to guide her. She drew strange diagrams to help her get the sounds. A cat helped her remember how to say 'music' - mew zic. We taped our lessons for her to use during the week. I photographed her pronouncing the bizarre sounds 'th', 'ew', 'thr'...

Her own hieroglyphs graced her pages, helping to reinforce her visual memory. We spoke of concentration and her art. She had large pieces of art and wanted to have a show. i gave her the number of the man on Nir Oz who puts together shows in the kibbutz White House, a gallery.

She was interested. She was gathering her inner resources. She was out of work and had time to redirect herself.

And she was learning the basics of reading, she was getting the melody of the language. Till one day she told me she had just found a graphics job and would be unable to continue studying with me. I still have the photos of her trying to say the word "world".

It's over now. All the hopes of putting together her head, her show, her direction have ended.

This woman who'd left my immediate world after only a few months was gone. She'd killed herself.

'By hanging.'
'Who found the body?'
'her son (my first student) and her ex-husband.' (they'd still had an on and off relationship although there'd been talk of abuse on his part).

'What about her daughter?' the one in 6th grade.
Who could help me understand how to help her daughter.

This day of pain. The what if's that linger after such a brief intersection. What if i'd called her, kept in touch. What if English lessons and ADHD support sessions could have been more than bandaid therapy. I'd known nothing of the other parts of her. The pain I'd seen was only a shadow of the pain she'd been living with. what if i'd known...?

Yet, there was that glimmer...her relief when she knew she'd met someone who respected her effort. She was ready. She was ready. she was...fine.

but she wasn't.

all in a day's pain.

chance intersections in life. How and when they occur. What do they mean to us? How do they shape our future?

How will her lively, artistic, dyslexic daughter relate. Special ed is specially heartbending. Nothing can be taken for granted. Are we ready? We are as ready as we'll ever be.

Last edited by judih on May 5th, 2006, 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by stilltrucking » May 5th, 2006, 3:14 am

"The bodhisattva vow says, I will not take on my final liberation as long as space remains, as long as living beings continue to suffer. I vow, until the final blade of grass is liberated, to stay and serve."

Plese Take care for your self sister. I need you for the long haul.

The above quote is from a death and dying expert, a student of Ram Das. He calls suicide a sloppy short cut. I call it accidental death. I can only speak for myself. I have only tried to kill myself once (if you don't count cigarettes) For some reason I believe it was around 1948 too. I was about seven or eight. I remember the feeling of that noose (a belt actually) tightening around my neck. I fought my way back, my fingers desperately trying to free the death grip. I remember the feeling that drove me too it. "unlove" If I had died that day it would have been an accident, cause I had surely changed my mind.

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Post by judih » May 5th, 2006, 4:14 am

thanks, still-t.
i wish she had clawed her way back to stay with her children. The cycle ripples out.

i can only claim the breath in my body to try to encourage full breathing in those who want to live. CPR doesn't work on the dead.

But i do appreciate you surviving that attempt to celebrate your renewed existence.

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Post by stilltrucking » May 5th, 2006, 9:14 am

Yeah it did not kill me, it made me a survivor. Crazy Mike was ingenious with his punishments. That closet wasn't nothing to what was to come. Locked in that basement smelling of dead rats and maggots was a piece of cake after the closet.

Insanity reigns among the humans. I am sorry for your pain. I never really thought about grief as pain, more a lack of anyfeeling a total numbness, a Diminishment.

Today is Cinco De Mayo another patriotic holiday.

May she rest in peace.

I remember your birth mother
You have survived
Her children will too


This existence
the UnDeath of us all
is not tangible or real
Nor is the era
of Death or AfterDeath

A brief present
An everlasting past
An astral, eternal future

PreDeath drips into UnDeath
Undeath plummets into Death
AfterDeath ravishes all

Nothingness emerges

Predeath succeeds again

11-25-05 ... ght=#35160
Quoted without permission

Don’t know why that comes to mind.

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Post by whimsicaldeb » May 5th, 2006, 11:47 am

...She was ready. She was ready. she was...fine.

but she wasn't.
Yes Judih, she was and still is (ready & fine)
be assured...

I had another experience of the evolution of the soul after death when - about a year after my wife's death - I suddenly awoke one night and knew that I had been with her in the south of France, in Provence, and had spent an entire day with her. She was engaged on studies of the Grail there. That seemed significant to me, for she had died before completing her work on this subject. Interpretation on the subjective level - that my anima had not yet finished with the work she had to do - yielded nothing of interest; I know quite well that I am not yet finished with that. But the thought that my wife was continuing after death to work on her further spiritual development - however that may be conceived - struck me as meaningful and held a measure of reassurance for me.
--C. G. Jung
excerpted from his book: "Memories, Dreams, Reflections"
Chapter 11 - On Life After Death

The maximum awareness which has been attained anywhere forms, so it seems to me, the upper limit of knowledge to which the dead can attain. That is why earthly life is of such great significance, and why it is that what a human being "brings over" at the time of his death is so important. Only here, in life on earth, where the opposites clash together, can the general level of consciousness be raised.
--C. G. Jung
excerpted from his book: "Memories, Dreams, Reflections"
Chapter 11 - On Life After Death

What she brought over, she will finish, and all involved will continue to be a part and help her, same as before. The only thing that changes for us is the form this takes and our abilities to see, know, and remember. Jung knows what he's talking about, I can verify it with my own experiences, some of which you already know – plus you have your own as well.

So please, allow yourself to be assured as you grieve for the loss of her presence in the physical, that no matter how what when where & why ....

Really, she is fine.

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Post by panta rhei » May 5th, 2006, 12:04 pm

so much enthusiasm run into frustration and then into desperation.
so much energy run wild and then idle.
so much life run full and then empty.
so much.

not enough.

why -- why?

and if, if, if.

a life run from plenitude to void. has there been too much? not enough? could the stimuli, the words, the advices, the hugs have been more, less, others? was she ready, too ready, not ready enough... and for what?

oh, the pain, the questions, the doubts, the self-reproaches of those left behind in shock.
the loss. the cruelty of never again, of the absolutely burnt bridge of connection.

what remains... remains unsaid, unasked, unscreamed?

we remain, and ready we never are, and yet, we be.

rest in peace, Y. may your whys come full circle.
live on, daughter, son, and family. may you be able to still trust life and yourselves.

love sent to all involved.

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Post by mousey1 » May 5th, 2006, 1:07 pm

The what ifs
the if only I could haves
the if only I had knowns
the tiny ifs that surround our guilt
and like spokes of a wheel finger out
Let the blame begin
the self blame that
signs weren't seen
minds weren't read
hands weren't held
signs weren't read
minds weren't held
hands weren't seen
signs weren't held
minds weren't seen
hands weren't red
hands aren't red
hands hold
nothing's left
We are supposed to be miners
to dig deep
to delve into the inner reaches
to grasp
to cling
to feel our way
to find
though few clues are given
It amazes me
how people fail to see
how valuable
they are
Each life
a silken thread
knotted to perfection
Don't live for others
You have to live for yourself
but if there's no hope in yourself
what then?
don't you then have to live for another
and round
and round
the circle goes
I've said it before
I'll say it again
I'll cling
I'll cling to that porcelain rim
till the very last flush
and even then
when I'm swirling down
down into that final abyss
I'll regurgitate
the little turd that could


Judih, a sad story, life is full of them. I wish I could see into the hearts and minds of others just so that I could highlight, bring to the fore all the good things, all the wonderful things about themselves that clearly they are not able to see, and maybe, just maybe push some little buttons, flip a few switches, set things aright. What misery must lurk in the minds of some that they take such a drastic lonely step. I really feel for the families and loved ones left behind at times like these, it is they now who need the helping hands.
I used to walk with my head in the clouds but I kept getting struck by lightning!
Now my head twitches and I drool alot. Anonymouse


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Post by judih » May 5th, 2006, 3:21 pm

deb - i know you've been present at so many passings - you've consoled, interacted and in general have worked through death with many.

Not me. i'm a newbie, and what i see is what i know. The continuation of lifework after death is something i relate to in terms of those who love the deceased, continuing their efforts. We do as much as we can till we can't do it anymore.

That woman reached her limit. She was fine. You see it as fine. I know you do. And i guess if i'm to be of any help at all to her daughter, i'll work to accept her decision as the right one.

Yet, the echoes of her presence make me want to investigate. Why did Y do it?

Was it just by chance that i snapped her photo the day she chose to wear a scarf round her neck? It's clearly there. Her essence had planned this end.

anemone- yes, love to those who are left to wonder. What will her action stimulate in those who loved her. Will there be guilt and trauma, or did they expect this?

mousey - a beautiful poem. the 'weren'ts' are a litany - the i shoulda been a miner is a bumper sticker. But still, i am me - a separate being who is who i am. i wasn't a better miner. And if i dig now, will i unearth gems that are not yet ready to be born?

questions, voices, stirrings of the heart.

How can i learn from this?

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Post by Doreen Peri » May 5th, 2006, 7:41 pm


I'm so sorry, judih!


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Post by judih » May 6th, 2006, 1:37 am

funny. Over at the English Learning Center, we had a contingent of School Principals come take a look. We've got this place that has been filled with creative and intriguing tasks set up to help kids learn english. This year's theme is Customs & Beliefs, so we've got interviews with Islamic calligraphers and a Jewish Ketuba artist. There are investigations into Native totems, and Chinese horoscopes. We look at Amish ways, the 7 Wonders, songs and films and webquests.

Well, one of our teachers was lecturing to the Principals about how the place was born (a long story) and what we did and i was bored. I pulled out a song created by a group of students 5 years ago. They'd sat in our little video corner and recorded themselves into the built-in mic of our tape recorder.

I put on the song for these people, and there was a boyish voice speaking about his life situations (you don't like me anymore, school's hard) and then the key phrase: Tell me ....why.
Tell me why, tell me why. Tell me why, tell me...........why?

A strange little song. And here it comes back to ask the question.

We always want to know the reason.
We probably will never know, but we always search.

Well, there is no reason that i can understand. If i could, i'd have been that woman. Only she knows.

All there remains to do is pick up the remains and help those left behind move on. (including myself and now all of you through association).

thanks, doreen, for joining in.

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Post by stilltrucking » May 6th, 2006, 8:35 am

I can only wonder about my own reasons

I cried for him, it has been over thirty years since he took his life. Overtime I have run our conversations through my head a thousand times. I cried like a baby after his death. I have come to realize that my tears were for myself.

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Post by judih » May 6th, 2006, 10:02 am

yes, tears that flow, flow for me.
how pathetic, how fragile a line we walk. It was someone else this time - am i far behind? please, let me be strong enough to withstand this pain.
and i cry.

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