Sunday, June 17, 2012

Amalya's Cafe what do I like about this cafe and a short reference to last week's parsha Shelach

I have always loved Amalya's cafe because it has something that is hard to replicate. Atmosphere. It has  a very hamishe feel. It feels personal. I remember in another life, I was and am still a  real  coffee shop freak. I love good coffee and I love sitting in a coffee shop writing and watching people, eavesdropping on conversations and sometimes using funny turns of phrases  or incidences in short stories or poems. Yeah, beware being related to or friends with a person that writes anything. We weave a tapestry of life, events, experiences and characters together into some seamless beauty that may not be recognisable to the person on the outer but it is there. We cannot help it. It is a subconscious aspect that is often disconcerting and not intended in any way maliciously, but to enjoy the art of the story teller and the story is to delve into the mysteries and intricacies of the story and examine what a certain event meant to a person and to tease apart the emotions and the ideas behind events and to make sense of it.
Why write a story? There are many reasons to tell a story. Sometimes stories are painful to write because you give up a part of yourself to the story. I once read the story of a friend and teacher. It was about a child she had lost and buried.It was called The Coffin. It was one of the saddest stories I have read  and yet it was one of the most positive. Not all of us can lose a child and come away with a positive insight -albeit a painful insight through which you grow.  Many of us can or have lost a child or not, but we  all can identify the feeling of loss and what is gained from loss because with everything lost there is gain. When you fictionalise loss or gain you are able to add insights that may increase the awareness of a certain event in a person's life. You are able to open the doors of perception into a certain experience. A reader may feel differently to you about your topic, but he or she is able to gain insight in the experience of another or indeed examine their own experiences in a fresh light.
Personal growth comes only through painful experiences it has been my experience. Sometimes there is joyful growth, but on the whole, why do we grow more through painful experiences? Because through pain we see other people more clearly and we empathise. The more painful experiences we have the greater our capacity to have empathy unless we are frozen solid through grief. That also happens.
Some very good writers are extremely intuitive. They have a gift from early childhood and they continue to develop it through out their lives. Some come to write later in life. Elisabeth Jolley was one such person. Age and experience tempered the pace of her writing. Others are blessed with natural insights into the psyche of others and events that surround them. Others are creators of good stories that may not go into great detail and psychological analysis of characters but they can tell a good story. It is not an easy craft to attempt but a rewarding one on a personal level. There is a sense of excitement in starting a new story and a sense of satisfaction when you have finally finished the 100th draft of your story and you feel it has somehow clicked into place. That latter feeling is hard to come by. I personally tend to edit over much and miss some element needed in the story.
Anyway let's go to more spiritual pursuits, not that writing is not a spiritual process of discovery, it is very much so.
Last week's parsha on the meraglim - the spies to suss out the land of Eretz Israel teach us a lot about Shmirat Lashon. This was very relevant and I am posting it as a reminder to my self more than anything else.
While Hashem did forgive the nation of Israel, they were to die in the desert and their descendants had to wander in the desert another forty years. That should tell us something. When we try to destroy someone with lashon hara it is actually ourselves we are destroying because we distance ourselves from the land of Israel and Hashem.
Here is another clip I found very interesting.
Those of you who want an insight into the temple mount and its importance. Loved this. It was very calming listening to this series of shiurim.
A good week all of you. May we have the zehus to make the pilgrimage to a rebuilt holy temple and the cohenim will begin their avoda anew and the Levis also to make make the music even more holy to bring kedusha into this world.

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