My memories of Israel play like that of a faraway dream, cast in fictional characters and faint story lines that make it hard to believe they ever happened. It’s become a distant fairytale that comes alive only in the horizontal position when my eyes are shut tight. And just like dreams are hazy and made of fairy dust, this dream is vague and sometimes I could feel it drift away.
There’s this one memory, though, unreal as they all are, but still vivid like yesterday.
We’d gone dancing on one of those Rosh Chodesh parades through the Arab quarter of the Old City. It was magical, complete with music, soldiers and mechitzas.
I’m not the hippie kind. For one thing, I’m too grounded to fly and for another, I shower.
But this time, I felt my knees buckle, and I didn’t want to fight it anymore. I didn’t want to think or feel. I didn’t want to be slave to my emotions or get tangled up in cold logic. I wanted my soul to run on autopilot. And this time, I don’t know how or why but I wasn’t afraid to let it.
The memory of dancing with my eyes closed in the dark Arab market was indescribable, so indescribable, I believe the only way to have done it justice would have been to lock it in a capsule, so you could see for yourself.
I was moving like I was air, dancing, like I could fly. Tens of girls surrounding me, arms entwined, moving to the same beat, like we were connected. I didn't want that moment to become another. And I stopped and stood still for a while. To catch my breath. But also to commit every sense of the experience to memory.
Every beat of the drum, every leap into the air, every skip of my heart, and swell of my soul. To remember what it was like. The smell of freedom, the tricked silence and the taste of wild abandon that it left on my tongue.