Monday, May 29, 2006

balancing in sweet purgatory

I walked into the bunker of death two days after I went to heaven.

Shoshana and Micha are the caretakers of heaven, and there's no place like it on earth. They have a harp store, which used to be in the same hidden narrow alley as my aunt and uncle's jewlery shop in Jerusalem, and is now at the bottom of the hill where they live. The house is set low into the hill, the front gate lush green trees hiding stone staircase leading down to the wooden cabin, down further to homemade sauna and swimming hole, garden. My friends like to go there to work in the garden during the day and completely unwind at night. This time, I only went there for the unwinding part.

It was another insane week at work, like these weeks are, and I had three days off to be free. I woke up the first morning of freedom with a really deep cough, but went to Jerusalem anyway. Some friends and I had talked about going up to Shoshana and Micha's the week before, and then forgotten, but somehow after I decided to go anyway, I found out five more of my friends had the same idea.

We got there late, and the women went down right away, armed with water bottles and towels. Shoshana was standing there, completely nude. 'Nice to meet you,' she said to some of us. She went off to get something, and the rest of us got naked and walked into the sweat.

It was a small wooden structure with a wood stove outside and a basket of coal inside, dark except for the candles, lit also by oil and sweat. The top bench was the hottest. I sat on top, dripping and breathing out my toxins. I tried to stay in as long as I could. I made it for about twenty minutes each time, four times. In between each, we ran out and jumped straight into the cold swimming hole. The contrast of heat and cold went so drastically to my head, my mind spinning out of control (otherwise sober) and I felt like I was walking on the moon. I went back in. Then back to the water. Back to the sauna. Back to the water. We were mermaids in space.

Micha and Shoshana have a great house, filled with art and instruments, good smells and herbs. We jammed on different drums, a sax, guitar and something resembling a wooden xylophone.

Shoshana told us about her dream, which she had ten years ago, in which she saw the dome of the rock burst into gold and blue petals, making way for the temple to grow directly from within it. In her dream, she was at the wailing wall with thousands of people praying intently, and when she looked up, she saw the shrine break into pieces and the temple push through. She tried to say something to those around her, but she couldn't find the words, she was in shock. She watched the whole transformation, alone. When it finished, everybody looked up, oblivious to the change that had taken place while they were praying.

I didn't actually walk into the bunker of death a couple day later, but stuck my head in for about thirty seconds before feeling completely swallowed by the smell of human waste emanating from inside.

It was Saturday, and we had just eaten lunch and cake and

decided to go for a walk in the hills around elisha's moshav a lovely beautiful place full of magic sienna was tired and cosmos had lots of energy we wandered and walked and when we got to the bunker elisha said it was from the 1948 war i said who's going in with me nobody would i took a deep breath stuck my head in and felt death wash over me it stunk of human i thought maybe from the people who use it as shelter now or maybe from the screams and rifles and war and death curse panging me now forever never couldn't be i decided must be the elements

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