04 March 2012

Culture Shock

Visiting America is like having the top fall off a salt-shaker as you shake it: you can only stare and say, "Wow, that's a lot..."

America is a lot. A lot of foliage, a lot of denim, a lot of noise and art.
Israel is condensed. A wide land, but of condensed character. It has one miniature mountain, one miniature river, one miniature lake, one miniature ocean, one miniature capitol city -- and a high concentration of spiritual energy & holiness. No one I know in Israel ever has spare time, and most do not drive.
So whenever I come to America, where the day unfolds slowly, and much of it is spent in the car getting from here to there beneath the boughs of ornamental plum trees, which are content to grow without producing fruit, and the people I meet jest loosely, and banter loosely, and the houses (containing loose acquaintances) are loosely spaced by loosely growing willows that don't really care about what happens around them -- unlike the keen and insistent landscapes of Israel -- it is disorienting. Why, the rooms of the average apartment or house are so far from each other that it is possible to have different music playing in two of them simultaneously.

Not positive or negative -- just makes for a very different life.

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