Suddenly I find my life populated by the faces of people I've just met but now have a very meaningful connection to. A few of the faces belong to people I actually did know before coming here and some are familiar to me even though I've never met them in this life before now. Then there are those faces that look nothing like the friends they remind me of, yet somehow constantly evoke their presence. Like I said, time exists only when and how he wants to here, and apparently time exists in faces for me. Looking into these faces transports me to other places and times and makes me wonder what the future will bring.
I'm happy to say that there's no one here I dislike, and already I've felt connections with people that I hope will be lifelong. There's Ziv, tall, friendly and compassionate, always willing to jump into debate with gusto, Olivia with whom I giggled over ex-boyfriends and never-dying crushes at our 4th of July Bar-B-Q, Austin who tolerates my jibes and inappropriate jokes with smiles and then adds one of his own. Little Maggie who sings like a bird and makes cracks that would make most men blush, and sweet, snarky Paul, who lent me his shoulder to cry on when we sat in the dimness of candle light.
Then there's Aviv, quiet and unsure but kind. I once stood by her in a service and was overwhelmed with a sudden sense of deija-vu as we sang together. Then I realized that I had dreamed of coming here, to this place -months before it actually happened -and being with her.
And there's Tracey, whom I never though I would see again after our parting three years ago, but, by the grace of God, has found her way here to travel this road with me. There's Isaac, who can turn even the most mundane story into a hilarity of side-splitting narrative, and then there's Yuval. Yuval, who's face reminds me of one who's name I cursed silently in the heat of anger. Yuval who cared enough to reach out to me when I was tacitly struggling with the demons in my head -Yuval whom I surely have known before.
These are but few of the wonderful faces that surround me on this dusty path we're travelling on. Like the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem before the Six Day War, we now find ourselves in a place that is totally alien to us. I guess apprehension would be a good word to put to the feeling I have when I think about the rest of this year. But by that same token hope flickers within me, like the candles that promise rest and separation, when I look at the faces of people that I am learning to love.