Η τυχη βοηθαει τους τολμηρους.
“Luck comes to those who dare” – Greek proverb (and EHS)
On New Year’s Eve 2008, one of the people I hold most dear and I were walking through Hyde Park in a frigid cloud of fog. We decided that freezing our toes off riding a Ferris wheel alongside British five-year-olds was a fantastic farewell for 2008. I am now sitting in Tel Aviv, ready to take a walk on the beach on a day that feels like late spring and smells nothing of the holidays.
Reflecting on a calendar year becomes challenging when its experiences intertwine with a fellowship journey still underway, but I can remember an overarching hope on the eve of both new beginnings: I had wanted to be moved by the world, to be shaken by the shoulders, to in turns feel exhilaration, despair, inspiration, creativity, compassion, anger and contentment. As I think back to the Hyde Park walk and our shared wishful thinking, I am grateful for the moments 2009 brought with it – moments that indeed shook me by the shoulders and allowed me to feel, to experience the world more vividly than I had ever known before.
There has been a task with which I have continually struggled since the beginning of this fellowship journey. The task is called a “Life Experience Wish List” and it resembles loads of cheesy “bucket list” projects. The prompt is as follows: Think of life wishes in three columns. The first is travel endeavors – such as a country or a national landmark or a road trip. The second is life milestone experiences – being a parent, becoming a licensed paramedic, attending culinary school, writing a book. The third consists of activities one wishes to experience at some point in life – swimming in the Dead Sea, being in the tabloids, flying to the moon. I have been pathetically weak at jarring an unrestrained imaginative capacity for the future, at not worrying about what is feasible or immediately within the realm of possibility. On the eve of 2010, here is to filling out our own wish lists, to imagining their components without fear of unfulfilment, to putting ourselves in situations that continue to move us. And while 2009 still lingers, let us borrow from the wisdom of Bob Dylan: “Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them.”