Rudiments strives to reify ourselves over and again, sometimes, we succeed in making sense out of ourselves, and, sometimes, we succeed in making sense out of our associations with other people.
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I used to harbor affection for all things blue and green. My world was one of ultramarine and cobalt, of viridian and cerulean. After making aliyah, I developed a new aesthetic. Now, umbers and siennas, cadmiums and ochres stir me. Where once woodlands and carpet-like valleys moved me to develop free verse or to reach for literal canvas, these days, sandy hilltops and burnt-looking wadis provoke me to write and to paint.
It is difficult to know whether I consciously changed to acclimate to my external surroundings or whether my external surroundings, without invitation from me, caused my metamorphosis. I dreamed of living in The Holy Land, but never thought that my desire would become actualized in my lifetime. I was a secular academic whose vision had been limited to two children and to tenure at some state university.
We often get bogged down with assumptions about what we ought to receive in our relationships with people and with G-d. In learning how to weave together needs of others with our own, and in learning how to accept, rather than to fight against, the measures that G-d gives us, we grow personally, parentally, and professionally. We become happier, too.