As I stood, rooted, winter-locked, my hand outstretched in southern sun, the lizard leapt to the branch of my arm as if there was nothing at all to fear. As if I was the tree he sought, he rested, weightless, green as grass, pink throat-fan ballooning with each small breath, and I felt something ease inside, a sweetness rising, as he ran, quick as raindrops, up my trunk, toe pads tickling as he touched, oh so lightly, neck, cheek, hair, like a blessing, or a prayer.
These days, as some people are bent on making war and others equally determinded to keep peace, I return to my former teacher, Yehuda Amichai, a German-born Jew who migrated to Palestine and grew up with the nation of Israel, a soldier, professor and poet.
A man doesn’t have time in his life to have time for everything. He doesn’t have seasons enough to have a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes was wrong about that.
A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment, to laugh and cry with the same eyes, with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them, to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget, to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest what history takes years and years to do.
A man doesn’t have time. When he loses he seeks, when he finds he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves he begins to forget.
And his soul is seasoned, his soul is very professional. Only his body remains forever an amateur. It tries and it misses, gets muddled, doesn't learn a thing, drunk and blind in its pleasures and in its pains.
He will die as figs die in autumn, shriveled and full of himself and sweet, the leaves growing dry on the ground, the bare branches already pointing to the place where there’s time for everything.