Ataya NessAiver
"G-d is the partner of our innermost soliloquies" ~Victor Frankel

I don’t know…

A path leading to the unknown in the upper Golan (Photo: Ataya NessAiver)

The child’s stomach grumbles for food. Their shaky shack trembles in the howling wind, threatening to break its way in. The mother coos as the child works to hold back tears. He will be strong. He will be the man his deceased father always wanted him to be. But how, he wonders? I don’t know…

Caught in the web of industrial business, the woman races from meeting to meeting, presentation to presentation, phone call to phone call. She started smoking of late, her external response to that deepest plea for rest. To cope. As much pleasure as the game gives, as much adrenaline the rat race provides, she’s tired. Dreams of soft, warm sand and the fresh salty sea air tantalize her mind… but when? How can I take a break? Break free from orbiting the world of money? I don’t know…

Another breakup. Love comes, love goes. This time it lasted for an entire year, only to be tossed aside at the last moment. They were going to be engaged soon. Married. But their families wouldn’t hear of it. Something to do with a past long forgotten – well, apparently some people couldn’t quite do the forgetting. A sigh is heard. When, when will it end? When will I find that special someone, that match, that extension of myself, that other sapling who will wind together with me, in an ever growing spiral tree that canopies the forest sky? That touches the moon and provides shelter for those below it? When? I don’t know…

Should they die? A king does as a king desires. Has the strength to decide right and wrong and stick to his guns. But he was no king. At least, he didn’t feel like one. Questions swirled about his innermost soul, that voice of conscience so silently profound, yet seemingly incoherent with the surrounding society. He was a man of value, but were his values true? When society screams out, who was he to say otherwise? But that voice, that quiet, persistent voice. His head began to hurt. I just don’t know…

There is chaos, yet there is order. Gravity pulls us down, but electrons push us apart. Or bond us. It actually depends. The push and pull, rise and fall, waves that are particles yet perhaps truly waves, crashing upon the beach of our experienced world yet coming from one completely foreign. What boat could ride upon that level of complexity? Yet somehow, physics does it. How? I don’t know….

The human body, a tapestry of limbs and sinews, muscles and fascia, neurons and electromagnetic signals, biology and chemistry woven together to create perhaps the most stunning work of art in all of creation. And mankind plays with it. We push it in balance, and then back out. Eat healthfully only to destroy our own diets. We stretch, we strengthen, we tighten, we weaken. We jump, we fall, we build and we break. Can it be understood? One year certain foods save you, but the next, they kill you. Can it be balanced? I don’t know.
Physical yet spiritual. A force, yet a chemical. The mind is always with us, yet, somehow, just beyond our reach. Its mystical yet practical, conscious but simultaneously unconscious. The source of our perceptions, our actions and emotions. The source of so much pain, yet so much creative genius. Can it be truly understood? The psychologist plays with it. Paddles around the surface of our deepest quandaries… but to sink to it’s depths? I don’t know.

I love to learn. Numbers dance before my eyes, theorems, algorithms sing their beautiful songs of logic, music to my mind, prose to my soul. The wisdom of the human body, it’s systems and functionalities, it’s ever flowing change, plays an orchestra so entrancing I can’t help but get lost in the melody. But the mind, the mind is the conductor. The composer. The guide who created it all and presents it to the world, whose true brilliance is only ever experienced second hand, to all but himself. Yet, at times, even to himself he is lost. So… what do I want to study? What area should I focus my expertise, when a hurricane of intense beauty surrounds me, throwing me from side to side, battering me from inside and out? Is there an eye to the storm? I don’t know.

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” ~ Socrates.

There is so much complexity in life, so much confusion. Can we know? Will we ever know? I guess the only comfort is in the one thing we do know: We don’t know. At least, never fully. Life is a process, a constant growth, a constant spiral of ever deepening and ever widening understand. But to truly, objectively know? We may never. And that’s okay. Because honestly? No one does.

About the Author
Originally from a charedi background in Baltimore, I made Aliyah approximately three years ago and joined Hesder through Yeshivat Kerem B'yavneh. I served in the Tanks brigade for a year and a half, and am now studying in Yeshivat Otniel.
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