I don’t know how to be spiritual. I had this thought as I waited forty minutes for the northbound 10 to scoop me up from the HEB parking lot. I was cold in my hoodie because I had dressed for the day, though I knew there’d likely be a 20 degree drop after sundown. I cursed the blasted Sunday bus schedule (thought in terms of status updates, as I increasingly do these days, but caught myself, realizing another gripe about the bus system would not make for a compelling, or even half way interesting, status update). Anyhow, I pulled out the novel I’m reading (more about that below) and forced myself to read through the cold, but in between sections of literature I thought of the my spiritual void and also my desire to return to Istanbul this year (maybe, just maybe, it is possible, as I have been tipped off that cheapcheap airfare is available). I think a conversation with a customer (about Indian gurus and Krishna Das) had gotten me thinking about New Age spirituality, and how I’m a bit alienated/annoyed by some New Agey stuff but how some of it I could imagine resonating with me. I do wish that I could make myself fill my more languorous hours with some sort of meditation instead of useless internet surfing or….
I also had the thought recently that there is a certain amount of serendipity in my book selection. The most recent example: I have a hopelessly long ‘to read’ list, mostly comprised of more or less contemporary literature. Still, looking for a certain author at the Library the other day caused me to discover Sayed Kashua. Strangely, I had just finished reading Tolstoy’s “The Kreutzer Sonata”, his novella about a man who kills his wife. Well, I took Kashua’s “Second Person Singular” home with me because it deals with Arab-Israeli’s and sounds quite clever, but then I discover that the protagonist of the book is reading “The Kreutzer Sonata” and also ends up enraged at his wife for presumed adultery (and kills her?). What are the chances of that? I had never heard of either works of fiction about a month ago. But maybe more significant is that I have been watching a fair amount of Israeli films lately and am thinking of that part of the world because the Rutgers Social Work program (my dream program, at this point) has a study abroad program in Israel that I want to do so I can learn about refugee services there and what is happening with the Palestinian struggle there. So, I have been fantasizing, and then I stumble across this book that can teach me a thing or two about the Arab condition in Jerusalem.