Hadassa Goldvicht - Otherlife <|>
Can You Describe The Otherlife? (Michal Goldvicht, My Mother)

This Otherlife. I never really stopped to think what it is exactly. Sometimes I feel it is living like Hemingway on a deserted island. Other times I feel like it is living on a Greek island or an Italian one. A simple fisherman’s island on the Mediterranean Sea. These are images that come back a lot.It is mostly a feeling of living on the border of the sea, among strangers. Peasants. Simple and nice. To live in a hut with the sea and the quiet.

Once in a while this Otherlife seems to mean having a lot of money. In the sense of not having so many limitations. That I can go around the world to different places. It was always connected to traveling. But also urban traveling, theaters, streets of cities like New York. But most of the time it is a beach with sail ships and simple huts. Eating simple food like black bread and butter and tomatoes and salty cheese. And a lot of scents of basil and garlic and pasta.
When I was a girl we sailed once on a ship to Italy. And then we traveled in a car between the villages and passed the Alps into Switzerland. Every night we slept in a different guest house, in a different village. I remember how we slept in a wooden house with feather soft, soft, we were put in bed and I felt so good, like I’m in a place that was not home but full of sweetness… I remember this dinner there, in a kitchen with a wooden thick table, dark and rough. Years later I saw a rough wooden table like that, with chairs. There was something that raised the memory and the feeling of… There was something there that always pulls me towards it.
So this guesthouse represents in some way the Otherlife. This place in Italy, in the villages we slept in. Or maybe it was Switzerland, or maybe it was on the border. I can still smell the tomatoes they cut for our salad. You know I love that feeling of foreignness. In the sense that you can imagine that there is a life there, which is harmonious and calm. This intimacy that you watch into. Now when I stand in the doorway of the balcony of my room I see all these lights from afar. And always in the darkness when these lights are on, the city, or the village in the distance seem so serene.
Now I see all of Jerusalem, but sometimes you see one light, separate, or a ship. When I see a small village, just a few houses, it always seems to me like this is what real life is. This is the correct life. With order, and security, with the right connections. A connection between heaven and earth. Between you and the earth. And a calm acceptance of the situation you live in, of the things you know and do not know. A completeness. The other life is always these distant lights. When you only see it from the distance it can’t betray you. You continue to miss it. Not because you think you will go there, and find that place of happiness. It’s just having the ability to look at it and imagine and dream it. That might be happiness. A fragment. It doesn’t have to be in contrast to reality. For me, it is like a magnet that is always there and keeps you pointing at it. Do you understand? Sure you understand.

Can You Describe Your Flying Dreams? (Michal Goldvicht, My Mother)
I had a dream once. I was flying. Like a bird. It was in my late teens or early twenties. One night I dreamt that I began to fly. That I was rising like an airplane, but with ease and weightlessness of a bird. I remember my arms moving like wings. I remember being on a beach that looked like a postcard my father once sent me from Africa.
The beach was round. There was a strong light. The water was bright blue and so was the horizon. I began to rise. There, was all that glory of the view, the sand and water. At first I wasn’t sure. I was surprised I could actually fly with such ease. But then, I thought, I’ll first try to see if I can go back down. I had to make sure that I could control my landing. As soon as I saw how easy it was, I began flying even higher. Suddenly, all the colors transformed from day to night, and I saw myself between the stars, in one of those Israeli summer nights. The skies were dark, blue. I could see myself, flying among those shining stars, but mostly, I felt the view around me. It was a magnificent feeling. Such wonderful lightness.

I felt that I could go anywhere. There was a sense of control, not of others but of myself. I felt as if I could circle the world.

I always wanted to travel like that. And my body was so light. There was a connection to nature but from a very high place, where I could see everything from above. This kind of a perfection.

I was something between a bird and a plain. There was a sense of power, as if I could go wherever I want. There were no boundaries or limitations. From the second I understood that I could land, I was free to go as high, and as far as I wanted. It was a very important feeling to know that I could go far, but always land back. That I won’t get lost up there. That there is still a ground, a home. The stability of the place from which you leave.


Many years later I had another dream like that but I cannot remember it. For years I really wanted to return, and dream it again. Dreaming I was in that African view from the postcard my father sent me, was very meaningful. My father was an adventurer, and I always wanted to be like him, with courage and energy. He would travel a lot and I was always jealous of his travels. I wanted to travel too. Africa was unknown and mysterious. It’s not by chance that I dreamt that view.

The beach in his postcard looked like a bay. B A Y. Open but circular. A half of a circle.

The second flying dream I can remember was not a dream but more of a meditation. I was going through a difficult time. I tried to imagine myself getting out of this stressful situation. I had a book that gave me guidance. You imagine the situation in which you are in, and how you physically find your way out. Suddenly I found myself- I can’t remember how it started- in the NBC offices in Rockefeller Center where I had worked for this producer in a time I felt I was going to break through. It was a beautiful time in the beginning of my career. Sitting in that office, I felt that I was closed in a container. I was caged. I started to imagine. Suddenly the container became this flying vehicle, like a spaceship, or something strange like that.

It was made of a clear plastic and I could see all of New York around me. And the skies! I could see the Rockefeller ice skating rink I loved. All of a sudden I began to rise within this tiny space. With that same feeling I had in my youth. Only this time I didn’t feel like I was flying with my arms, with my body. It was the heavy vehicle that did it. I felt I succeeded. I was flying again. I freed myself from a situation I thought I couldn’t get out of. It was a grand feeling.