Tel Aviv Diary - January 1-5, 2012 Karen Alkalay-Gut

January 1, 2012

How do we start a new year when there are so many potentially antithetical possibilities? There are possibilities of peace, many more threats of war and disaster, a hunger for change, and an inability to control the results of that change.

If today is any indication, then out goes the bad air and in comes the good air. Do you know what it's like to prepare for a colonoscopy? Pure shit. And I don't fast well. But once we went to the clinic, it went like clockwork. I was in at five and out by six-fifteen or so, minus a rather large polyp that looked smooth to me. Even spoke to the doctor and had time to recover pretty fully. From there we dined at the nearby sushi bar (you know,don't you, that Tel Aviv has more sushi bars per capita then any other city except Tokyo?) So it was an appropriate date for the new year.

January 2, 2012

We're still anticipating a hard rain. It was drizzling all day but the stock market went up and restaurants seem to remain full. But at night a virtual rain began to fall - the story of the Saudi hackers hit us - hundreds of thousands of names and accounts... we'll know more in the morning.

January 3, 2012

Someday, someone is going to manage it - they're going to get into my computer and publish all my poems under their own names - in Saudi Arabia. Or worse, they'll get into my unfinished drafts and publish them in my own name - just to embarrass another Israeli citizen. The financial dangers of hacking are beyond my poor imagination. But I'm not taking it as a joke. And I hope the world isn't either.

January 4, 2012

The presence of women continues to be a problem for some in this society. Haaretz today talks about death threats. And we all know about what happened to Rabin when he'd received death threats. It's pretty clear to me that this kind of intolerance cannot occur in a social void but must be part of a greater concept of society, and that the issue has to be treated on a more general basis.

In the mean time, here's a thought about the position of women who are so 'dangerous' they cannot sing in public.

If I have no voice
I have no soul
If I have no soul
I am all flesh
And beckon you all
To feel me
Only as body
Your senses
Forcing you
To be slave
To what you call
Your lowest compulsions

My singing, though,
Raises you up
Reminds you that you too
Have a voice, a soul,
Beckons you
To freedom
From the slavery
Of compulsion.

You get can the English original on Kindle here

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