Tel Aviv Diary July 14-18, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - July 14-18, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

July 14-18, 2017

The commemoration of the plaque in memory of Michael Steinberg took place this morning. I was honored to read a poem there - the one we used to recite together by heart, "The Lake Isle of Innesfree," which is a poem about escape into a better place, and/or an inner peace. I kept thinking about Michael's greatness as the director of the UN Multinational forces in the Sinai desert, his belief in the potential goodness of all humanity, his love of poetry, and the connection between all these things. Even he in his position of power could do nothinge to stop the escalation of violence in the sinai, and yet, he continued to believe in the human need for transcendence. I miss him more and more.

July `15, 2017

Because the little ones were at our place while their mother went to make sure she didn't have appendicitis, and one of them constantly complains that her feet hurt, i dragged our guests from the US with me to 7 stars mall to buy them shoes. we were all pretty much worn out, and got out of the elevator at the wrong floor from the store i was thinking of, and suddenly spotted a place called Papaya. the boy immediately found himself a pair of sandals but the girl would hear of none of the proper sandals. At last the apparent manager, Ghadir, took over, and like Cinderella's prince, fitted her with perfect shoes. Both kids wanted beach shoes too, and got them. Ghadir kept whispering to me - but doesn't their mother have an account here. No, I answered. And I can't even ask her because she's in the hospital right now. But if you buy two pairs and you're a member you get one free, she said. perhaps someone in the shop will buy the shoes on their membership. Sure said a totally anonymous mother. Here's my number. i wound up for 4 pairs of shoes for half price and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. When I got home I sat down and asked for a glass of water.

Okay when one four year old is prancing around from mirror to mirror in a shoe store driving the two salesgirls into a frenzy of proving their sales potential, and the seven year old urgently has to cross the crowded shopping mall for the bathroom, this is not an usually difficult situation, but when it comes because their mother is in Emergency, and eight people have all just been served a heavy lunch that was cooked that day and the day before by a tired grandmother... And then to come home to whip together dinner for everyone (actually Ezi did the work - especially the evening, especially the cleanup), means we deserve a day of rest. Maybe a week.

The attack on Friday by terrorists from Um El Fahem on police in Jerusalem is causing waves. This is one of the situations where I think we all get fed partial news.

July 17, 2017

haven't been getting the paper in the past week. i can find other ways to get the news other than haaretz and the times, but it is comforting to eat breakfast and begin in a day with the news out of the way. Reading is also less threatening than television. Radio is often too immediate, demanding action. A war threatening to break out - and i immediately have to go shopping, for example, usually for condensed milk, tuna, and powdered potatoes for some stupid prehistoric reason.

The English Writers Association voted to continue despite the wreck that has been made of it in the past few years, but who knows how to placate all the people who have been insulted in the decades of superciliousness and then disconnections from the contemporary world. i worry terribly about it.

Here's a little taste of what went on at my launch on July 3


July 18, 2017

Here's another one:

Please like the videos on youtube if you like them. So far no one has been reacting and i think they are great.

It has been hotter here by far than any other summer I have experienced. Even if I stay inside with the air conditioner going non stop my body feels more weary than ever. Of course I don't stay inside all the time and I don't let the heat slow me down entirely, but a feeling of weariness is overwhelming. Just the fact that this country could consider ruling against allowing homosexual couples to adopt children brings me to a point of despair. We are so accustomed to homosexual parents that any kindergartener in Tel Aviv can explain what it means to have two fathers or two mothers - without batting an eye. Single mothers or fathers are also common. And who can say they are not as good parents as the usual kind?


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