Tel Aviv Diary October 15-20, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - October 15-20, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

October 15, 2017

So the madness is just now ending. The kiddush for the bar mitzvah took me forever to get together and after three hours behind a curtain in the shul, there was a little kiddush there and then a couple hours of kiddush here and then the big party last night. This morning began with exercise class, a fast editing session with Rivkah and then the Social Security panel with Orit while Ezi went to poor Yigal's funeral. When I took Orit home it turned out that she had forgotten her keys and everyone was out. So we went to a place called "Voodoo" for something to eat and finally everyone came and now I'm home. Way too tired.

All this by way of explanation of why i'm not catching up with the news.

October 16, 2017

My day began with a shiva call to a friend who has now become a widow. We should make another shiva call this evening to my step-daughter's uncle family, but i'm a little woozy at all these public events, and I'm not sure we'll ever make it. When I count the number of people I've kissed in the past 3 days I feel just a little sick.

I'm back to reading the news and watching the escape of citizens from Raqqa even though there are many other event events more dangerous to us and more imminent. I got into Raqqa because of the bridge Ezi's grandfather built there and whose history I've gauged in my little poetry-history book: The Bridge at Raqqa.

I buy most of my groceries online. it has been saving my back for years and helps me to avoid impulse buying. After the holidays I usually don't do it because the shops haven't replenished their wares, but I really ran out of some staples. I always make sure to add to my order the fact that i do not want replacements and I don't want to be reached to discuss replacements. That's because I never really understand the accents and the background noise is unbearable. So at 7:30 this morning the phone rings and the guy explains that since I don't want automatic replacements he wanted to check with me. There was actually nothing he could replace for me. So I asked to add some ice cream. Ben & Jerry's. Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey. "Tom & Jerry's"? "No, Tom and Jerrys is a cartoon. Ben and Jerry's is an ice cream." "Ah." And although he woke me up and has nothing to offer me we both share a laugh.

October 17, 2017

What a terrible poetyr night i was in tonight. it would have been good to give it up and go to the movies, but i felt bad about not being a part of the poetry scene. but it was awful, elementary, pretentious, argumentative, and elitist.

Maybe I was just unhappy because of the second shiva I went to today. I don't feel I can comfort anyone who loses their partner or loved one. i can just sympathize with them, and then i'm just sad along with them. It's a bad attitude for comforting people.

October 18, 2017

I used to be incredibly good at getting little children who are afraid of the water to learn to swim. From the time I was fifteen to twenty-one I did it all summer long. My kids were natural swimmers as a result. So now, when my granddaughter is showing all the signs of absolute terror, I began using my old skills. Unfortunately i am much much older and now every muscle in my body - and a few of my bones - ache.

There are at least two significances for me to this story: 1. what we once could do easily may be far more difficult today. 2. the old techniques of familiarization are often extremely effective when stubborness and fear and bad experiences have made a situation seem almost impossible. I mention all this because I am more and more sorry that I was unable to participate in the womens march for peace. I am more and more in the belief that techniques like the women's movement and the new Labor leader Avi Gabai are the only ways we can overcome the problems between Israel and Palestine.

Whoops I don't mean the Palestinians and a stubborn fearful kindergartener are equatable.

October 19, 2017

I have to thank Hillary Clinton for helping me to release my angers and frustrations today. I listen to her reading her book "What Happened?" and i want to slap her. i don't want to know about how she gets her hair done and her make up every morning of her life because these chores stop people freaking out about being a frumpty woman, Even when i saw the debates i almost get excited about Trumps lurking and intimidating women, but whe mentions it and admits she could have stopped it by confronting him I got angry. if she had skipped the make up and the hair and the compulsory pantsuit and didn't spend her time wondering what he would think of her, i would have loved her, but if she had spoken of the issues - like what the issues around a woman's body and what she expected to do about it i would have gone wild. Her interest is her campaign and even though she talkd about change, i n never see the change - only the ideas about the change.My next book will be Shimon Peres. He too had a problem with projecting a self-image, but in in ohis case, it was wjust misunderstood.

Octber 20, 2017

Maybe the problem is that they are real people. I'm reading Margaret Atwood's "Stone Mattress" and the freedom the author has to manipulate reality is very prominent compared to Hillary's sticking to all the details, when the public achievements are in the background.

Bed news at the dentists' - the old implants will no longer work. I thought i was through for a while with all the oral carpentry - but now I will start all over again. Even though we followed it with a meal with grandchildren at Beta Cafe, and spent the afternoon looking over some of the papers the government archives might be interested in preserving, and our evening will be wonderful with old friends, the spectre of an intensive expensive painful winter hangs over me.

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