Tel Aviv Diary December 22016, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary December 22-26, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 22, 2018

yes. i definitely wrote an entry today. and maybe it wasn't important to talk about. and maybe someone is censoring my drivel, and maybe i didn't save this properly. but if you saw it and it was erased, let me know.

it was one of those shmaltzy entries about the gorgeous weather so never mind.

the glorious weather encouraged us to meet friends, some Catalan-speaking in Sarona in the afternoon, even though it is the second shortest day of the year. we wound up at Molly Blooms, which was deserted (even though i know that soon at night it will be crowded), and as the Catalans discussed the menu the waiter began to give advice in their language. they weren't surprised but i, who had been struggling to communicate, was very impressed.

meanwhile, our granddaughter was getting ready to perform in a gala evening of aesthetic gymnastics. Davai or let's go', the announcer calls out, and begins to call off the names of this year's winners - Natasha, Yelena, Galina, etc. And the trainers - don't ask. as much as I love and admire my granddaughter Noa and her amazing accomplishments, and as much as i am amazed by the accomplishments of the athletes, and know how important sport is important to Israel in so many ways, I cannot help but feel that there is something foreign about this elegant exercise.

on our way home from Sarona to watch this performance on facebook we were somewhat slowed down by the yellow vest demonstration that was gathering in front of Azrieli, and again I have to protest. I don't mean that we shouldn't protest the prices in this country, but hey guys, the standard of living goes down way further in war time. let's put a little more effort in solving the biggest problem we've got.

December 23, 2018

Yes, we are in trouble - without the U.S. fighting in Syria we are not in a good place. But don't feel sorry for me. i could have it worse. i could be a Kurd.

December 24, 2018

april 9 - elections. the very thought that our minister of culture will change is enough to raise my spirits just a bit.

a few days ago i became obsessed with the idea that i have to wear a poem on a t-shirt at the reading about war on wednesday. last night we tried to do it ourselves with transfers but it didn't quite work. so this morning i dragged Ezi to Pongo on Dizengoff street and brought them the disk of the poem to print on the shirt. turns out that they don't work that way - you are supposed to order it online and get a response and approve their mock up and so on. but the very human albeit very busy shop owner took pity on me and made me the shirt.this is the original english version of the shirt, made in 1997 by some Canadian company from my poem, and i haven't photographed the hebrew version yet.

it took most of the morning to make the hebrew version and we also got a birthday shirt for my grandson tomorrow.

After that I went to teach at Amal for the last time - I won't see these teachers again and they don't even know after two years that i am a poet. and i know so little about them except that they are supervisors of high school English teachers. Enrichment of educators is such an important challenge, but I fear I did not succeed to enrich them. i don't think i'll be back next year.

December 25, 2018

On the other hand, there are subjects about which we spoke - even yesterday - that will continue to enrich my life. for example, we spoke of regret, and that there are things we thought we would never forgive ourselves for. but, as Alice Munro said, we do. And i thought of this in personal terms as well as political terms. since we have just been told we will have elections on April 9, it seems wise to review some of the mistakes we've made in the past 70 years and see if we can understand and correct some of them. not by covering them up and forgiving ourselves, but by reviewing and revising them. not to change what is not in our power to change, but to make sure we are on the right path. At the moment we are very divided. In some ways this was a deliberate movement on the part of those in charge - to disenfranchise all opposition, to put the wrong people in charge of the wrong tasks, to empower dangerous personalities. but much was a mistake. and some of the mistakes have become embedded in our personalities - the contentiousness, for example.

Have I forgotten the most important message of the day? Merry Christmas and happy new year! Let this become a day of renewal for all of us!

A grandchild's birthday brought us to a big toy warehouse today. Am i crazy or are there almost no toys for older children? yes, there was a cheesy microscope, an ant farm, a few other science projects, some electronic cars to put together yourself, but the only thing that moved the kid was one of those guns that shoot sponge bullets. Not all kids are the same, and not all my grandkids are the same, but i still worry that these are all there

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