Tel Aviv Diary December 27-31, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary December 27-31, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 27, 2018

you missed it. jerusalem national library. the big hall upstairs. reggae music in Arabic and Hebrew. poems in Hebrew and Arabic about suffering the consequences of war. nine p.m. after a series of sessions about other, more palatable topics, and yet the hall was full. i'm never comfortable reading in hebrew but i try. and i don't think i've ever read these poems about war in English. but i was born in war and hope i don't get to die in war.

December 28, 2018

two weeks ago when we were coming back from Metula, we happened to find this video on youtube of Amos Oz

We sat transfixed listening to his golden words for a whole hour, and all i could think of was a prayer for a long and healthy life of this amazing man. I sent it to Rena, and I think i sent it to some close friends, just to share this intimate experience with those i love. "You must interview him," I told Anam in the back seat, and i remembered how much in the few times we met I wanted to embrace him and was so embarrassed by my warmth i couldn't speak.

And now he's gone. Into the world of dreams, he died in his sleep. He had said that he was deathly afraid of dying,

December 29, 2018

We haven't begun to mourn the terrible loss of Amos Oz and Ayelet Shaked and Naphtali Bennett announced the creation of their party, "The New Right." one tragedy after another.

"Why are all my friends becoming such strict vegetarians preaching strict diets to anyone who gets close to the subject of food?" Because 1. we don't have any real religion but we need to be subjected to exclusive rules 2. we aren't in control of anything in our lives so we work on controlling our bodies.

This I say to my friend after a full day of pigging out at home because the rain made us cancel any plans for going out. it just seems so helpless.

And yet i'm giving this talk on thursday entitled "rhyming a way out of dying," as if poetry can save situations.

December 30, 2018

Every day i hear a new word I haven't heard before. it may come from the bible or from some corruption of a foreign word. today was a favorite - talking about the new political party he said in hebrew that it creeped him out. the word creep is now hebrew.

we had no electricity all day and when it went back late in the afternoon, the fridge didn't work. internet is now back. and the central heating also restored. but it feels like i wasted a day.

i didn't even notice that this is the end of the year. we made plans for tomorrow, all day, starting with paying our respects to Amos Oz who is lying in state in the Tsavta theater, and then driving to Jerusalem to visit an old lady who may have known my aunt, and then a new years party.

December 31, 2018

here's a new concept for you: Revlon is the "shabbat lipstick." You put it on Friday afternoon and it stays until Saturday night. Shabbat is also the time you recharge your fitbit.

These bits are to distract you from the fact that I did not go to pay my respects to Amos Oz. Suddenly i couldn't. not from a lack of caring, but a terrible fear of acknowledging the end.

so it's almost over - this sad year - and i'm glad of it. pray for a better one next time.

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