Tel Aviv Diary December 8-12, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - December 8-12, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

December 8, 2017

Rockets coming from Gaza. We retaliate. More rockets. more retaliation. only a question of time before somebody gets hurt, right? Hurt bad. And now Trump's people are backtracking on their announcement, but in the meantime human lives are in jeopardy.

And at this moment I read that a baby has been severely injured in Gaza, and a kassam fell in Sderot.

It will take some time before we get back to traveling the israel trail, but the memory of the dried out river beds ans tired soil stays in my mind and I'm wondering about how much regenerative agriculture has been introduced into our farming practices. I don't know all that much about the old methods - or the new ones either, but have always felt that the ground here is so hungry to produce that anything you plant here grows. what a shame we cant do regenerative agriculture on ourselves

December 9, 2017

We didn't go to the protest tonight - previous commitment to a reading in Jaffa. But the protest was well-attended - people are fed up with Netanyahu and Trump. Tel Aviv at least. The rest of the country i'm not sure about.

And what I was doing seemed so trivial in contrast.

like this:

like here

December 10, 2017

Today we went to celebrate the 5 year old's birthday.

It was a simple thing. We picked up her mother from physiotherapy and then went to pick up the birthday girl from kindergarten. I really wanted to eat out, but she insisted on going home and showing us her balloon. And as we were driving home, she began to chant leftist calls. "Hon. Shilton. Olam Tachton!" or "Fortune. Government. Mafia." What does this mean? we ask her later in the afternoon as we are driving her to gymnastics class. And she explains that Bibi is a crook. Why? He is bad. and then she asks, why is he bad? Orit explains to her that he is not bad, but that many of the things he does as a leader have not been beneficial to us. This is difficult for her to understand, and she falls silent. Really silent in the darkness. One thing i could have told her is that he should have kept daylight saving hours the year around. That way it wouldn't be quite so dark at 5 in the afternoon.

Maybe too, the kids her age in Sderot wouldn't be hiding in shelters while Gaza rockets fall in their neighborhood.

Could I do it better? Doubtful. I barely manage a small household without major mess-ups. Now that I'm doing it all since Ezi is mostly bed-ridden I'm finding that my ability to multitask has diminished greatly. And when Bibi claims that people are not attentive to all his accomplishments - like his amazing underground wall that is uncovering the tunnels of Gaza into Israeli settlements.

December 12, 2017

For some reason my server started downloading emails over and over again and almost blocked my computer. I've been deleting willy-nilly, feeling like Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice, and am pretty sure i deleted important stuff, but can't stop to look it all over and recycle all the deletions - thousands of them. So if you've written me over the past few days, it may be gone. i stopped for a moment to write a quick poem on facebook:

if you emailed me in the past few days,
your letter may have gone astray
something in my server went awry
and duplicated each letter three-four times.
so exhausted am i from cleaning my account,
i deleted so much mail i cannot count.

As an Israeli academic I know there are constant attempts to hack Israeli accounts and that messes me up all the time, but I'm certainly not going to hide my identity because of that.

i used to have to go to the post office all the time to pick up packages. Anything bigger than a letter was too heavy for the postman to bring, and i got a note to appear at the PO. sometimes by the time i got there the package had been sent back. The next step was the automatic package machine. i would take the note to the booth, show the note to the scanner and the door would open with my package. but the machine kept breaking down, and the system reverted to a much more primitive and successful method - the local grocer. A package arrives to our grocery next door, i get a note, and pick up my package the same day. the grocer may not get much direct profit from it, but i am sure to buy some (overpriced) fresh vegetables and bread, and oh yes, some cheese. And some chocolate. Since we were so limited in the past weeks this really saved me. And then, Ezi ordered a special wide angled lens (to take pictures of landscapes on our tours up north) but by the time it arrived, Ezi was immobile. So he called the shop where he was supposed to pick it up and it arrived the next day.. at the hardware store 2 blocks away. this too was very convenient, and i bought some paint for the doorpost of the bathroom we never finished remodeling. win win.

Did I mention that I decided to put my own translations of Amichai back on line? here. I know I am not alone in having loved Amichai and his poetry, and i published most of these translations with his warm approval. i would always send the checks directly to him even though they were small. Why I never published this as a book is probably more concerned with my laziness than the questions of rights.

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