Tel Aviv Diary - July 25-29, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary -July 30-August 3, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

July 30, 2019

if everyone is abroad on vacation, why are the streets so crowded? people are killing each other on the roads and we get caught in jams almost every afternoon if we go out. And outside our window the tractors and shovels bring up the dust, dirt, and fragments of concrete to our apartment. Today they have moved on a bit, not because they have finished their work but because they've encountered some complications with pipes and trees - so the dirt remains. And our neighbor across the street has just begun renovations: the scaffolding is just across from my window and a new set of workers now seem to be part of my family. Thank goodness I'm going away on friday for a few days. this entire summer has been full of the beep beep beep of tractors reversing, bulldozers blocking the street and screaming in Arabic. my only pleasure has been the moralizing tv all summer and repetition of trivial local news.

of course i lie for effect. it just amazes me that we're bombing iranian weapons going through iraq and we barely mention it. we have a new anti missile system that's about 80% effective and we barely mention it.

July 31, 2019

the anger and aggression we've been talking about here - clearly a function of the sense of an absence of leadership - seems to be escalating. Senseless violence directed against neighbors may be the result of the heat as well, but i have the feeling of lawlessness, and a pretense of leadership. William Carlos Williams in "To Elsie" begins his poem "The pure products of America go crazy" he beings the poem, but end with the line "No one to witness and adjust, No one to drive the car." In a world where there is no responsible leadership, the simple folk have not direction and no sense of right and wrong.

But all this nastiness on my part indicates my need for a vacation - and that's what i'm going to have. Get ready.

August 1, 2019

an old friend's funeral today made me look back at all the funerals of the past months. Fewer elegies and more direct emotion. no one is a hero, but all are deeply loved. although i'd seen her rarely in the past years, i never thought of the fact she had no family except her sister and her husband and children. she was anonymous. a nurse whose patients praised her, she always helped others but kept her distance, kept her secrets. and now the secrets have gone with her to her grave. i'm sure her children have no idea of what happened to her in the holocaust. as far as i ever knew, she had no number on her arm, and with her blue eyes and blond hair she didn't look Jewish...

August 3, 2019

Like many Israelis we took off from Ben Gurion to foreign lands. But unlike them, we found ourselves in a plane full of kids with emotional and/or physical difficulties. it was quiet and uneventful. but it was late. very late. and when we get to the rental in Rome, something was wrong with the computers, so we wound up leaving our house at 7 am and arriiving in Cantagrillo - without a good meal - at 10:00 p.m. i kept waking up planning a shopping list for the morning and wishing i had made better plans, but the place in Cantagrillo is very low key and comfortable, and easy to relax in.


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