Tel Aviv Diary June 23-27, 2020 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - June 23-27, 2020 Karen Alkalay-Gut

June 23, 2020

Social Distance for Seniors - June 2020

Oh we're so happy to meet together again!
Some of us bump elbows as if we were businessmen
Some of us stand strangely apart, our bodies
Not knowing how to move
When it comes to greeting old friends
We've kissed for fifty years
But now must show reserve.
We sit, two meters apart
The way we were told to do,
But who can hear from so far away?
We need to tune our hearing aids
Or shout "What? What?"
And we have nothing to say
Because nothing is new
Except what we’ve all seen
On our window to the world the tv.
"Wait, I have to tell you all
about the Zoom course
I've been taking every day this month.
I forgot what it's called
But it's been fascinating
Simply ... fascinating.”
And so we go on,,
Suddenly very old
Suddenly lonely
In the crowd.

And against this, this sad degeneration of some of the older people i know as a result of the corona quarantine, is the terrifying mess in the knesset. It's clear that Bibi is making outrageous demands in order to break up the coalition and bring on elections, and Ganz is treading water because if he can hold on for a year and a half he'll bring down Bibi. It's the right thing to do but he's got to get his old friends - who are now enemies - to back him up, to realize that it's the only way.

June 24, 2020

I'm at the point where I don't think I want to publish any more. Maybe just here, just this once:

Peeing in The Woods

A niche in the bushes
just wide enough
to crouch and not be seen
from the path
and be screened
from telescopes
in the village far away

Almost paradise
to be relieved
in such isolation

And a smile of relief
breaks out
on my shaded face
until I rise and discover
I have wet my shoes

June 25, 2020

intimate details.

After I left the hospital and finishing my home hospital care, i was informed by phone that I should take follow up tests in a week. i called my doctors office and asked for the tests - which go directly to the lab and the testing center. as the needle was in my arm i nonchalantly noted that the tests included a culture and crp, and she responded that no - these were simple tests. so i decided to make an appointment with the doctor and together with Ezi and asked him directly for all the relevant tests. they came back soon and annnounced that i no longer had a urinary tract infection but the tests were partial. yesterday - a month later - the final tests arrived. i don't have an STD. A woman of 75 years who has been in quarantine with her husband for 4 months...i can't stop laughing. it is a blind following of protocol and a lack of medical judgement that is the opposite of what hippocrites or maimonides would have considered.

for Orit's birthday we met at Banana Beach today and swam in the sea. Everything was glorious and perfectly proper - social distance, few people, gentle sea bathing, good hummous. As we left the beach we remarked on the quaint curiousity of turpentine brushes to clean feet lined up next to the low sinks designed to rinse the sand off one's toes. but when i got home i discovered i was trailing tar all over the house. i hadn't seen one of those brushes for years, but then i hadn't seen tar on my feet for years. what new (or renewed) pollution have we discovered?

June 26, 2020

here's the zoom for tomorrow

June 27, 2020

With all the important things that happened today, one of them was the event of 100 thousand poets video. Every poem was absolutely on the mark. But as i watched the amazing performances I couldn't help but remember protesting the same things in the 1960's. and so i decided that my poem would not be a political cry for change, but that little poem I posted a few days ago about how people are affected by corona. they are the kinds of poems that make no splash, create no echo, but maybe make people a little more aware of the humanity of the other.

If you watch the whole video you may notice how exhausted I am - yes. the upturn in corona cases here has had a devastating effect on me. i didn't go with Ezi for his MRI today, and i probably won't go with him to Ichilov tomorrow. i breaks my heart that i can't do good for anyone.

Well, that's totally wrong. I've written 2 reports for doctoral sstudents today and a little addition for Anam's book of her 8 months in Israel:
The first step to joining hands is meeting face to face. Anam’s visit to Israel was not only enlightening for her, but also for us, enabling us to see ourselves through her eyes. Wishing to help her see what she wanted to see we discovered ourselves some places we rarely visit and never examined such as the experience of numerous Christian sites along the Sea of Galilee or the patient but carefully protected communities along the Gaza border. Her visit also allowed us to reconnect with authors who were old friends and she elicited from them ideas and opinions that we had not heard, enforcing the truth that we need someone to far away in order to learn about what is going on next door. We failed to make a connection with some of my friends who were Moslem writers, and I worried that they were unwilling to cooperate, such as Farouk Muassi, but yesterday I was informed that his silence was due to illness and he just passed away (Allah Yerchamu). Her research here was not only enlightening for her but extremely helpful for us!

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