Tel Aviv Diary May 5-9, 2019 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary May 5-9, 2019

Karen Alkalay-Gut

May 5-9, 2019

May 5, 2019

Busy days. 600 plus rockets on those places I described last week. Just as we were getting into the mood of Memorial Day the Gazans got mad at us because the Qatari money didn't arrive. i don't know who to blame - but it is clear we left ourselves open to this. So many important things happening, so many people unprotected (no - we don't have a 'safe room' either) so much to lose now if Tel Aviv is bombed. Ezi says we're moving the Independence Day air show from Tel Aviv to Gaza. The fireworks will be there also... We've been celebrating birthdays and holidays but people are dying - people driving in their cars, people lying in the oncological ward in hospital. i pray it will stop but many Israelis are dead set against letting the Gazans continue - the money-runner for Iran-Gaza was killed today, and there are other key people whose absence would make negotiations easier. i can't believe i'm agreeing to the elimination of human beings, but the kind of random killing of rockets falling on kindergartens, etc. can't be allowed to continue.

my wonderful computer is about to break down. i've been feeling for days that the cover of my asus doesn't close properly and it will break for the third time even though i have kept it on a flat serface since the last time it came back from the repair shop after it fell apart before my eyes .this is a minor issue considering the fact that we are primed to wake up and run to the shelter in the middle of the night. nevertheless it doesn't feel good.

are we up to 700 rockets yet?

May 6, 2019

Put on pajamas. relax. no rockets today. relax. get ready for memorial day. then independence day. then eurovision. then shvuout. then bloomsday. . it's interesting around here. it's always interesting around here. This is from the end of the Gulf War:


The floor of the orchard is green,
orange and yellow. All the fruit
that wasn't picked
in time, victims
of the war, slowly returns
to the earth emitting
an acrid smell like all
the days we have wasted
waiting for missiles
to shatter our windows
our lives.

May 7, 2019

we decided that this asus isn't worth fixing again. (vivobook s14) and there is enough evidence on the web that i'm not the only one who suffers from the same problem in this model. so ...we bought another asus. it was delivered within the hour, as is they knew we'd wake up and realize we'd made a mistake. the setting up, including an hour of exercise and a wonderful round of babysitting, has kept me from reading the papers and listening to the news. so it almost seems like a normal day in a normal country. Oh yes, and beginning to prepare for the bloomsday event.

totally normal.

except this is the evening of memorial day.

Nordau Avenue Trees

All are the same sort,
But weeping fig trees grow
In very different ways
As if each one
Had its personal set

Of sorrows and joys
And resolved each challenge
By bending this way and that
Twisting into the need, the pain,
Changing its silhouette
Just to stay alive.

No wonder they survive
in Tel Aviv

May 8, 2019

I thought just to put this Yiddish translation of a poem of Rachel Blaustein, our most important poet, who died in 1931, on my page, and then link to a translation in English. But I could find no translation, so I drafted something to give you an idea of the poem. it's my gift for Independence Day.

I did not sing of thee my country,
And I did not praise your name
with heroic deeds
In many battles.
Only my hands planted a tree
By the quiet banks of the Jordan
I only blazed a trail
On the face of the fields

. So it is very meager,
I know that, motherland,
It is very meager,
This gift of your child.
Only the clarion call of joy,
On the day the light ascends
Only secret tears
Of your need

it's only a draft. i'll make it into a real poem tomorrow.

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