Tel Aviv Diary - November 8-12, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary - November 8, 2013 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

November 8, 2013

Suitcase disappeared somewhere between Dulles and Logan last night. Someone between here and there is wearing my underwear.

It's the deodorant that really bothers me.

November 9, 2013

Jewish film festival everywhere we go. it's like being back in Israel. No it isn't. the whole concept of being Jewish in the U.S. is different, as is the entire concept of identification. Like Malinowski's "Tiwi" who didn't have a name before they encountered outsiders. Then their word for "We" became the name of the tribe.

Even the Jewish film we saw tonight seemed strange to me - it was about Jews and socialism but its only mention of Israel was of it as a cause to promote (Israel-Palestine relationships). Hello? As much as I believe in American-Jewish socialism and was educated in Workmens' Circle schools, Israel was the place where socialism came to life. Even though it has been ruined in recent years by greed and capitalism, it is where ideological discussions about everyday life began.

Any way when i went to socialist camps we had communal jobs, like building a camp toilet, deciding what the rules are for lights out, punishing people who broke laws (like hoarding candy) etc. it was about working together for a goal.

It was too cold to really shoot the grave of Longfellow and we were with the family who weren't really interested in him - so the film we did was of a great poet, historian, linguist, anthropologist, and sociologist whose life was painful and public.

Not too much is known of his work nowadays and I would be happy if schools reclaimed him as the worthy poet he was,

The stuff will be on youtube soon. Poe and Whitman and Ginsberg and Longfellow and Crapsey.

But you will have to wait until i get a good night's sleep in my own bed,

the real influence in my life from now will be Sargent, John Singer Sargent and his attention to the detail that creates a whole.

November 10, 2013

Oh dear oh dear. Because of the cold and rain, we stopped our day to take a nap and turned on the tv - where we zapped on a program about Israel. Turned out it was a right-wing Christian program called "Israel Now" about how we have to stop talking about a two-state solution because it only causes disruption.

No wonder American Jews are anti-Israel.

November 12, 2013

We raced from the airport in Rochester to meet friends at a restaurant, and by the time the meal was finished our black car was covered with snow. There go my plans for Adelaide Crapsey's grave tomorrow. And anyway i think the coffee i drank was caffeinated and spiked which cancels out my plans for sleeping tonight as well.

November 12, 2013

You can never go home again. In my memory snow never began before Thanksgiving, but it's covering the ground today. Our filming at Adelaide Crapsey's grave was particularly poignant because her anonymity was reinforced by the crisp white snow falling down in thick flakes. And tonight we met some of my old high school buddies - almost all of whom it seem to have been in Israel at some point.... -

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

write me

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home