Tel Aviv Diary September 10-14, 2018 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel Aviv Diary September 10-14, 2018

Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 10, 2018

i yielded to the wine and toasted in the new year. and now i will probably not sleep all night. why do i let myself be talked into things that are not good for me? i also ate far too much food and my heartburn will keep me company as i read the newspapers throughout the night.

It has indeed been a day of holiday and friends. In the old days we used to discuss politics for half of the evening, but now there is nothing to discuss. it's all out of our hands when Bibi is in charge.

September 11, 2018

Sailing from Herzlia to Jaffa on this beautiful day, I coudn't keep my eyes from the shoreline. Even though we got up to 8 knots an hour it seemed that Tel Aviv is endless - a miracle. We didn't run out of off-color jokes for the first two hours, but on the way back we sat back and enjoyed the view. Away from the fires, the fire bombs, the threats from the north and south. it is hard to believe the genocide only a few hours away. Breathing the wonderful sea air, how could i imagine the chlorine gas in Idlib?

Did I ever mention that I really like Roger Waters. I like his motives, but i really think his humanity has been kidnapped and used. The situation in Gaza gets worse and worse and instead of raising consciousness to find a replacement for UNRA he's wasting his efforts on getting singers not to come here. How silly to prevent our education and our potential for dialogue and isolate us when the more artists who come here the more we can learn from each other?

September 11, 2018

I'm late. I collapsed after Ezi's last round of ritux - not because of ritux but because i left for an hour to go shopping and wound up going through almost every shop in the tiny mall without buying anything. shopping is so exhausting...

September 13, 2018

Don't go tonight! Tonight's show got cancelled! For the first time in my life, after incredibly complex planning, the show didn't go on for me. The theater manager at Beit Mazia in Jerusalem called me in the morning and said that Hava Pinchas Cohen who was supposed to appear with me got mixed up with the dates, came yesterday, and flew away today. The other woman, who was supposed to organize the whole thing, was totally unavailable - no responses for days. "I can do it alone," I said - because i had worked on a multimedia power point that was at least an hour long and I was still working on cutting it down to half an hour. But either he didn't believe me or he didn't know who I was or he was embarrassed to tell me how few tickets he'd sold, so after an hour he called to cancel the evening. i had to spend another hour telling the people i'd invited not to come. Very embarrassing.

Yes, I deserve something good to happen.

And it happened. Even though I found the news so depressing I had to turn it off, as soon as i turned off the noise from outside and went through my day I realized that much good had been accomplished. I'd helped a few students through their technical and emotional woes, paid a consolation call to a neighbor, visited by phone with two friends who needed cheering up, and relived some important yet forgotten memories. So what if I couldn't find anything i was looking for and ran around in circles the rest of the time.

One of the friends who came back to me in my mind was a guy who drank Kool-Aid with Jim Jones in Jonestown in 1978. When we went to college together over a dozen years before, we believed in a new era of discovery. At least I see that in retrospect. We were opening our minds in ways i had never imagined. In his last words he wrote “Let all the books be opened,” and i have long thought we had done that. But now, even as the books seem to be closing again, I feel like there is something different about many of us - something more open, more fine. Maybe it's because Yom Kippur is nearing, or i'm just getting all shmaltzy because i'll be seeing some of my old buddies very soon in the US, but when I think of what we came through together and can understand and forgive one another, it's a pretty amazing thing. it's good to be able to go over the past and say, yes, we did some harmful things to each other, but we're still here and we're trying to help each other get through to that point where we feel at peace with our lives. And it's good. so a good thing has happened today.

September 14, 2018

I know I'm supposed to take a little time out after a workout but I really wanted to see Rivka Bassman before I left so I raced out to herzlia. it is most amazing to see a woman in her nineties in complete control of a sense of poetry, and a fierce desire to save Yiddish at any cost, and I enjoyed seeing her immensely. however, I came home with my tongue hanging out like a dog and a backache I've forgotten could be so painful.

to diary

write me