Tel Aviv Diary September 14-19, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - September 20-25, 2016 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 20, 2016

We are back in the time of terrorism. Don't go here, don't go there. Suspect strangers. Get ready for war practice today. The siren sounds at 11 and we run down to the shelter, see what is missing in the shelter, what needs to be done to save our lives in an attack. What fun. Because Ezi is sick and I may be coming down with it, we are resting with the TV watching National Geographic Wild, and the challenges of survival are much harder than we want to admit. I complain about the complications of existence but even ostriches have harder lives than we do.

September 21, 2016

i'm working on a number of projects this week -
1.the evening on the 24th at the Little Prince Book Store of 100t poets for change
2. clarifying my website (at last)
3. arranging a memorial evening for Naim Araidi in Mughrar. 4. Writing a letter of recommendation
5. sending a proposal for a dramatic project on clothes to theater directors.
6. to figure out how I arrange for insurance to take care of me in my old age now that the government has ordered cancellation of collective insurance policies. As an old person no insurance company will now take me, and I will be losing all the money I put into insurance for nursing assistance. September 22, 2016

Okay Netanyahu won me over. He spoke in the UN as if he was really into the idea of peace. if only he acts on his speech.

Seriously, he's got the best speechwriters of all the government leaders. it's got all the statistics about how wonderful and friendly Israel is, and how that nasty Arab propaganda takes away the hope of all the next generations and turns them into terrorists. it sounds good. a few little inconsistencies: Netanyahu accuses Abbas of living in the past when five minutes before he talked about the historical right of Jews to live in Israel. I always fall for Bibi and then realize its all about speech writers.

September 23, 2016

Looks like the reading on Saturday night at the Little Prince Bookstore is going to be a hit, but i'm reading last and there will not be time for me to read Darwish's poem"Note:I am Arab,", my poem "Note: I am a Jew," and a poem by Naim Araidi, "And Many Nations." It's amazing that the politization of the criticism by the Minister of Culture has brought me to an emphasis on politics in poetry I would probably not thought of before. But there may not be time. Never mind. It will be good.

And the memorial service for Naim will be in Mughrar on the 19th of October, the day after my root canal. It's going to be intense and sad.

And I couldn't finish the dramatic proposal, But letters of recommendation are more important. And it doesn't look like there is more to be done about the government's cohoots with the insurance companies. So I've spent a lot of this afternoon revising this website.

Actually the afternoon began with the hairdresser, and the continued on to lunch at a nearby cafe, where we were surprised by a sudden cloudburst. It was brief, intense, and wonderfully welcome, but by the time we left the sidewalks were dry. The ground too, was so thirsty it showed no signs of rain.

September 25, 2016

the September 24th event in Tel Aviv was kind of remarkable - a little political, a little personal, a little social. Me I like it all. And there was a great crowd. Maybe I'll tube the film soon. right now we're busy with a new router and a new server. this morning, after gym, I sat with a student from Poland who is researching Rumanian writing in Israel. Nobody in Israel researches foreign language writing here. And there are all these writers here who write in another language and no one pays attention to them. But then, there are few writers who get attention altogether. We were talking about Joseph Heller who has in my opinion much more to say than Phillip Roth, for example, and how he is almost unknown here.

My big problem right now is not the silliness of Bibi, nor the presidential debates, but the fact that my temporary bridge seems to have come loose and hurts. Many years ago a good friend of mine, who was something of a celebrity in New York, found himself at a formal dinner sitting next to a very snobbish looking lady. the people around him were engaged in conversation and he had no alternative but to open a subject with her, and he began: "So how are your teeth?" To his surprise she turned to him and began to describe her woes in detail. There are times when I recall this story = not because of my teeth but because it always emerges that people always connect on the most personal level. Sharing your day to day problems usually turns out to be the way to find connections. i love it. At a bat mitzvah yesterday i ran into a woman i had not seen in years, a relative of a relative, and we got into a deep discussion of handbags for people with back problems. it got me through the depression of idle chatter. i do this a lot, but i just realized that i don't know any gossip about any of the family.

September 27, 2016

Another day another dentist. The periodontist tried to do a CT but something went wrong with the machine. so I came back two hours later and the machine was broken.

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