Tel Aviv Diary September 4-8, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

Tel -Aviv Diary - September 4-8, 2017 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

September 4, 2017

When I went back to the optician to complain about my new glasses, he took care of it immediately - gave me a test, re-examined the glasses, ordered new lenses immediately, and barely said a word to me. As soon as he sat down opposite Ezi, however, he began to open his heart - about the nuclear capabilities of North Korea. I went out to return some phone calls and when I came back they were still talking.

AFter we joined some friends for a beer and not a word was said about other countries - it was all about our own political problems.

September 5, 2017

The documentary series on Yugoslavia I've been watching between my fingers for the past week, is about the genocide of Serbs and Croatians. It's about the inability to set borders between two cultures when there is tension, and the necessity of learning the importance of making peace. There are moments I turn off the sound, or change the channel entirely because i can't take the terrible implications. Even though I have always known them.

September 6, 2017

Glad we got to see Florida before it is over. No - it is not funny. The earth under our feet is betraying us - perhaps because our betrayal of it. i was listening to Tom Lehrer's songs today - because the ones about bombs kept playing in my head - and suddenly his song about pollution popped out at me.

I was a dreamer once - i have a vague memory of being on the deck of the Queen Elizabeth and reacting to seeing the Statue of Liberty. Maybe because I'm reading a biography of Emma Lazarus. So much of memory is constructed.

September 7, 2017

The first draft of my yiddish book is finished. I printed everything out in large letters so that Rivka will be able to go over it and then i will send it to an editor. i think the entire effort is pretty cool, even if the results are not as polished as i would have liked.

September 8, 2017

If indeed we bombed Syrian chemical plants yesterday, I am almost proud. I know it complicates our safety here, but chemical weapons - jeepers - we have seen some of the results in our hospitals here. and I'll bet we know against whom Assad was going to use those weapons once he gets finished with his rebellious citizens, don't we? I can imagine a big fan on the Syrian border, blowing all they have at us. But of course Iran is planning to do more to us, and they are the ones involved here.

Can we function as a country when our leader is constantly under attack? I think we've been functioning okay despite our leader for years.

September 8. 2017

There are times of drought - inside and out - where nothing can sprout. And yet the Drimia always grows along the shore - at the end of summer. The last avocado of the season - opened to me - with roots and stems and leaves - bursting with anticipation - the long tendrils wrapped around the stone - relieved from their waiting - to be planted - to begin again.

Of course we're following the hurricanes, the earthquakes, the floods - Florida seems the greatest focus of attention because of the suspense. i keep thinking of the individuals I know and their struggles to escape.

Celia Merlin launched her first book of poetry today and there were at least a hundred people here. Shawn Edri organized it so beautifully it was perfect. i enjoyed reading a few of her poems.

This has been my first chance to really hear about the new school year - and while some of the stories were the usual ones, the increase in religious studies since last year is very evident and bears careful watching.


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