Saturday, January 29, 2005

Dam Eretz

WARNING: dream is a bit graphic

I dreamt of Uzi tonight, again. That's not news, I do every single night. Of him, the wave, the debris. I can't always remember it and when I do not it feels worse. It’s always been like this w my bad dreams.

In the dream we were somewhere dark and w not a lot of space so we were sort of sitting next to each other hunching over, especially him. He was telling me, in English, that there had been many survivors beneath the rubble.

- But how did they survive?
- They could breathe bcs the falling buildings created air pockets.
- Yes but how could they survive? What did they eat, how could they go so long without water?
- They ate the bodies of the dead, there was still blood in them, some of them survived for 12 days.
- But you’ve been gone for almost 5 weeks, what about you???
[And where are they now?]
- Well, I don’t know…

And then I woke up. Tig, Tig… THAT’S NOT CLEAR ENOUGH IS IT! If you don’t know how the hell will I??? And forget abt the physiological impossibility of it all in a hot, HOT place.



After waking up I always feel disconnected, sluggish. Comes from not sleeping well I suppose. So I sat on the sofa installing my new printer, and took a look at the telly (telly is always on unless I need to memorise by the gallon, I’m a tellyholic and proudly so).

Funny how you know some things. I caught a glimpse of a man, in profile, dark pants, white t-shirt, aiming a gun. I knew he was Israeli security. I KNEW. It took me less than a second and then I was shocked bcs he was, indeed, Israeli security and how did I know that? They are so very identifiable, w their dark glasses, and t-shirt, and button-up shirt over it, unbuttoned (so they can draw their gun w ease, see). But there were no sunglasses, no button-up shirt, I just knew.

Lisa’s posts have been upsetting me. Oh I will read them, I can’t help myself, I am in awe of her capability to so accurately describe how it was then, how we all felt this almost paralysing and so liberating hope, how we were absolutely unprepared to see the Intifada begin, how we would never EVER have believed it could happen in the first place and certainly not that it would have lasted this long. We were getting there we thought, we truly did. And we were grateful, we rejoiced in it. Noorster talks abt it in a very poignant way as well, we could NOT have seen it coming and I still feel betrayed. I think we all do. How could we not, my God.

For me, and Boulder has it spot on, it IS a tainted love now. Ever since I first set foot in Israel everything’s changed. I cannot tell you how I have longed to be back. I have been away for almost 3 and a half years and not a day went by that I didn’t want to be back if only for a little while, that I didn’t hunger for it, ached for it. I used to leave comments on Lisa and Squarepeg’s blogs telling them to stop making me homesick, stop arranging meetings BEFORE MY VERY EYES, the twats!

This was how it once was:

I smoke my last israeli cigarrette.

I remember.

Running in the Old City.
Where the Stone breathes
And cries
And mourns.
Where the forehead rested upon the Stone,
The palms caressed the Stone,
And I breathed
And cried
And mourned with it.
Soft, praying, legitimate voices,
Long, dark, legitimate skirts swaying in the cold night.
But davening were my jeans,
Ancient was my soul,
Biblical the air.

And Home is there.
Where the prayer flickers with the candle.


I wrote this on the 16th January 1996, my epiphany, the night I really understood what the Kotel was all about and who I was. I felt it, I KNEW. It’s gone now.

When I say I hate what this blog became it’s bcs there’s all this death in it now. And I was unprepared for it. It’s not just Uzi I’ll have to mourn some day, it’s my whole life in Israel, past and future, my relationship to it. More than anything else, my Israeli experience was a kibbutz one. I still see Israel through the eyes of a kibbutznik, that was my first language I suppose. And the kibbutz is him, every part of it, my life in Israel is intertwined with his and his lack of life has robbed me of my footing. I do not know how to cherish Israel with him gone. I do not know how to arrange the memories in a way that will not eat me alive. I do not know how to go back with him gone. When I wrote the Just DON’T talk to me!!! post, it was him and Lila I was thinking of (it’s always possible for Israelis to just hop over to Sinai for a few days on short notice). And Israel without any of them isn’t a possiblity. It just isn’t.

And yet I carry Israel with me everywhere I go. I don’t hunger for it anymore, in fact, the thought of going back nauseates me a bit, but I carry it within me. En li eretz acheret. It courses through my veins and there isn’t a thing I can do about it.

Dam eretz. Blood of the nation.



At 29/1/05 17:18, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Israel has never left me. It haunts me in my dreams, lingers in my thoughts. It is always in the back of my mind.

At 29/1/05 17:31, Blogger Noorster said...

I've always thought of Israel as an infection. Like herpes. You have fun once (go to/live in Israel). Then the painful bit (in this case the painful longing) just keeps coming back. And there's no cure.

At 30/1/05 01:02, Blogger Savtadotty said...

I only you could mourn Uzi just for being himself, not for his representing Israel.

I think I understand what happened to you, though. When I moved to Israel the first Intifada had just started. Americans who didn't understand would say, "Why are you moving to such a dangerous place?" I would reply "In New York I can be killed just for my purse. If I'm going to be killed, I'd rather it be for being something (a Jew) than for having something (e.g. a Rolex watch)."

At 30/1/05 01:43, Blogger The Lioness said...

It's not that he represents it, it's that he is part of it and everything is changed. I cannot separate what is together.


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