Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

The rains finally came--torrents, crashing thunder, our little Cello raging back at the house shaking bolts, and then taking final refuge under the covers; La Professora was his refuge as she is mine. New York appears to me now as almost weather less except if you are poor.

I was telling a friend today while we were eating breakfast at Brunetti's in Carlton, my friend Patty who helped me set up this journal, that I know perhaps readers expect me to write about sex or my life here--a sort of travelogue and I am pulled by the blue green of the seas, by the flat expanses of vast plains, gum trees so economically dotting the horizon, their layered blue green canopies letting the blazing blue light in or catching the red glazed sunsets in their wide spread arms or the forest gums, each a tapestry of browns and ochres, grays and yellows, barks hanging in strips, or rolling off the trunks in long white sheets--the paperbark trees that line our street--the thump of the Kangaroo's massive tail as the creature took fright at my passage through its territory and in long jumps made its way over the Nicholson River as Cello huddled between my feet. I have seen things here--the red monolith of Uluru, the totem of a people, rising from the desert lands outside of Alice Springs, a living mammoth form of red pitted rock, telling its people's creation stories; the tourists who insist on climbing on its flanks even as its Aboriginal custodians plead with them not to--this is the confusion of desires that we do so badly at. Yes, I want to tell you all of this but other things have happened this week as a result of our participation in the demonstration a few days ago. One I can share with you--there is a website called S.H.I.T.--Self-Hating and Israeli-Threatening Jews--its opening image is of a toilet bowl and superimposed over it are a few names of Jewish dissenters, those who have dared to write, to speak, to criticize, to question the wisdom of the Occupation and all it had engendered--the implication is we need to flush away these people--they are human waste. A friend had prepared me, you are on the list, she said. And with over 7,000 other Jewish thinkers and writers there I was. I ask you to visit this website--to decide for yourselves is this the discourse you want. There are no names taking responsibility for this list, no way to respond--I am honored to be on this list, in the company of so many who are struggling to break the prevailing national narratives of both Israel and the United States in the Middle East--a list of Jewish questioners, what a novel idea--the yellow D for dissent--we are the traitors who must be flushed away--yes, there are blue blue seas here, and blue-stone cobbled lane ways that in the closing years of the 19th century were used for night soil collectors.

No comments: