Today I will find out if my cancers have returned--perhaps. I am not afraid, I am curious and I am aware of the flow of life around me, the hot sun and gentle wind, Cello curled up in the shade on the corner of the veranda, workmen building steps in the back, books around me--Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Windup Girl," futuristic visions that question and yet carry within their shattered cities, the possibilities of care and concern, of hope unknown, stuttering like the steps of Emiko, or the endlessly twisting the challenges of survival that speed Hock Seng through the back allies of the Kingdom, the rumblings of the massive Megodonts who turn the wheels of the factories, the ancient made new, of new organic and inert combinations that produce their own forms of urgent "new people" questions, of courage, of nourishment, of cooperation while the old uglinesses of greed and domination bite at the heels. Thailand in the future, not New York, not London, and that alone is a light into the future. Our "topography of failure," environmentally, economically, socially, swims with life. I want to look to the stars now, to the vast regions of unknowns where what ever is human or life-filled will shape hope out of first appearing darkness. Here in Australia, we almost touched the future--when norrie mAy welby became for just a day the world's first person to be issued sex-not- specified documentation by the Australian authorities, a person without a state approved sex and still a person; however, daunted by their own courage, the same authorities rescinded their declaration, 24 hours later. So one way I face my own mortality is expanding the circle of my questions, throwing off the ballasts of "this- is- how- it- has- to- be."
Olivera has just called from Brisbane, she knows of topographies of failure as she knows of flight and the push of self re-invention.
I read also "The Classroom," by Simon Mawer, a story of modernity and hell, of bodies and glass houses, of Fascism and touch and always "The Journal of Helene Berr,"--
When I write the word Jew, I am not saying exactly what I mean, because for me that distinction does not exist; I do not feel different from other people, I will never think of myself as a member of a separate human group, and perhaps that is why I suffer so much, because I do not understand it at all. I suffer from the spectacle of human beastliness. I suffer from the sight of evil falling on humanity; but as I do not feel I belong to any particular racial, religious or human group (because such feelings always implies pride), all I have to keep me going are my inner debates and reactions, my conscience. I remember a remark Lefshetz made when we were at rue Claude-Bernard and his speeches in support of Zionism disgusted me: 'You have forgotten why you are being persecuted.' That's true.
But the Zionist ideal seems to narrow. Any exclusive grouping, whether Zionism or the hideous fanatical Germanism we are witnessing, or even chauvinism, always contains an excess of pride. I can't help it; I shall never be at ease in any such group." (December 1943)