The other day i heard Jonathan safran foer speaking , reading from his book “here i am” , translated in hebrew, so i read to “Hineni” , as the biblical quote Leonard cohen made into a song before he passed from this world to the world of truth , as the Jews call it.
Jonathan seemed so sad, so cynical in that novel where an earthquake destroys Israel, i was horrified to discover the plot , and thought about the image, and had realised that it is a projection of his own feeling of self destruction, earth quake, the destruction of his marriage, his family , his security but Israel, i wanted to scream, but thankfully did not, we’ll never be destroyed only we sometimes let ourselves go, i wanted to tell Jonathan, we are too cynical, too influenced by the commercial world trying to convince us that only NOW matters so we can not see the beauty in the eternity , in a sun rise, in a sun set, in the butterflie stickers that i had stuck on the window in my living room that leave a pattern of their flying shadows on the dusty wall .
Are you staying in switzerland forever? i had asked my Kurd helpers after they had finished removing every piece of furniture from my apartment.. except one desk.. YES, the head Kurd nodded his head fiercely, he was not about to fight ISIS , he had four children to feed, and he was now moving things, and organising moves, working every day the hardest i had ever seen anyone work . i wish i could have lived his life, what i had imagined a warm community life of understanding and a warm circle that protected from the cold alienating Europeans around them, i wish i could but the holidays with my Moroccian sister in law’s family, the loud discussion of food and the barbecues festivities in the park, the children playing loudly and fighting with each other as the adults eat and eat and eat, was not my cup of tea, my cup of tea was not a messy loud communal feast, it was not unlike the Swiss, but with conversation, but one can not have both, i suppose..
This was too large of an apartment , it was meant for a family, it was meant for more than one woman and a dog and so one woman and dog must move somewhere where they can feel good and yes, despite the news, despite the fact that most of the refugees are fleeing the middle east i flee to the middle east, and if anyone asks me, i can just answer without too much explaining; because of the small synagogue at the entrance to my apartment building, and the bakery around the corner and leo who makes me carrot juice and tells me how good it is not to be alone anymore in Europe as he had felt, and there are the various repair men whom i need to sort out, who to trust, who not to, and the ocean, who is always always beautiful and never the same , always changing unlike the lake, dramatically, and speaking to me in sand talk and waves, and yes, because if that is not convincing, then because i am jewish and i want to live in a country where christmas is a minority holiday , and instead of church bells there is the caller of the mosque calling for prayers, and instead of easter bunnies there are all sorts of varieties of matzohs and all sorts of Jewish food, with Hebrew lables, that i had never appreciated before , and humus is cheap, and falafel is everywhere served in a pita with a conversation and because i am jewish and i like to not be one of 0.01% and asked odd questions and blamed for the plight of the Palestinians personally, and because i just want to speak the language i grew up with, the phrases i know, the jokes, ah the many many jokes, when a day does not go by without a reason to laugh at something someone had said, and because i am jewish.