so (3) three evenings ago,

after not feeling able to face facebook all day, I started preparing to post this “status” with its 12 ipadpics & its 21 lines there in an album but found I couldn’t do it the way I envisaged there, so here it is. [& i again invite you to read my page About me & this blogsite, updated 8 jul 14. & you're welcome to share any of it.]

with this afternoon’s warmer eveninging

after not feeling able to face facebook all day
i turn from what i cannot say of what’s not here now
to what i can see here now & ipadpic a little

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hoping to catch a little of the pinkness in the gray
in the same frame i’ve posted more than once

IMG_1198

or perhaps this is closer? ah the ipadpic loses

IMG_1200

the bright red flowering of the dying coral tree
the ultra-invasive noxious weed

IMG_1202

that flowers in winter more brilliantly & beautifully
than in this light an ipadpic can show

IMG_1203

&/but its forms can play

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such parts

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in frames of sky

IMG_1207
& tree forms leafed & bare

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& when i turn there’s the view behind me
over the roof of our house

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or a little lower
with the light in the window from nitza’s desk

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& then veer back westnorwestwards, to a lilac-backed chinese aquarelle

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with cloud calligraphy

with this afternoon’s warmer eveninging

after not feeling able to face facebook all day
i turn from what i cannot say of what’s not here now
to what i can see here now
& ipadpic a little

hoping to catch a little of the pinkness in the gray
in the same frame i’ve posted more than once
or perhaps this is closer? ah the ipadpic loses
the bright red flowering of the dying coral tree
the ultra-invasive noxious weed
that flowers in winter more brilliantly & beautifully
than in this light an ipadpic can show
&/but its forms can play
such parts
in frames of sky & tree forms leafed & bare
& when i turn there’s the view behind me
over the roof of our house
or a little lower
with the light in the window from nitza’s desk
& then i veer back westnorwestwards,
to a lilac-backed chinese aquarelle
with cloud calligraphy

so (2)

[if you're reading this from the email notification, or on the status on facebook that wordpress posted, let me recommend that you stop, & start reading it on my blogsite where if you enjoy my writing then i'm sure you'll enjoy it more. Here's the link: http://dikflantz.wordpress.com/. i also invite you to read my page About me & this blogsite, updated 140708 (= 8 july 14). & you're welcome to share all or any of it.]

so
& i look thru my recent afterdinner Padwriter emails to my PC since last week & find myself reading this — and remember that in yesterday’s post I wrote something about the majority of voters, & some thoughts in the second of these (but you need to read the first to get it) resonates with that, so i’ll post them (not without adding & changing a few things here & there).

wed 140709 8:40 pm [updated 140716]

“Visible consequences are iceberg tips, most results of actions are invisible to the doer”  – David Mitchell, number9dream

just finished this one, after first reading his first, Ghostwritten, which i found by reading a review of his latest on the guardian, really & most rewardingly had to suspend my disbelief to go with it, & now, after reading a reply of his on a talkback the guardian posted, started at last to read Yukio Mishima, his first, Spring Snow, & enthralled by the opening chapter’s story’s move into the long, moving, & detailed description of the artistic photograph of the scene, centered on an unpaired wooden cenotaph, of thousands of massed soldiers, each of them also representing more than one of the war dead. I found myself immediately connecting that poignance ( the translator’s apt word, for me at least) with my feeling with the dead & dying in the still ongoing Israel-Palestine war & those who have represented or are representing them or will represent them at services or gatherings or rallies there &/or will think alone of those of them they knew &/or cared for, of who they were, & of how & why they died, not that all who die by war have services afterwards or people representing them, & also, in the Russo-Japanese case almost all those who died by war were soldiers, still, before in World War II the world’s major powers made the killing & even the targeting of civilian populations an integral part of modern warfare…  Then I realized that what I was feeling while imagining all that this scene was suggesting to me was building on what I felt when I first read the brief chapter the Yitzhak Laor posted on Facebook today from his novel הנה אדם, a title I don’t know how he’d want to translate, if it was in biblical Hebrew it’d be Behold Adam; but in modern Israeli Hebrew it could be Here’s Adam, or Look at Adam, or Look, Adam, or Here’s a Person Adam, or Look at a Person, or Look, Man – because, apart from the biblical first man’s name, adam means ‘a person’ or ‘man’, a meaning that isn’t lost when we discover that the novel’s hero’s name is Adam. & I reread the piece, & added a brief comment to this morning’s like, & now I think I’ll try to translate that powerfully moving & cutting piece of writing that increasing build to the intensity & depth of feeling of its closing sentence.

thur 140710 8:58 pm [updated 140716]

& after reading a later par in Mishima, I think that’s what good fiction can do, let you feel so fully what a fictional character is feeling & experiencing, & as you’re feeling it you realize you’re feeling something like what someone real, not a fiction, could or would have felt in such a kind of situation & more… & what in fact can do that if not the fictional imagination? what can humanize, can open the gates of empathy that people who have evidently never opened them to others if they cannot identify them as belonging to the grouping of whatever kind that they identify with (& a part of becoming a member of a grouping, & everyone born into any human society does that to start with, is distinguishing between us and them)… How in my life reading fiction, first of all John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, opened me to the universalizing empathy that becomes a sense of solidarity with all who are oppressed anywhere, and to a socialistic vision of a more just and humane world. But could I have got to that from Steinbeck’s book if I hadn’t experienced empathic identification with so many fictional heroes (& non-heroic protagonists too) before that? for I was already an avid reader & absorber of fiction, in books, comics & films, & had been since I learned to read, & still (& more, again, in recent years), but now i can get it in so many other forms too, songs, the occasional poem, films, tv series, sometimes illuminating & sometimes recreation is enough…

& I’m thinking like if that’s what does it or can do it, how important it is to have good fiction available & accessible to children, & how that can’t ever happen wherever there’s One Book, one text, that’s sacred while all others are profane &/or prohibited if not properly subordinate to the Book as determined by its socially acknowledged interpreters, & how I was saved from that by being born to a generation already emancipated from that & by having always lived in countries where good fiction was freely available & accessible.

& i’m wondering is it only a certain kind of sensitivity, temperament, (something genetic too?) that makes it painingly obvious to some people that the occupation is wrong,  is a cancer in & of Israeli society, in & of life in Palestine, & so is returning asylum seekers to Sri Lanka or many other things the Abbott government is planning for Australia, I write here only of the two countries I feel closest to because they have been & still are so central in my life, but come on now, there’s awful shit going down right now in lots of places that lots of people we don’t know are suffering, benefiting from, enjoying, etc., etc., so what is it distinguishes us ‘leftists’, who want peace, equal rights, an end to occupation, inhumane detention, who feel compassion, solidarity & shared-humanity with the oppressed & dispossessed by an occupying power, who feel helplessly frustrated, angry, all those things that distract us from our own ongoing etc., etc. – from those who fear &/or hate &/or demonize &/or dehumanize the Other & are willing to detain, dispossess, invade, besiege, bomb, kill & wound demolish homes & fruit-bearing trees of generations of them to ‘protect’ their own survival &/or comfortable existence &/or power &/or profit? what does it take to make someone swing from ‘right’ to ‘left’? It’s easier for me to imagine someone swinging the opposite way, can imagine an increased fear, a fear increased by something personally experienced, even tho particulars don’t prove anything, but many minds can shake logic away, especially if with it comes the added benefit of suddenly & at last belonging to the majority, no longer to be smirked at as one of those goodie-goodie-goddam leftists… but what could bring someone to swing from right to left?

 

& so it goes, kurt, so it goes

so
cooking my dinner (boiled spuds, fried lambsteaks, nuked broccoli) second evening without my first dose of brandy (& i was starting to love my two or three brandies in the evening), having finally felt compelled to recant my wishful denial that the alcohol was greatly exacerbating if not actually causing the flaring & flourishing, the blotching & the often intense & barely tolerable itching all over my how many square micromillimeters of skin, now giving up that buzz as I had to give up the buzz of a joint of an evening because I just can’t smoke any more, more of my alvioli are shot than not,  if I smoke i get too quickly outofbreath. & past a moment of feeling sorry for myself i’m saying to myself well part of getting old is giving up doing things you loved to do, it’s all part of getting ready for the last giving up, & i still feel i’d much rather be here than not

then i sit down with the plate & yukio mishima’s spring snow (in engtrans of course), happy again to be at last reading this wonderfully sensitive author’s evocation of life among the nobility of pre-WWII Japan

& think this is buzz  enough, this i can do as long as i can see, & so many good books keep coming my way…

then eating & something i read reminds me of (jewishisraeli) friends on facebook saying israel’s government has to be brought down, like are they forgetting that this government represents the majority of israel’s voters, & much more than a majority of israel’s jewish voters, who make up only about 75% of all voters, so no hope  unless something changes there, & maybe also in the jewish diaspora, where still the majorities of jewish organizations support israel’s governments in their oppressive policies

for surely only when a significant majority shifts away from the government’s policies can the government & those policies change
like when the soldiers refused to fire on the people in Petrograd
because the soldiers were all of and from the people

is that what happened in South Africa? (i haven’t got a clue, wasn’t following then, haven’t tried to research it yet, if anyone can suggest something good to read about this i’d be grateful), why exactly & how did deKlerk or whoever approach Nelson Mandela, did he, in his & their name, with whatever he offered &/or asked for, acknowledge the suffering of generations caused by white supremacist rule? did he apologize, offer just compensation in addition to the equal rights that he at long last was now willing to offer, indeed  to give & to ask Mandela, in his own & his people’s name, to accept? & what was Mandela willing to accept as adequate recognition of his people’s sufferings from the apartheidist regime’s immense crimes? How, by what miracles of the human spirit, was all that turned towards a more human & more humane shared future? Not that they seem to be in great shape right now, but still, it’s a bit better, no?

but people are going thru shit
in so many places, i can’t keep thinking about that
& so it goes, kurt, so it goes

A Wonderful Woman & AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES

My maternal grandmother, Ernestyna Hermelin (née Akst)

My grandmother, Ernestyna Hermelin (née Akst

For my latest update (140708), click or hit About me & this blogsite

 

A Wonderful Woman: My Grandmother, Whose Wonderful Love I Knew in My First 3¼ Years

In my first 3¼ years I knew my grandmother’s love, and I know it has nourished & informed me through all my 78+ years so far. I have no sure memory of her, & for decades I hardly ever thought of her, until once on an ecstasy (already two decades ago) I felt I knew her love and how it sustains me. Later I looked again in the memoirs my mother wrote for me, read again how she loved me, and relearned more things about her. This portrait is the only photograph that I have of her. Sometimes when I crinkle my eyes and look at it I see her smiling happily, a smile I feel I know. Sometimes I also see my mother, myself, something in each of my three sons. Ernestyna Akst, who would become my mother’s mother, my maternal grandmother, was born in 1885 in Warsaw, and lived there until she was taken to a German concentration camp (I don’t know which, I don’t know when) and exterminated. I don’t know when this photo, which is also my only photo of any ancestor before my parents, was taken. It may be from those 3¼  years. She was the only grandparent I was close to. My father’s parents were older, and more distant. They too were exterminated by the Nazis, I don’t know how, or, where, or when.In  June 1936, when I was born, my grandmother lived alone in a small apartment. Click or hit here to continue reading this full “page”.

AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES, OR A FLY IN THE EAR

SOON THE MOON will come up, big and round, like last night, beautiful, from where the lights of the port of Akaba stretch in gleaming dotted lines towards the Saudi port whose name I don’t remember, to cast a growing sheen of beauty across the moving waters before me. I have felt closer intimacy with the moon. Lying under a eucalyptus tree on a hillside some thirty miles out of Melbourne some sixteen years ago, aged thirty‑two or so, about an hour after letting the small piece of blotting paper with the drop of LSD on it dissolve under my tongue, I saw its beams streaming directly at me, and opened my mouth to drink them in, and felt their power stirring in me, and female forms danced among the branches, inviting and inciting me to join the cosmic orgy. Until I tripped off in another direction, as now my mind does, not remaining fixed on any memory or thought, for the sound of the small waves rippling onto this stony beach, incessantly repeating yet never the same, brings me to think of other beaches, and of scenes between my many visits to so many beaches since the first time I came to a beach, a ten‑year‑old war refugee, at Repulse Bay in Hong Kong. Not only scenes come though, also thoughts: still I wonder at this inexplicable response to beauty, in sight and sound, and again I ask myself what this remembering is for, and why I have this desire still, or rather again, to share my memories and thoughts, to write at last the book or books I have wanted so many years to write, so many beginnings, so many designs, so many subjects, so many styles, things I apparently cannot communicate in conversation, nor really want to say to any one particular person though there are many people I know and probably many I don’t that I would like to write them to or for, though I could not with any certainty now tell you why. At certain times I would have said I knew why, in my prophetic phases when I believed that what I was writing was important, that it would surely change the world. And there were phases like that even before I started with the psychedelic drugs. So much to tell, so much to make sense of, if one can. All those pages at home, all those stages I’ve been through, and nothing achieved – if achievement is what counts, and if it is to be measured by products and income. The waves wash in, the waves wash out. The sea’s surface can be beautiful, and beautiful too is its feel when I swim in it, cool still in early May after the blazing heat of the sun at midday. Beautiful, yet deceptive, or treacherous: a few days ago Click or hit here to continue reading this full “page”.