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Tuesday, October 21, 2003

"Be Realistic"

Well, I assume by now everybody has left the class, so I can speak my mind silently and no one will cry, "Fire!"



Ok, but what do I think?

The problem is, I will know it only when I hear it with my own ears, so whispering won't do.



I'm ready! No one is here so what am I to be afraid of?



So, Corinna, you seem to imagine you're talking to the wall.

Oh, may I digress?



Of course, get it into your head, no one is listening.

So here is the digression:



Someone, (was it Bush? Bin Laden? Peres? Martin Luther King? Jesus? Moses.

No, not Moses, he saw the place only from the top of that mountain).



Anyway S/HE came to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem the Holiest, and asked the host, "What are all those people doing here?"



"They're praying. You may pray as well. Say your wish."



"God," said S/HE, "please grant the people much health."



A booming voice thundered: "Granted!"

"God, oh God, Please kindly grant the people riches and happiness."



"Granted."

"God allmighty, do grant the people peace and no more wars, please do!"



Silence.



Then came the final answer:



"DON'T YOU SEE YOU'RE TALKING TO THE WALL?!"



So, who were you people been talking to before you retired to look into your refrigerators?



Oh, another digression. Hear this story: (Corinna! It's turning into a post this semi-comment).(So what. No one is listening, why not have some fun).



It's past midnight in Tel Aviv...



(Oh, forgot the story, you sidetracked me, C.)



Here in the dark, I'm whistling. If I lose hope...



Oh, now I remember:



A few years ago I was on a train heading from Hamburg to Amsterdam. Two young couples were with me in the cabin, sitting opposite each other and leading a lively happy conversation.



"What language are you speaking?"



"Oh," they tell me, "we talk Dutch and they talk German, but we understand each other perfectly well."



I remembered so well that such a conversation couldn't even have been imagined fifty something years ago.



I hold on to this memory and many similar others. Here in the darkness, if we lose hold of this ray of hope, evasive as it might seem nowadays, then what future am I entering?



There are two major issues:



1. What is the present reality?

Grim, for sure, we all agree.



2. Is it a constant?

Here the opinions and attitudes differ.

If I'll get to consider it a constant, as some "realists" claim, then there is no choice but live as the Stone Age people.



Whenever I talk to Anissah Darwish, the Palestinian poetess in Ramallah (and one of the participants in my book of conversations with international women writers on Childhood in times of upheaval, Once She Was a Child), she says,



"Yah Corinna, I wish you knew Arabic and understood my words."

"I can feel them."



And she says, "Yes, I know you can and do."

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