One of the best ways to get back to writing is spending 2-6 hours roaming the internet reading stupid short articles about Melania and Baron and looking at pictures of Michelle O. when she was in high school and then going to bed feeling like you are wasting your life on what your ex-husband would call narashkeit. At 6 a.m. you have a dream that while you are walking down a calm street four men drive up to you in a car and ask for directions, but before you can give them, one man takes out a knife with a silver blade –maybe it is a letter opener – and just as he lifts his arm over your chest, aiming for your heart, you wake up and say to yourself, I better submit my book right away.
Ah Spring, when sicknesses vanish, at least for a month, and you have new energy to direct towards achieving goals you once set or re-set every season. Yes, I will write a new synopsis for the old-new memoir. Yes, I will write a 250-word query letter. Yes, I will sign up for a 2-day improv workshop at the home of Vertigo Dance Co. in beautiful Kibbutz HaLamed Hey, a place I’ve never been. Yes, I will carry my almost two-year old grandson down the stairs without pain. Yes, I will get back on my bike and dive into the treacherous streets of Tel Aviv, each car a dragon, each rider a shark.
Summer’s humidity is still a few months away. I have managed to forget how awful it is just as one forgets the pain of childbirth. Now the air, though full of dust, is comfortable, demanding layers of clothing that can be shed or added as the moment demands. My floors are clean, thanks to my vacuuming every day. What a difference cleanliness makes!
Geraniums bloom in other people’s flower boxes along Arlozorov and on Be’eri, my street, one purple iris is poking its crown through the dirt of a flower pot. Soon my son will be forty-two and my grandson two.
I am growing faith in growing old. As long as I don’t fall, slip, faint or get stabbed by the man in my dream; as long as the Prime Minister does not lock me up for boycotting eggs from Itamar and the Chief Rabbi does not de-Jew me for being born Reform and the Police Chief does not imprison me for supporting Breaking the Silence and I do not become immobilized from guilt about how the IDF herds Palestinians like cattle through the checkpoints and how Israel strangles and starves the people in Gaza, all legally, and how my country steals land, all legally, and empties the land of The Other, just like America emptied the land of what we called Indians, methodically, if I can overcome this guilt and figure out how to live with these facts, then all will be, as the Hebrew teachers say, בסדר b’seder, in order.