Saturday, August 31, 2013

Feeling my way towards a poem - bird on a wing, of Thee I sing

I saw a National Geographic article by Jonathan Franzen on the way songbirds ( to my mind beautiful and largely harmless creatures) are snared shot caged blinded trapped and generally maimed and killed in their millions as they migrate across Europe and Arabia on their way to Africa.

There were several photographs of delicate limbs broken by traps, of the very symbols of freedom, wings in flight, glued helplessly to a twig coated with lime. Besides the theological conundrum this always evokes for me, as do most acts of seemingly wanton destruction (and see my previous post), I needed to try and process the not unfamiliar feelings and responses these pictures evoked. (Pictures courtesy of National Geographic and David Guttenfelder)

Here is one poemlet that came up:

Its only a bird
trapped in a snare
that fills my heart
with bleak despair

but then I start looking for a redemptive way of framing what seems like the end of joy, the cutting down of song, and the human in all its mad destructive aggressive and indifferent nakedness, the human as angel of death and deliverer of suffering, then my poemlets take a different direction: And I am powerless to halt or change all this that goes on before me, after me, beyond my reach. So how does a good G-d allow this? My angles of attack are

a) what is this this? I have no access to the experience of these birds, it is all conjecture and assumption but, if common sense empathy supports the idea that there is pain as I know and dread pain then

b) the pain in those pictures is already past, gone, and as Byron Katie says "the great thing about suffering is that its always in the past" (unless I keep on dragging it back into the present)

c) the hope that pain and suffering are the birthpangs into some great freedom beyond name and form, a birth into invulnerability and eternity. (And I refer you, tangenitally, to David Sedaris's beautiful short piece "the squirell and the chipmunk" which awakens in the heart that great longing for Avinu shebashamayim, tzur Yisrael ve goaloh,  for the rock from which we are hewed.)

I saw a bird that flew
that flew  
I saw its wings ensnared
with glue
I hope by then it knew
it knew
(may this be true)
the spark of life


I saw a bird that flew
that flew  
I saw its wings ensnared
with glue
I hope that then it knew
it knew
that IT was only passing through
may this be true
be true
be true


A bird that soared and sung and flew
was trapped on a twig smeared with glue
I'd feel much better if I knew
that some indweller just passing through
this world of name and form

But here is Hatikva...the hope: a man using his spittle to clean a rescued bird


Notes towards...

then there was the falcoln whose eyes were sown up and flew off blind:

they took away your flight
they took away your sight

The G-d Theorem

If it is a given that

a) G-d is everything (in Hebrew ayn od milvado)


b) that G-d is good (Ayl rachum vechanun, olam shel chesedyibaneh)

the it follows that every thing that appears to me to be "bad" - for example

sex trafficking
domestic violence
child neglect
cancer and various degenerative diseases
debeaked chickens kept in A4 sized cages in which they cannot move
the human capacity for indifference and disassociation
song birds caught in traps
the Holocauast and prior (the Armenian) and subsequent genocides

is not ultimately bad, and not ultimately real, because they too are are a manifestation of G-d, so in some way they are His/Her angels, His/Her messengers. And the message I must suppose they bring ultimately is no matter how fiercely I cling to my name and form, to tidying up my bedroom, as Mooji puts it, in the end I will be pried loose by chesed to realise that I am that all encompassing being that does not die and is not born.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Essence of Adolescence: At The Rugby Game

Click on the images to enlarge

In The Production Office

For those who have worked in what insiders refer to as "the industry" (said in a knowing and sophisticated insiderish tone of simultaneous deprecation and yet enormous we=know-how-special-we are) here is a small attempt at humour

Muddy(ing the) Waters

Why doesn't Mr Roger Waters take on a more difficult and intractable assignments like Darfur, like the Congo, like Chechnya, like Tibet where Han Chinese have displaced and replaced Tibetans, or Xinjiang province where the same thing is happening with Uighurs, or perhaps become a spokesperson for the Kurds struggle for autonomy, ...all of these protracted issues have quantitatively involved far greater loss of life and liberty than in the disputed it because Israel is a soft and easy target, and you're guaranteed an instant crowd, or is it because Waters was raised and lives and breaths in a cultural milieu where Jews are always guilty of something, and if no crime of suitable proportions can readily be found then one must be manufactured?

I think Israelis and Palestinians have a better chance of reaching an enduring compromise without Mr Rogers muddying the waters...and that a brave new world can not be built on the mother of all prejudices

It's not every day that a supermodel takes on a rock legend. But today, Bar Refaeli told Roger Waters if he's going to boycott Israel, he'd better take her picture out of his concert art.


Erdogan's Song:

"How can I stop them looking at me
how can I get away from accountability
how can I distract from my own country's inequity
I need someone to blame
I need someone to shame
quick: call out a name...

26 Palestinian Freedom Fighters released

The 26 include Abu-Musa Salam Ali Atia of Fatah, who murdered Holocaust survivor Isaac Rotenberg in a Petah Tikvah construction site in 1994. Rotenberg’s family perished in the Sobibor extermination camp during World War II. Rotenberg escaped and joined the partisans fighting the Nazis in the forests of Eastern Europe. He arrived in Israel in 1947, joined the IDF and fought in Israel’s Independence War on the Lebanese front.
A plasterer by trade, Rotenberg was attacked by Abu Musa and an accomplice at a construction site where all three men worked in March 1994. He sustained repeated blows to the neck with axes. His wounds induced a coma, and he died two days after the attack. He was survived by his brother and sister, who were also survivors of Sobibor, and by a wife and two children. Rotenberg was 67 when he died.
Rotenberg wasn’t the oldest victim of the prisoners who made it onto the list Sunday. Fatah member Ra’ai Ibrahim Salam Ali was jailed in 1994 for the murder of 79-year-old Moris Eisenstatt. Eisenstatt was killed with ax blows to the head while he sat on a public Kfar Saba bench reading a book.
Israelis hold up pictures of their children killed by Palestinians released between 13-15 August 2013. A letter issued by the Palestinian foreign ministry urged Palestinian ambassadors to stress among international diplomats that the long-serving prisoners were not terrorists, but “freedom fighters.”

Another prisoner, Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mugdad, also of Fatah, was imprisoned in 1993 for killing 72-year-old Sirens Hotel security guard Israel Tenenbaum by beating him in the head with a steel rod.
According to Almagor, the Poland-born Tenenbaum had immigrated to Israel in 1957, at age 36, and settled in Moshav Ein Vered. He was an agricultural worker on the moshav, but was working as a night watchman at the hotel in 1993. Tenenbaum was 72 at the time of his death. He was survived by a wife, two children and four grandchildren.
Two of the prisoners, Abu Satta Ahmad Sa’id Aladdin and Abu Sita Talab Mahmad Ayman, were imprisoned in 1994 for the murder of David Dadi and Haim Weizman. After killing Dadi and Weizman as they slept in Weizman’s apartment, the attackers cut off their ears as proof of the killing.
Abdel Aal Sa’id Ouda Yusef was imprisoned in 1994 to a 22-year sentence for several grenade attacks, and for his part as an accomplice in the murder of Ian Sean Feinberg and the murder of Sami Ramadan.
Feinberg, a 30-year-old father of three, was a proponent of Palestinian economic development. He was killed by gunmen who stormed a business meeting in Gaza City which he attended in April 1993.
Also on the list was Kour Matwah Hamad Faiz of Fatah, imprisoned in 1985 after he was convicted of killing Menahem Dadon and Salomon Abukasis in 1983 and planning to murder then-prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.
Another two prisoners to be released, Fatah members Sualha Fazah Ahmed Husseini and Sualha Bad Almajed Mahmed Mahmed, were imprisoned for a stabbing attack on a crowded Ramat Gan bus, on the 66 line, in 1990. The two, together with a third accomplice, stabbed wildly at passengers, killing 24-year-old Baruch Heizler and wounding three young women. Heizler was named after his grandfather, who was killed during the Jordanian bombardment of the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem during the 1948 Independence War.
Sha’at Azat Shaban Ata was imprisoned in 1993 for helping to orchestrate the murder of 51-year-old Simcha Levi, a woman who made her living transporting Palestinian day laborers to work in Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. In March 1993, three of the women laborers were disguised male attackers, who beat and stabbed her to death.
Maslah Abdullah Salama Salma, a Hamas member likely to be sent to the Gaza Strip after his release, was imprisoned in 1993 for the brutal murder of Petah Tikvah convenience store owner Reuven David. Abdallah, together with an accomplice, entered David’s convenience store on May 20, 1991, bound David’s arms and legs and beat him to death, before locking the store and fleeing the scene. Born in Iraq in 1932, David was 59 at the time of his death, and was survived by a wife, three children and multiple grandchildren.

    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    Tokenism, due process, appearance and substance

    It is important to be strong
    but not strong smelling
    it is important to be succesful
    but not a successful criminal
    it is important to be generous
    but not to give everything away
    it is important to work hard
    but not to become hardened
    it is important to be adequate
    but not so adequate you never afford anyone the opportunity to do something for you
    tokenism in police process....
    the phenomenon where police are notoriously reluctant
    to reopen a case even when it becomes abundantlt clear that the wrong person was put behind bars
    a fake resolution is as important as a real one, as psychologically long as we've put someone in jail
    foundations and tokenism


    tokenism in faith communities


    tokenism in compliance legislation in the workplace

    tokenism in education - my counselling degree and collaboration to beat the system...


    asylum seekers must write an exam in advanced hypocrisy before they can be eligible for Australian citizenship...

    PSA - the Australian coat of arms.
    FX rifle shots. The kangeroo keels over. A joey emerges from its pocket and is clubbed to death, as per the guidelines...see this review of current legislation
    then the kangeroo is stuffed, and glassy eyed, propped back up again next to the national coat of arms...

    how to promote, suport and sustain ongoing integration in afractured world where contradiction seems to be built into the fabric itself?