Monday, June 10, 2024

A Day in the Life

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.
–Albert Camus

חֲזַק, וֶאֱמָץ: כִּי אַתָּה, תַּנְחִיל אֶת-הָעָם הַזֶּה, אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לַאֲבוֹתָם לָתֵת לָהֶם
Be strong and of good courage: for you shall cause this people to inherit the Land which I swore unto their fathers to give them.
–Book of Joshua 1:6

אין לי ארץ אחרת, גם אם אדמתי בוערת
I have no other country, even if my Land is burning.
–Ehud Manor

Some days, it's difficult to breathe. I mean, I do breathe, but then I forget to exhale. Or to inhale.
There are simply so many emotions inside me that there is no room for air. 
It's dizzying. 

Yet, my days are ordinary days.
I go shopping and fight with an older man over the best peppers. Seventeen different people leave their shopping carts on the diagonal in the middle of the aisle, and I have to reach over to move them so I can get by. Then I get yelled at for touching their cart. I back out of my parking space, maneuvering (badly) around the next car waiting, not particularly patiently, to take my spot. On the drive home, I wait, not particularly patiently, behind the garbage truck that is making a pick-up in the middle of the narrow street. Out of habit, I glance around, looking for a safe space in case of a rocket attack. 

At our weekly Koffee Klatsch (aka Ladies Parliament), my friends talk of home renovations, grandkids, books or articles that have been read, the number of airplanes and helicopters overhead, the price of apples and potatoes, who has been called up for reserve duty, and the recent massive damage from missiles and anti-tank guns in the north of the country. 

I bake cheesecake for the upcoming festival of Shavuot. But this year, I'm not paying enough attention, and the cake comes out wonky. Nonetheless, we'll eat it as we celebrate our holiday.
Eating wonky cake is nothing new. 

Just in case, I make some cookies also and set a box aside for my son who is in the middle of his second round of reserve duty. And another box for my daughter who is at the end of her second round of pregnancy. 

I read the newspaper. I stay away from the front page's blaring headlines and most of the editorials. I concentrate on my horoscope. It tells me to take care of my health and get enough sleep. There are articles about hiking trails and swimming holes and new restaurants. But both the north and the south of the country is closed to tourism and there aren't any tourists from abroad anyway. I note the ads for sales in cordless vacuum cleaners, hiking sandals, and hats. I need some new hats. There are also transistor radios on sale. Transistor radios are a hot item now because people are worried that the electricity will go out for an extended period if the power stations are hit by missiles. Also popular are home generators. We actually own a transistor radio from the 1980s.
It still works. 
We don't have a generator.

Some days are a bit less ordinary. The IDF, in one of the most heroic, daring, and well-planned missions in history, rescues four Israeli hostages held by Gazans in the middle of a residential area in the middle of the day. The entire Nation of Israel simultaneously rejoices at the rescue and mourns the hero who was killed.

Simultaneously rejoicing and mourning is the new normal for the Nation of Israel. 

My country is burning and sometimes it's difficult to breathe. 

Life rages on. 


Yocheved Golani said...

Anonymous said...

🥹 Perfect description of our current lives. Though, like others, I don't have kids or sons-in-law going in & out of Reserve duty, but I worry for nephews, cousins & friends' kids (and ALL their families).

Anonymous said...

Very emotional reading this Rees.
Most of the shots fired near us ate from the IDF, baruch hashem.
Stay safe and chag sameach!!🇮🇱💜