My daughter Mara is getting married next week — my daughter who is in her thirties now, not her twenties; not a teen; not a young child crossing the street for the first time; not an infant I rock in my arms at 3 A.M., too tired to think straight, the sleepless nights stacked up like planes in a holding pattern, the pilots growing drowsier and drowsier. Wake up! She’s getting married!
David Grossman On The Conflict Between Israel And Palestine
I think the worst things happen to both politics and religion when they are intertwined, as they are in Israel. Religion should not be part of the government and should not have such a strong influence on policy. I am suspicious of people who take the Bible as instruction for how to act in politics. I am suspicious of fundamentalists who look at the world in absolute terms and do not make any compromises, because this is a region that yearns for compromises. If we and the Palestinians do not have the ability to compromise, if we become trapped by total adherence to the Bible and the Koran, then we shall all be doomed.
We already know that our lives will not be as they were before September 11. When the World Trade Center towers collapsed, a deep, long crack appeared in the old reality. The muffled roar of everything that might burst out can be heard through the crack: violence, cruelty, fanaticism, and madness. The wish that we might keep what we have, keep up a daily schedule, suddenly seems exposed and vulnerable. The effort to maintain some sort of routine — to keep family, home, friends together — now seems so touching, even heroic.
The summer after my father attempted suicide, I found myself wandering through a graveyard near my house, up and down the rows of sunken headstones and faded pink cloth roses. I didn’t know a soul buried there, and I didn’t know what solace I expected to find.
A big part of being a man, it seems, is being a dad. As I’ve gotten older and watched many of my peers get married and start families, I’ve begun wondering whether I shouldn’t have a kid, too. But getting one, it turns out, is not so simple. With no partner at the moment, and with kidnapping still illegal in New York State, I’ve chosen to rent.
In a globalized world of interlocking economies, is it possible for a culture to evolve at its own pace, or does change come in only two packages: fast-tracked by corporate-sponsored leaders, or arrested entirely by dictators and juntas? I’ve seen savvy indigenous communities in Ecuador and Chiapas, Mexico, incorporate what they like of the outside world and reject the rest, but can this be done on the scale of an entire country? Is there even a possibility that Cuba can preserve its culture while opening to the world, to dissent, to change?
My six-year-old came out of his room the other morning wearing eyeglasses with no lenses. The frames were the same pillow shape as his mother’s, though hers were apricot colored, and these were a red tortoiseshell like a movie star might wear. He must have gotten them from Mrs. Dugan, who watches him during the summer while I’m at work.
In the year 1944, in a Polish village fifty-five miles west of Krakow, the door to the house of Frederick Sokolowski, the village blacksmith, opens, and out slips the blacksmith’s son. Jerzey is the boy’s name. He is tall and slight, with a tuft of black hair falling over his forehead, and his hands, when examined closely, seem to be those of a man and not of an eight-year-old boy.