Thursday, June 12, 2014
Trying to find My Way Back
I thought words would never leave me, but now silence is a quiet deep inside. I am aware of how many words are pouring out almost every minute on these invisible airways, I am aware that all is an answer to our feared fragility and I am aware of the great privilege of safety that I have, a quiet room on a quiet street with my love asleep and Cello curled up on his chair.
I have turned 74 since last we met. I have been inspired by the young activists of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society, I have heard young Palestinian women and men speak with young Jewish women and men, calling for all the histories of displacement to be mourned, for the Occupation to end, in a room filled with older people who did not want to hear these words but who listened. I have offered my grassroots archival skills to AJDS so for their 40th anniversary, their history is being cared for, these brave people who are the pariahs of the traditional Jewish organizations here because they are dissenters from the unquestioning pro-Israel unified public face.
I have given my first Skype lecture, through the kind direction of Karl-Magnus to a room of lesbians and queer people in Gothenberg, Sweden. Speaking in the late night darkness of our study, La Professoressa curled up in a chair, wearing her Quantas pajamas and our small fireplace burning bright, speaking from our night into a Swedish afternoon and trying so hard to bring my body to them, not wanting to let them go after an hour of being with each other in this strange way, too hard to push the red button of disconnection. Karl recorded the session and it can be found on YouTube.
Yasmin Tambiah and I are in the final stages of editing our guest issue of Sinister Wisdom on Lesbians and Exile. It has been a long time since I have worked putting together collected voices, a long time since working with Naomi Holoch on the Penguin collections of lesbian short fiction and with John Preston on stories by gay men and lesbians of their shared connections but working with Yasmin brought back that special kind of joy when first tentatively you share your thinking and then in a rush of mutual trust and appreciation. The issue will be out in October of this year.
La Professoressa and I are in the final stages of planning our three month trip to New York, London and perhaps Slovenia, leaving in August.
So you see, life pushes me into known directions, caring for the papers of marginalized voices, finding texts, joining others walking in the streets, saying no to the heartless Right and finding my way back to you, always thanking Maddy who works so hard to keep my connection to this technology alive.
I hope you are still there.