Yes, blogging is a free-form expression, but oftentimes it's just so frivolous. We touch upon surfaces, never delving too deeply because either we want to maintain our secret identities or it's just too damn hard to do so -- our words that have been floating in our heads and in our hearts don't necessarily want to see the light of day. But sometimes they do...
It is 2:30 AM, and I cannot sleep because Karen is dreaming of Ariel; she moans in her sleep from wounds that will never heal. Three times before we went to bed, Karen, with tears slipping from her eyes, said to me: "Where is he? Where is Ariel?" Of course I had no answer and Karen does not expect one, but still, I feel that I should have something to say besides, "I don't know, I just don't know."
It is 2:35 AM, and I cannot sleep because Offspring Number Three has just learned that her close, close friend who lives in NY is very ill and -- for God's sake, my child has already lost her brother. Must she endure it all over again? Every so often a well-meaning idiot will tell me that "God never gives us more than we can bear." When I hear this outrageous cliche I really feel like punching the person who says it. Where did they get such a stupid idea? In fact, HaShem gives us more than we can bear on a daily basis. Yes, we manage to live through these terrible experiences, we manage to endure, to survive, but we are never the same, and we are often diminished by the suffering, irrevocably harmed. I do not believe that suffering is noble or holy; it is just awful.
It is 2:40 AM, and I cannot sleep because Karen is preparing for Pesach and every shelf cleaned, every corner mopped, every book opened and dusted for crumbs only brings home the fact that Ariel will not be sitting at the Passover seder with us. He will not be reliving the Exodus from Egypt with us. He will not be explaining to us his sharp and penetrating insights into the Haggadah. He will not be smiling at the Passover table, enjoying this wonderful holiday. Ariel's last Pesach was in the hospital, in the ICU where he was forced to celebrate the seder behind an oxygen mask, and our Passover table was that little slab of formica on wheels that's hardly big enough for two matzos. We recited the whole Hagaddah, but it was an effort for him and at the end, he fell back into an exhausted sleep.
It is 2:45 AM, and I cannot sleep because David, Karen's brother was just here in LA with his lovely daughter Jennifer. They live in Israel and they are deeply concerned about the plan to withdraw from Gaza. David knows what anyone with half a brain knows, which is that no good can come from this withdrawl. The Arabs will see it as just the first in a series of retreats designed to destroy the state of Israel. Does no one realize that when the Arabs speak of so-called occupied territories they are not talking about Judea and Samarian, they are, in fact, talking about the entire state of Israel? I read the Arab press. They don't even bother to disguisee their genicidal plans.
It is 2:50 AM, and I cannot sleep because numerous sleazy professors at Columbia University have built a Middle Eastern Studies department on a foundation of lies, anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Americanism. And there are still people in my shul who are paying over fifty thousand dollars a year for the priveledge of sending their children to this corrupt institution. Are Jews so starved for status that they actually see nothing wrong with paying the salaries of the children of Edward Said?
It is 2:55 AM, and I cannot sleep because I am writing two scripts under intense deadline pressure and I have not been spending as much time as I should writing the next volume of The Hebrew Kid. I'm also afraid that I will never be able to make the second book as good as the first. I wrote The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maidedn while Ariel was still alive. He helped me. He inspired me. He made me a better writer with his criticism and insights. But now he is gone and I suspect that I'm not as good a writer anymore. Without him, my imagination stalls.
It is 3:00 AM, and I cannot sleep becasue I am sitting in the dark in my bedroom with my computer on my lap typing this blog. I am afraid to go to sleep because I dream of Ariel most every night and when I wake up my face is wet with tears.
Posted by Robert J. Avrech at April 12, 2005 02:24 AM