Thursday, September 23, 2004

Contraband photos

The day before yesterday I went to the photo store to frame a photos. I had been thinking of this project - having an exhibition of my "peace" photos and had never gotten around to framing the photos that I thought should be in the exhibition. I don't know whether I'd have this exhibition in coffee shops, galleries, or even at my home, but it's something that had been on my mind. The photo I framed was of an Arab woman in a white head covering putting her arms around an elderly Jewish woman who was holding an olive branch. They were looking at each other with such love and when I saw them I said "HOLD THAT" and snapped the photo. The guy in the store asked me if I'd like him to put it in the frame on the spot. For an instance I felt self-conscious. What would he think. What would the customers think in the store. I felt on the defensive but no questions came my way, just curious smiles. Back home Hubby placed the photo on exhibit on the diningroom table. Last night after the terrorist attack in Jerusalem my 16 year old Complainer yelled at me in the street "Why are you putting that fucking photograph of that Arab in the house. You give us bad luck! You put mezuzot on the doorposts and you check them to make sure they're ok (the inscriptions put on doorposts in Jewish homes - are checked to make sure the writing on the parchment hasn't faded - if it has, it has to be replaced). You see what happens." Like the terrorist attack was the direct result of my placing this photograph on the diningroom table. She's stupider than I thought, I thought. I let her scream on with every second word "fuck this and fuck that and if you ever fucking....blah blah blah." Then I made her apologize to me. If all people living in this country had photographs like mine in their home, perhaps there would be no terrorist attacks.


Anonymous said...

i think what your daughter is suffering from, is Millenium Tension, like in the Dark Ages yr1000, when there was so much superstition about things as they believed the Messiah would return, like everything had a symbolic meaning, something like that.

Anonymous said...

Fear can be irrational...but it must be hard for young people when such things happen with terrorists....not to be in fear a lot of the time.

You are more relaxed than I could be, being talked to like that! I did have one that was definitely verbally abusive but not to that extent. PMS poster girls likely! At least that is how I viewed my daughter. Mine has been married and divorced already at age 26...I am wondering if she has conquered some of her anger fits...if the young man who wants to marry her now, will do so, if he sees one! Always reminds me of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. Appropriate name that!

Anonymous said...

Leah, I was wondering if you could post the picture online? I'd love to see it. Keep well!


lisoosh said...

I hope you made her apologize in public.
You're right about the photos but only if people really care.

Hope you are well otherwise,


Anonymous said...

I remember when I was 16 I was very confused about many things in the world and not often was I rational.. and I was growing up in the United States, in peace. She may seem stupid to you to behave like this but just remember that adolescence is causing great turbulence in her life, and in the midst of that very difficult time she must deal with a cycle of death which does not seem to make sense.. all those feelings are bound to come out in irrational ways sometimes

kanenabe said...

Hi leah! Yes I agree, adolescence is a very difficult time with trying to fit in and all that. I think most teenagers feel that it is more important to think with the rest than it is to think on one's own 2 feet... safer that way. For at least a while.

And yeah hope you made her apologise in public too... if everyone could think as you do, there'd be less fighting in the world!

Anonymous said...

I all people living in your country had mothers like the women in your photograph, perhaps there would be no terrorist attacks.

Shira said...

Amen to that. I can't imagine what it must be like to work as hard as you do with interfaith groups and then come home and hear so much hate from members of your own family. Hang in there.

If it's any consolation, when I was your daughter's age or a bit younger, I also used to harbour deep prejudices that have largely diminished as I got older. In Israel of course circumstances are much harsher but you also mentioned that your attitudes towards Palestinians evolved a great deal once you had a chance to meet them. Hopefully the same will be true of your kids.

And yes, please do post the photograph. I'd love to see it.