Tuesday, October 05, 2004

name calling

Kind of a childish thought, but I was thinking about the names people have called me in recent months that have brought a smile to my face. One is "Arab lover". Not usually used in a loving tone, this is what some former friendsand some of my children are calling me. It certainly brings my mood up when people call me that. During my last day at work before the holidays, the Professor I work for smiled at me and called me a "heavyweight - and I don't mean in kilos". Getting a compliment out of him is not that easy and it certainly brightened my day. I went to a moshav (communal living - not exactly a village, not exactly a kibbutz - but has a rural village feel to it) where all the members were former 1960s hippies and have returned to a life of religious Judaism, and they look Orthodox with their head coverings and long beards (only the men of course) but when they talk to you, you can still notice a bit of that former life in them. Many are artisans, craftspeople, etc. I said hello to a woman there who dresses like a Gypsy. She hadn't seen me in a couple of years -"Hellooo! Don't you look like a hippie!" - To have an original former hippie call me a hippie was a large compliment of sorts. I felt 20 years old again. I was thrilled! I was only 12 when Woodstock hit in 1969 and felt like everyone's kid sister. So now I'm "one of them". The other person I work for who is the President of the Foundation said her daughter was a "bohemian like yourself". I felt like I belong with the likes of Bob Dylan being called a Bohemian. Ahh to be in those Greenwich Village cafes in the late 1950s/early 1960s!

Besides all the name calling - I found another friend of mine whom I hadn't seen or heard from since I was 12. You see because of this peace work, I made a connection with an old schoolmate who is doing alot of the same kind of parallel work I am doing here - with the Peacemaker Circle. Through an e-mail I got from the Peacemaker Circle community inviting me to the Auschwitz Bearing Witness retreat, where people of all religions and many nations get together to dialogue and meditate. I recognized the name of the USA coordinator who went to the same religious girls school I went to in the Bronx. she was the first real "hippie". She was 13 already in Grade 8 and had long straight hair which she parted in the middle and wore peace beads and had a peace sign necklace. The rest of us "straighties" still parted our hair on the sides and didn't get into all the hippie clothing until high school. I would love to see her again plus she knows Eliyahu and some of the others I work with here. I wrote her and immediately got an answer. YES! She did got to that awful religious school in the Bronx and did I meet Richard Gere when he was in Israel last? No, I never did meet him, although he is high on my list of hunks to meet. However, my friend Ibrahim did meet with him when he was here recently and chauffered him around and Richard was lucky enough to get a big fat Ibrahim hug.

1 comment:

Dutchman said...

Hi there! I love that "next blog" button Blogger has added- that's how I found you!

I slowly turned into a hippie when I lived in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco in the 1990's. I didn't LOOK like a hippie, but I slowly became one. Something in the water in SF maybe (more likely in the air)

It sounds like a joke, but when Jerry Garcia passed away, the neighborhood changed. After a three-week period of wandering around the neighborhood aimlessly, all the Deadheads drifted away, and a punk element moved in. And these were punks in both senses of the word- spiked, dyed air, and a generally crappy attitude.

I am proud to be a hippy.

I had a great experience working with a theater collective there, the San Francisco Mime Troupe (www.sfmt.org) You might be interesed in searching their archives for info about a show they did in the 80's about Israel/Palestine called "Seeing Double."

I'll never forget the sign they had over the kitchen sink in the collective's kitchen: "The revolution can't start until you do your own damn dishes"

I am going to bookmark your blog and check in from time to time. Israel seems so far away from here (I'm in Los Angeles now) and I'm fascinated by what life is like there.