The Hunger Games: Feeding my fears, my pain, my need for read.

Over the week of Passover, I managed to read consume devour The Hunger Games trilogy. It was a gift to myself since it’s been 5285467245 years since I had time to read and I figured it would take a month or two of here-and-there breastfeeding time to finish the series.

Holy crap, I was wrong.

I literally consumed those books, I think some of the pages are still stuck between my teeth.

Needless to say, it blows Twilight out of the fantasy universe. I can’t believe I even felt the need to add that here. You had me at Twilight blows.

But this – this actually kinda kicks taps Harry Potter’s ass. Ok, I love my HP like the next inner-child, and JK Rowling did an excellent job in the details.

But the overall philosophy, issues of morality, ethics, pain, future, life and death – there is so much to be said for what Suzanne Collins created. It’s complete with all the complexity, pain and suffering that Harry Potter lacks, going way deeper and darker than Rowling ever did.

This isn’t really an official review. I don’t have the energy after such painfully delightfully painful reading to go into all of it. What it did to me. My inner-child. The fact that I have children. My obsessive morbidity.

I just had to shout this much from the mountaintops. High on Panem.

I can’t wait to read them again.

Fifty-Two Frames: Adventure.

On Friday, I was jogging and I noticed this little guy on the ground. There’s some kind of kindred spirit connection between me and snails.

So to the confusion of the other runners/walkers, I stopped and bent down and started shooting with my phone – an HTC Desire (it’s all I had).

It’s super exciting because it’s exactly the concept I had wanted all week, and only expected I’d be able to capture it with an ant (considering there are 34827650576 trillion available in Tzur Hadassah). I certainly did not expect to find a snail!

It’s double super exciting because I actually really took my time to figure out angles and lighting and other details. I did end up having to crop a lil from the left to put him (or her?) closer to the bottom. But I feel good about the added effort I gave it this week.

Then all the other runners/walkers/joggers who passed me were like wtf that girl is on the ground looking at the sidewalk through her phone but it’s ok. There’s a lot of us weirdos exercising out here in the suburbs.

The most exciting? My photo made the cover of Fifty-Two Frame’s album this week. What an honor! And in such company!

Week 16: Adventure.

The long, lonely crack ahead.

 

Red flower fields… Amsterdam in Israel.

Over the Pesach break, we drove on the 375 a few times (outside Beit Shemesh, in Emek Ha’Ella area) and noticed the breathtaking red flower field on the side of the road. It’s normally a gorgeous area on a bad day, but this was something totally cool… something I’ve never noticed in my Israeli life before.

The flower is the Calanit or כלנית and it’s all over this area of the country but this field is pure amazing (FYI, my photos are not doing it justice).

I couldn’t help but think of the tulip gardens around Amsterdam. Kinda totally different, since this not a manicured field, but it’s the closest I’ll get for now.

 

 

The yearly struggle (No, we’re not over the Holocaust yet).

I’ve been struggling a little more the last few months. Struggling with something dark and damp and desperate, twisting itself among my veins, reaching across my heart and nipping at my soul.

My growing morbidity. I’ve been morbid since I can remember. As a kid, I had freakish nightmares despite a safe and happy daylife. I had an imagination that overran my little brain. It was an amazing thing to grow up with, and I still love tapping into it now. But the morbidity came with it too.

I had a lot of Holocaust nightmares while I was growing up… I remember being in first or second grade and hearing about the Shoah in a school assembly. I remember my teacher speaking about her parents. I remember the nightmares that started to haunt me for years, through high school.

Now that I have kids, it’s only getting worse. Iran is the new face of my freakish thoughts and it’s already blown up out of proportion or it’s not enough, I’m not sure yet, I guess we’ll find out. But the evil that embeds itself into our world consumes me while I hold my children, while I bathe their little bodies, while I shh shh them to sleep.

I think about death. Destruction. Terror. Injury. Hate. Apathy. I wonder about killing children. Stabbing a sleeping baby. I wonder about pulling the trigger on a seven-year-old. I wonder what goes through your mind when you line up mothers and their babies and shoot them. How you plan to deploy missiles where kids grasp each other in shelters.

Is their blood a little brighter? Are their screams a little higher pitched? Do they know how to scream in terror before they’re devoured by it?

And how it’s possible for a person to be alive, breathing, born to this world, who considers without a second thought that a child has nothing worth living for. That a child has no worth. No feeling. No pain.

So I guess it’s really been building up. And after watching this video – My Child, The Holocaust Denier – something unlocked in me and I just let it all come out through streaming, salty, bitter tears.

Every year, you kinda wonder when this Holocaust stuff will go away, when we’ll lose touch.

Every year, there’s something else to remind us it’ll never go away… we’ll never be given the opportunity to forget.

As long as we have everything to lose, we’ll never be free.

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Here’s some more Shoah education for today: My Brother’s Keeper: Jewish Solidarity During the Holocaust

The poster above is by graphic artist Doriel Rimmer, winner in the “Designing Memory” competition run by Yad Vashem and the Israel Ministry of Public Diplomacy. 

Fifty-Two Frames: Candid/Shoot from the Hip.

We had a good topic this week; the shame was, I wasn’t fully aware of it before the deadline was up. I mistakenly thought it was ‘street photography.’ And I wasn’t frequenting many crowded streets last week, so this was the closest I had. Turns it out, it worked out pretty well for what the theme actually was.

Week 15: Candid/Shoot from the Hip

Lurker.

P.S. I sorely regret the cutting off of the Lurker’s head.

Fifty-Two Frames: Desolate.

Twas the week before Passover, and all was too busy,

…so I ended up forgetting to post that week’s Fifty-Frames photo.

The theme embraced the calm before the storm, the serious quiet of Israeli streets – and supermarkets – before the big holiday family-size lock down.

Week 14: Desolate.

The calm before the chag.

Bebe update: Twelve months.

Good night, beautiful little Bebe.

I’m looking at you after you’ve fallen asleep at my chest. You’re exhausted after an active day in the warm April sun over Jerusalem. Your eyes are shut and your forehead is glistening with sweat from our body heat together.

You’re an amazing creature.

It’s been a year since you came to me. And spent the next twelve months teaching me about… modesty. About watching and soaking it all in. About patience. About waiting and enjoying it when it finally comes. About gratitude. About smiling appreciatively, about making other people feel good by reflecting their own goodness.

You’re my nature baby. Fresh air, cool water, soft grass, warm sun. You feel these things and you truly enjoy them and it makes me enjoy them. I’m lucky to have you for that.

In other news, you’ve spent the last month standing up for yourself. Testing it, trying it, taking it further. I think you know what’s coming next. Looking forward to watching you take that first step.

Chalk it up to your genetics, to your ever-present older brother, to your observational skills, but you’ve got a funny bone or two and you’re beginning to grow your inner goof. I’ve been saying it since those first few weeks, and it’s only getting better…

Happy birthday, my funny, funky, fantastic Bebe.