Hands wander the map, gathering spare fragments of nature's blood, gatheringborrowed time, to build a raft, to emerge from the water. A shake of soggyhair in eyes, movements that have a certain magnificance, or would in others.Frustration, pools of liquid left behind the plodding figure, as she movesthrough the cold corridors. Friend or foe, home or land of non grata, notdiscernible in the stern but youthful face. Old notions pour out on the ground,devoid of ceremony. Reader of poem has attention drawn to a human side of aninhuman event, its inhumanity only visible in stark contrast to the known.
The black tie event was a benefit for an animal charity. The tuxedo I rentedlooked really good on me -- I am thinking of buying one. The event was a lot offun, and afterwards we went and had dinner at The Original Fish Market.The next day, we tried Mark Pi's. It's a local restaurant in Squirrel Hill, notfar from Coffee Tree. The layout can well be described as IKEA meets the SovietUnion -- it had a very industrial feel, but was done with light plastics insteadof cold steel.
On Monday, PUSH met with people from the local Hillel,to talk about perspectives on Israel, its history and future, and issuesregarding the Palestinians. We were hoping to have some people fromPalestinian groups there too, but none of them got back to us in time. Themeeting went really well -- I felt that I learned several things about theconflict that I didn't know before, and had a lot of questions that I had beencurious about answered. The main speaker they had was incredibly knowledgableabout all the topics we brought up, even the very obscure. He also was quitefair, something I very much admire in speakers. The particular points I mostenjoyed the coverage of were the challenges between democracy and being aJewish state, difficulties in the Palestinian leadership, and the role ofBritish colonialism in the conflict. I was bothered by his dismissal ofthe JAO as being at all significant,but in all honesty, I imagine it might be fair. Sometimes I latch onto a pieceof trivia, and let the coolness of trivia overwhelm my ability to know howsignificant something really is. This is something which I need to overcome, orat least remain aware of. One question remaining, which I did not ask, is ifthe realm ever had any potential to be historically significant. That is, ifStalin had not, through the purges and expulsion of the Communist Left, betrayedthe revolution, would the region have had significance in the Palestinian-Israeliconflict? If we were to imagine Trotsky, instead of Stalin, having won thepost-Lenin power struggle, the world might be a very different place today, witha non-repressive Soviet Union alive, healthy, and part of a larger, communistEurope. I would be interested to see what that society would look like. Alas, weare likely not to know. Perhaps Trotsky's programme would've turned out badlyas well -- it's hard to really know.
Well, back to work. Later today I have a fMRI meeting at the BIRC, and thenZets. Later this week is the VAX Party and a family event with N. Hurrah!