Friday, December 7, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
from the USA I prepared the following
which I would like to share with you.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
How fortunate I am, that I have a past as well as a future, ancestors and descendents.
I have long family tree to look back upon, and three generation that come after me. The past helps to shape the present and the present shapes the future. I know where I come from and can see where the generations that follow me are going too. That gives me a feeling of permanence, of belonging and of continuation. It is a "people" that I feel I belong too. That same "people" has a way of continuing long after the single individual has gone. As an individual I live but a limited time – from birth till death, but the people that I belong to, have lived long before me and will continue to live long after I am gone.
Throughout life I weave into one group or another, contributing from myself as best as I can. It may be from my accumulated knowledge, or it may be from my thoughts and inspiration, as they say in German "Weltanschauung". My doing leaves an in-print in others, the same way that others leave an in-print in me. The world is made for us to live in. Only in a mutual give and take can we exist.
The body time of the individual is limited, but his spirit lives on.
What you make of life is up to you. You have to give it substance and meaning. Giving purpose to your life is up to you. What has happened, has happened, how you cope under different circumstances is up to you.
Feeling is not really remembered, but your interpretation of them is what you remember. You may have had traumatic experiences. How you handle it, how you interpret it or how you shape your life after that experience that is entirely up to you.
Your own wellbeing is only as good as you make it under different circumstances, often difficult ones. Life goes on.
As one of my ancestors said, "The wind and the waves are there, but the steering wheel that will take you to a save harbor, is in your hands".
Saturday, December 31, 2011
The year 2011 has come to an end. So what? What has changed? Well, I am a year older. But what does that mean to me? Just that I carry on as best as I can under the changing circumstances. I am slower these days and still think that I can do as much as before, which of course is not possible, in spite of the fact that I do have help with my household scores, shopping and taking me out on my daily walk. My son Danny assists me wherever and whenever he can.
I still participate wherever I can, especially if it is nearby and I can get there without having to bother somebody to take me along. Within the last few months I had an exhibition of some of my paintings, took part in a small show of an inter-generational drama group, still write articles about growing old and was the moderator for a book presentation. Andrea von Treuenfeld collected interviews from 16 women who told her their tale, my story is also included. The title of the book: "In Deutschland eine Juedin, eine Jeckete in Israel."
At a special occasion of the tenth anniversary of inter-religious women encounters I was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for my dedicated service in this field.
Chanukah some youngsters from the religious Scouts come to my house to light the candles with me and another night I spend with my grandchildren and 13 of my great-grandchildren, number 14 is on the way.
I wish all my readers that their wishes for the coming year 2012 should be fulfilled. I hope to see some of you when you visit Israel this coming year and hear from others.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
My grandson Matan, the eldest son of my son Danny is going to be married. Apart from the close family, the invited guests were mainly ex-soldier friends and fellow students of the couple.
The bride's family, live in the far north of the country. Near there is where the wedding is going to take place.
Not a catered affair but it was to be an all night joyful get together of young people under the stars. The brothers and friends and their uncle prepared the grounds days beforehand, brought straw mats, mattresses, pillows and low tables for the wedding feast. Lighting and all the necessary trimmings were being taken care of by them.
My son, his wife and her mother and sister who arrived specially for this joyous occasion from the States will spend the night after the wedding in a hotel nearby, in Miilia, a Christian Arab Village.
What about me? I need my bed and my bathroom for my personal comfort. We cast around for somebody to accompany me, drive me there and back to Jerusalem, most of those asked being engaged otherwise.
While mentioning my needs to a couple of friends from Austria, a schoolteacher and a school director, who come every year to Jerusalem to volunteer for a couple of weeks in old age homes, they immediately volunteered to do this service for me. They had a rented car and had never been to an Israeli wedding and were free on that day.
Danny printed out the exact route for them. He suggested we leave at 13.00 o'clock to hopefully avoid the traffic jams.
My friends, while driving through the lower and western Galilee, were astonished at the beautiful countryside that so far they had never seen. We stopped at the hotel in Maiilia for a drink under an Olive tree and a change of clothes. From there, with the rest of the family we drove through the village and via an unpaved dirt road the prepared wedding site.
An unusual beautiful view awaited us, to the north the mountains of Lebanon and to the west a glorious sunset over the Mediterranean Sea. With that as a backdrop at around 19.00 hours the traditional "Chupa" (Baldachin) ceremony, conducted by the local Rabbi took place. The other grandmother and I, (holding on to Danny's hand) were privileged to stand with the parents under the Chupa. Everything was beautiful orchestrated. After the ceremony the young people danced, dined and wined and a good time was had by all.
For me it was a real pleasure, see all my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren participating at this special occasion and introduce them to my friends, who kept taking photos and taking it all in as a very unusual and special treat for them.
The all night feast was at its heights, but for us it was getting late. We quietly said good bye and in the dark night carefully navigated our way home, arriving well after midnight in Jerusalem.
How good it is to have good friends.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Growing old can become pretty complicated when illness strikes. While recuperating I had to find ways to ease life. My desk and shelves were so cluttered that I could hardly find what I was looking for. Being practically homebound and having help coming in, I used the opportunity to clear up, clear out and throw out, tons of paper and extra baggage.
I had kept handouts from seminars and workshops or international conferences that I had given or attended, there was much background material that I had collected for writing articles or preparing my presentations. Over the last few years I had just made piles of it, left it on my desk, as the shelves were overflowing with files.
My help pulled out pile after pile, I sorted it out and threw away most of it, print outs, old magazines, and what else had accumulated.
When this was done I did the same with my paintings. For the last twenty year I had painted once a week. My walls are adorned by my paintings, others that had been framed to hang in exhibitions, while most of them were just accumulating in a box under the bed. I found an art student (future) who took a great many of them for reuse, as well as half empty tubes of paint, charcoal, and what else I no longer needed.
Slides? Who takes slides today? When many years ago I traveled with a backpack to Asia, Africa or to America and Europe, on my return I gave slid shows in clubs and old age homes as well as to travelers to be. Hundreds of them were standing around neatly stacked and marked, together with the projector and nobody needs or wants them. Out they go. Once upon a time I also had my own darkroom and enlarging apparatus. That too had to go.
Slowly I have more breathing space, but still much more to sort out give away or throw out.
As I shrink with old age, my world shrinks, but my memories, at least the long term memory is still intact. Looking back I enjoy having lived an interesting life.
Sorting out and throwing out what no longer is relevant, is part of the survival tactics. The less baggage you have, the easier it is to survive in old age.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Much has changed since my last writing. I had serious health-problems. After several tests I had to undergo a major operation. Danny my son was wonderful, carted me around to all the tests, was with me before and after my operation, spoke with the doctors and did all the bureaucracy that was necessary, and there was a lot of it. I could not wish for a better caretaker. He encourages me to move on, takes me out, he is available whenever I need him, during the day or during the night.
All this was ten weeks ago.
At the beginning I was so weak that I thought that is the end of it. Luckily a volunteer from Germany, who happened to be a medical trained home-caretaker, came in every morning to get me up, help me to shower and dress my wounds. Slowly I got back onto my feet. I am still weaker than before and have to take things easy.
By now I am back to a number of my previous activities.
My daily routine has change completely. It takes me much more time to get ready in the morning, I need a lot of help with my household scores, but most important I have to get out of the house and take a walk as often as I can, sometimes twice a day and at all weathers. By using a three-wheeler walker I have reached a certain amount of independence. I have several helpers, they are students, their time being limited because of their studies, and I need more than one. So I have to jungle, as to who does what and when. But rather to answer their question "and how are you today", I prefer to asked them what was your lecture about or when is your next exam and in what subject. That way I can participate in their life which is much more interesting than my health problems.
Although I am not moving out of my own flat, but over the last 15 years much un-needed stuff of all sorts has accumulated. Trying to sort that out and to get rid of some of it at least, is no easy task, but easy or not absolutely necessary.
Hundreds of my paintings that have been on exhibitions, but mean more to me than to any stranger, nobody wants or needs them today.
I used to travel around the world taking slides and later showed them in clubs. There are hundreds of them including the projector, all that is obsolete now, and no longer in use by anybody.
Years ago I had my own darkroom, developed and enlarged black and white photos. Who needs this equipment? It is difficult to get rid of all that junk, and junk it is in the eyes of the present generation today?
Although I have parted with many books, they seem to accumulate all be themselves. They need more and more shelf space. Since I still write articles and participate in various activities I need books as reverences. I love my books, but ! ! ! I need more space.
Somehow everything takes time and more time than I can find within the 24 hour that seem to run all by themselves, and time runs faster than I can walk.
There is always something to look forwards to, like my twelve great-grandchildren will soon have an addition or a great clan get-together pick-nick and in a month time the wedding of my grandson, the son of Danny. Life moved on and on.