anti-Semitism, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, French municipal elections, Groovy Green Livin, Lost in Arles
Last weekend we came out of hibernation long enough to drive down to New York City. Our efforts were rewarded by some actual, real-live spring weather. The sun was warm, and there was no snow or ice.
As I soaked my sore feet after a day of tramping around on the dry sidewalks, I realized this was the first time in months I’d worn a pair of real shoes.
We ate pie for breakfast two mornings in a row in an old building in Brooklyn, where the walls were lined with tin.
Across the bridge, in Manhattan, I sat outside on a bench drinking a fancy tea latte, admiring the symmetry and color of a building across the street, while a woman paced back and forth during what turned into a very long phone call.
A few blocks away, we peered into a cemetery hidden away behind stone walls and a locked gate.
I was reminded of this cemetery a few days later, when my friend Heather Robinson wrote a post about the results of municipal elections in France, where the Front National—an extreme right party, founded by known anti-Semitic and Holocaust denier, Jean-Marie LePen—is gaining ground.
That what happens in France matters to us all was brought home today, when I saw this post by another friend, Lori Alper. Lori, who lives one town away from me, writes about anti-Semitic incidents involving some of the youngest students at her son’s elementary school.
While hibernation is a fine strategy for staying warm during an endlessly frigid winter, it is not a good way to live. We may wish that prejudice and hate are hidden and locked away like the dead in that cemetery, but in truth they are more like tenacious weeds growing under those dry, New York City sidewalks. They claw their way into the light through the tiniest of cracks.
Heather in Arles said:
Thank you for this beautiful post. Here I am, waiting all day to find out the results of the municipal elections and to find out which towns have been “turned” Front National, which is not right wing (heck, Sarkozy’s UMP party is looking good to me in comparison) but extreme right. As I mentioned in my post, the founder, JM LePen is a known anti-Semitic who denies that the Holocaust occured. Off to read Lori’s post. Am sad, like you, that we have the subject in common this week.
PS. It looks as though Karina got the memo from Ben and Kipling…
Thank you Heather for that clarification — which I have added to the post. Yes, Karina loves her time under the covers almost as much as she loves a good romp in the woods. Hoping things don’t turn out as badly as we fear in France.
Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie) said:
Enjoyed this little photographic sojourn, Judith. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Always a treat to see you here, Jamie!
Thank you so much for connecting me to Heather. Unfortunately our connection is due to unpleasant circumstances across the world, but it is my hope that connections such as this one will bring our collectives voices together and positive change will come. Your photos are spectacular.
Thank you, Lori. You make an excellent and hopeful point.
I’m glad that you and I aren’t so far apart — and I look forward to meeting up with you this year!
so much to think and muse upon here…. *looks_out_of_windows_into_losangeles_dusk*
the tiny cemetery. the rising of awfulness elsewhere. people on phones, wearing shoes again (remember that – the wellington boots finally consigned to the hall cupboard come April – and then taken out again when it rained and the last snowfall)
an excellent Post. indeed.
Thank you teamgloria for stopping by and for your kind words. *walking on air*
D. A. Wolf said:
I like to think that we – the great, collective “human” we – are growing more tolerant, one child or teenager or adult at a time, if need be. I am always dismayed when I find instances where that doesn’t appear to be anything but wishful thinking on my part, and the part of most of my friends.
Still, I hold out hope that we will continue to move in the right direction if we stand up, speak out, and model behaviors that remind us of basic and fundamental human values.
And I agree about your photographs. Beautiful.
Kathleen Volp said:
Judith- I love this alot. Very beautiful visual analogy flowing into a poignant topic. Thank you.