Exile

Apr. 6th, 2017 08:39 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
So my DW reading list is full of people who have been driven away from LJ by the extremely draconian new Terms of Service, and suddenly finding themselves subject to Russian law. People who have made LJ their online home for 15 years or more, who have stuck with the site through multiple iterations of users getting screwed over. I hope that you'll find some kind of shelter here on DW, but being forced to move is still really horrible.

My Facebook feed, meanwhile, has lots of my Swedish friends talking about a neo-Nazi group which has driven the tiny, extremely northerly Jewish community of Umeå out of their meeting centre. I never made it up to Umeå when I was being an itinerant preacher in Scandinavia, but we were in contact.

And my Twitter feed, which is my main source of actual real-world news these days, is discussing the latest atrocity in Syria, which is horrifying even against the background of the unimaginably terrible past few years over there. My parents and my brother have been working with refugees who have been driven out of their Syrian homes by the conflict, and in many senses the people I've come into contact with here in England are relatively speaking the "lucky" ones.

There's no connection between these three stories, certainly no comparison. But all three are making me sad and scared and I don't have the heart to work on preparing for next week's Passover seders, celebrations of freedom and homecoming. And most certainly not to write the post I was planning, the nice theoretical discussion of how to apply the principles of free speech to people who actively advocate dehumanization and genocide. Maybe another day.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-07 04:44 am (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
Maggid
By Marge Piercy

The courage to let go of the door, the handle.
The courage to shed the familiar walls whose very
stains and leaks are comfortable as the little moles
of the upper arm; stains that recall a feast,
a child’s naughtiness, a loud blattering storm
that slapped the roof hard, pouring through.

The courage to abandon the graves dug into the hill,
the small bones of children and the brittle bones
of the old whose marrow hunger had stolen;
the courage to desert the tree planted and only begun to bear,
the riverside where promises were shaped;
the street where their empty pots were broken.

The courage to leave the place whose language you learned
as early as your own, whose customs however dangerous
or demeaning, bind you like a halter
you have learned to pull inside, to move your load;
the land fertile with the blood spilled on it;
the roads mapped and annotated for survival.

The courage to walk out of the pain that is known
into the pain that cannot be imagined,
mapless, walking into the wilderness, going
barefoot with a canteen into the desert;
stuffed in the stinking hold of a rotting ship
sailing off the map into dragons’ mouths,

Cathay, India, Siberia, goldeneh medina
leaving bodies by the way like abandoned treasure.
So they walked out of Egypt. So they bribed their way
out of Russia under loads of straw, so they steamed
out of the bloody smoking charnelhouse of Europe
on overloaded freighters forbidden all ports.

Out of pain into death or freedom or a different
painful dignity, into squalor and politics.
We Jews are all born of wanderers, with shoes
under our pillows and a memory of blood that is ours
raining down. We honor only those Jews who changed tonight
those who chose the desert over bondage,

who walked into the strange and became strangers
and gave birth to children who could look down
on them standing on their shoulders for having
been slaves. We honor those who let go of everything but
freedom, who ran, who revolted, who fought,
who became other by saving themselves.


From A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah, eds. Levitt and Strassfeld

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-10 01:01 am (UTC)
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
From: [personal profile] sonia
me too.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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