A Whole and Divided Heart 5

 

The reality for me, an immigrant at 71, is that whatever sophistication of language I have in English will manifest itself only erratically in Hebrew.  As much as I might want to speak to my friends here in Israel in their native tongue, to relate to them with all the complexity of thought and emotion their lives and mine hold, as an immigrant, I’ll only ever get partway there.

This is something I never thought of when I was younger and going off to live in West Africa, in Afghanistan, in Italy – not as an immigrant, but as a resident of some length. In the egotism of my youth, I rattled along in those languages, feeling perfectly fluent, oblivious to the look of puzzlement / bemusement on native faces.

That was youth. Older now, more aware, and an immigrant, I think of all the older immigrants to the United States, to Israel, or elsewhere, who have crossed one ocean and, having landed in their new country, face yet another: the ocean of language, lying vast and daunting in front of them, replete with slippery creatures behaving in confusing ways.

I’m working hard to put what’s in my mind on my lips, and I know I’ll keep trying even given the odds. I also know I can’t complain; I have the good fortune to have as a mother tongue the lingua franca of the era.

Given I could get along in English – and I am verging on 72 — , what’s the purpose of even trying to learn?  Our mother tongue is fundamental to our sense of the world, to whatever it is that forms our character, our vision, so why jump into a current where I’m fated forever to swim upstream?

My reason: Learning a language allows me in a modest, but exciting way, to let go of certainty. I used to find this adventure and stimulation by mountain climbing in the Tetons, by running marathons, by riding on top a load of peanuts through the savannah and jungles of Nigeria, by taking a Pakistani army truck to Hunza along the steep cliffs and alluvial fans of the Himalayas….

I can’t do that any more. I was young; now I’m old, and whether by the force aging exerts or by choice, my vision of what constitutes adventure, has broadened, has moved into a new adventure in learning. And I have found that language learning packs the same punch you experience when you first learn to read, when the symbols come alive on the page. Do you remember how exciting it was to be called on and be able to read: “See spot run.”?

Learning a new language has always compelled me outside myself. Peoples’ lives are embedded in their their grammar, their nouns, adjectives and prepositions. As it did when I was young immersed in other languages, studying Hebrew now (with more intent, more concentration) urges me to note my surroundings with new eyes. Out of the rut of my own comfortable language and reading of the world, I travel to a stance where I always should be, but mostly am not:  that of struggling to understand the people and the world around me, never vacant even during the simplest experiences.

Adjectives wink at me, verbs box me in the ears, laughing, “I’m different! You never met anyone like me before! Hang out with me and we’ll go places.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Whole and Divided Heart 4

At the airport in Newark, while we waited to board the plane for Israel, I understood that it would be impossible to describe an “average” American oleh (immigrant to Israel). Steve and I were early, so we had the advantage of seeing the other 71 olim hadashim (“new immigrants” to Israel) as they arrived.

There was a woman and her husband from West Texas with one big dog and one little dog; a single man in his late 70s; a few single Orthodox women, one in simple headdress, plain gray skirt, olive sweater and gray shoes, another in brilliant black and white patterned dress and striking black headdress ; a family of tall father, short mother, and three medium-sized teenage girls; a modest young couple in their twenties; another young couple with a baby just a few months old, a young Hasidic family . . . The list goes on, with no clear pattern.

To emigrate from the United States today is not to be as an immigrant coming to the States in the late 1800s, the early 1900s, or during/just after the Holocaust. We were not ragged, not hungry, not penniless. As far as I can know, most of us in the airport that day were going to a new life, not escaping from an old one of poverty, famine, or deadly anti-Semitism (though perhaps anti-Semitism of a less immediately lethal sort?).

In a logical and efficiently organized process, Nefesh b’Nefesh had guided our initial Stateside immigration steps, and that efficiency continued at Newark airport. Every question was answered, every help given. It was a foretaste of what our welcome to Israel would be.

We olim were traveling that day with a group of young people from Birth Right, the ten-day trip to Israel for Jewish young people from 18 to 26 who have never been or who have spent only short vacations in Israel. I noted in the Birthright group the great excitement youth-on-a-new-  adventure generates, and I contrasted their liveliness with my own oddly-reserved spirit.

I was emigrating; why was I feeling reserved?

I think there are three reasons:

First, I have traveled so much for so many years, I have come to feel the excitement of travel as an internal hum rather than a burst of song. When I left home for Africa at age 19 I had never been on an airplane. I remember the emotional pandemonium of watching the earth slide away below me and running images of Africa through my mind.

In the ensuing years I repeated the experience through Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Russia, Canada, the U.S…. and I seem in retrospect to have been constantly ascending and descending to and from planes, trains, busses — or hiking, or riding horseback. I became an itinerant, practiced at moving (and resigned to current airline travel in cramped seats and with diminished service. — Hiking and horseback-riding has stayed fun.)

Second is that making Aliyah has come, like I mentioned above, in steps, not just in the final process, but as I moved through life.

I was 19 years old, living in West Africa and had several Israeli friends when I first thought of moving to Israel. The next time I came close to immigrating was when I was 24, living in Afghanistan. The next time, it was the Yom Kippur War; Steve and I had our passports and were ready to go, when the Israeli government began asking people not to come. From then Steve and I often spoke about immigrating, but we entered the flow of American life: graduate school, professional work, three sons. Still, we made trips to Israel, and for the past 11 years I have been going every year to volunteer with the IDF.

The third reason I was more reserved during immigration is one I’ve talked about in an earlier blog. When you leave a place, you leave people as well. Just as when you arrive, you arrive to people as well as to place. Such loss and joy will always be tangled. I am a fortunate immigrant in that, G-d willing, as long as I am healthy, I can travel back and forth. I can float in the river that runs two ways. But I also must live as one who, if she gains months here, loses months there. A whole and divided heart:  children/grandchildren/friends on both sides of the world. Loss and joy will always be tangled and one becomes more reserved with that braided blood.

Is there an inevitability to what happens in our lives?  I can’t answer it with any true understanding or rationale. But in retrospect I can see the steps, can see the way I was headed, although I couldn’t see it at the time. There were reasons I didn’t come to Israel those first times I thought of coming. Good reasons? I can’t tell; at midnight, I sometimes wonder what would have been. It’s human to do that, and I may sometimes yearn for the people who have been lost in death or in the obscurity of time, but when morning comes, I think of my family and friends, and experience a sweet ache at all the gifts I’ve been allotted.

So I like to think that now is the right time, that now, if my earlier reasons were wanting to come were selfish, now they are less so. Now, coated with a thin patina of cynicism, I can live in the reality of Israel, not in the dream of it. I like to think too that now I have the ability and understanding to carry two passports at once. I hope so.

The last step of immigration happened in an instant. We received our identity cards as soon as we landed. We were citizens. Hundreds of people outside the baggage hall were waiting as we stepped from the confines of the airport to the reception area.

“Baruchim Ha Bayim!!” (“Welcome home!”), People shouted and sang to us.

I felt as if I were swimming in a river of history.  Even as I write this, over two weeks since it happened, I am emotional. Where but in Israel?

 

 

 

A Whole and Divided Heart 3

I had planned to post blogs according to the chronology of our move here, but I need to interrupt myself. “We interrupt this broadcast to bring you….” an alert:

Today is the birthday of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922)!

Who was Eliezer Ben Yehuda?

A Jewish lexicographer, a newspaper editor, and the driving force behind the revival of Hebrew in the modern era. He would have been 158 years old this month. When he came to what is now Israel in 1891, his motto was “Hebrew in the home, Hebrew in School, and words words words!”

I won’t make a foray into the whole history behind the development of modern-day Hebrew, but for just one aspect of that history, think of what it meant (and still means) to create new words for a new language, not just for new technological terms of the era, but even for everyday words like “clothes-iron” (mag-hetz), “ice cream” (g’lida), “furniture” (rihut) and “k’ruvit” (cauliflower). Of course other languages had to go through a similar – if not quite as daunting – process; they would have had the everyday words, and they would have already had hundreds of thousands of speakers.

As Wikipedia says:

“The process of Hebrew’s return to regular usage is unique; there are no other examples of a natural language” without any native speakers subsequently acquiring several million such native speakers, and no other examples of a sacred language becoming a national language with millions of “first language” speakers.”

A Whole and Divided Heart 2

 

We had a layover in New York for a day before the El Al flight, and spent it with our friends, Kathy and Bruce. I’ve known Kathy since kindergarten in the Midwest, when, as five year olds, we rode the bus to town from our respective farms, one north, one south, to start our academic careers and a life-long friendship. They came to take us from our hotel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we saw an exhibit of life in Jerusalem from 1000 – 1400. I confess that now, in my jet-lagged state, I remember little of that vast exhibit, but I won’t forget seeing one of Maimonides’ books, written in his own hand! Having the book inches from my fingertips continues to amaze me. To see the handwriting of one of the greatest of minds ever — those even, precise lines across the page — was as if he had been in the room only a minute before and had just set down his pen to leave for a bite of supper!

The other object that stays with me was the Venetian Marino Sanudo Torsello the Vecchio’s, Book of Secrets, (1307-1321), a source of information on geography, history, ethnography, and commerce. If Sanudo was not as well-known as his contemporaries, Petrarch and Dante Alighieri, his was still a great accomplishment. Even with this it was sad to learn that Sanudo was the first among the bigoted pro-Crusaders to thoroughly explore the possibility of an economic blockade as an action of war in the Holy Land of the time. The first BDS movement??!!

Kathy and Bruce, finished off the day by taking us on a tour:  down 5th Avenue, through Greenwich Village, and into the Lower East side where, on that third night of Hannukah, we double parked while Steve ran into Yonah Schimmel’s to pick up latkes and knishes (potatoes and kasha. Yum!). He was happy to take part in a tradition: his mother, during a sojourn in New York in 1938-39, used to eat there.

 

A Whole and Divided Heart 1

 

We started the first step of Aliyah, the trip to the airport from Logan, on 25th December 2016. During the night a heavy snowfall dumped ten inches of wet snow. I went out just before sunup to shovel our driveway and sidewalks, and after, learned our flight would be delayed at least three hours because of the weather. If not exactly at the time planned, we were to go from heavy mountain snow to Mediterranean breeze.

Both tension and excitement, joy and sadness accompany travel, even more poignantly during emigration. I’ve wondered at the way the last minutes before a departure endow clarity. In those fleeting moments at home in Logan, when I stopped to lean on the shovel and look up at the snow-covered mountains, breathe deeply of the crystalline air, I realized with new eyes my children, grandchildren, and friends were nearby and other family and friends were at least in the same country. Replete with gratitude and yearning, I longed in those moments to be in two places at once. My community in Logan and my sojourns/previous stays in Israel seemed to have fallen on me through no credit of my own. As a poet whose name I can’t remember said, “[it felt] like a miracle come down on the breakfast table”.

Love and amity:  a gift.

In the same moment of thankfulness, I knew I had at least two homes. I knew that in Israel I would yearn toward Utah, to be with our middle son and his wife and children, with the widow of our eldest son and their children, with friends, and within fairly easy reach of other family. And once in Utah I knew, in turn, I would yearn towards Israel, our youngest son and our many friends in cities, on kibbutzim, in towns and in the army.

Utah. Family dinners, days with the grandchildren and children; Shabbat studies with our havurah; snow!; visits with our good and generous neighbors, hiking the Bonneville trail, Brith Sholem nearby . . .

Israel. Sharing our youngest son’s life; visiting the Kotel where, with thousands of other names, all our children’s names rest in hope for safety, with thanks, and, for the lost one, in grief. Israel, where the land meets the sea and reflects the restless stability so much a part of almost any human’s existence and the sweet moist air softens the skin; where Friday, Shabbat, and Sunday dovetail in a triumvirate and more of beliefs, and we spend the weekend with friends on the kibbutz. Israel, where everywhere I turn, Hebrew, which I work so hard to recall from deep in my memory —

all of this, I’ll leave it too and I’ll feel the same gratitude as I felt leaning on my shovel knee-deep in the snow of the Bear River Range.

Emigration/Immigration is a choice, a difficult choice because when you arrive, you have also left and when you leave you also arrive.

Many don’t understand, but it is your life to love Utah and to love Israel, and you travel, ever thankful, ever aware a person may have more than one home, and so, will carry them always on the compelled journeys of a whole and divided heart.

In the poem “Renascence,” Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote:

. . .

The world stands out on either side

No wider than the heart is wide.

Above the world is stretched the sky –

No higher than the soul is high.

At the edge of the World

Mid-August was the height of the Perseid meteor showers. The showers happen when the planet Earth is crossing the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Or, if you are mythologically inclined, these meteors commemorate the visit of Zeus in a shower of gold to Danae, the mother of Perseus.

Each year my husband and I check the computer for the best date to watch the Perseid meteors plummet across the skies. It’s a 30-year tradition in our family, and we approach the day with anticipation, almost as if we had tickets to Tasmania.

The evening before the showers, we pack the car: lawn chairs, blankets, heavy coats, and money (for the donuts after). When the alarm, sounds somewhere between 3 and 4 a.m., we wrestle into winter clothes and drive along the empty streets to a wide-open spot up Green Canyon.

We started this tradition when our kids were little. In those early days, they must have wondered why first we told them to go to bed early and then, just a few hours later, dragged them from their deepest sleep and hauled them into the mountains, only to put them back into sleeping bags.

Still, it didn’t take long for the adventure of it to catch on with our sons:  the eccentricity of getting up in the middle of the night, the naughtiness of being outside in pajamas, and the sugary pleasure of eating donuts before dawn were a distinct draw.

Sometimes when the alarm rings, I wonder why, now that our kids are grown, my husband and I still get excited about the meteor showers. The loss of sleep catches up with us later in the day; donuts give us a sugar high and then the concomitant low. And what are meteor showers, anyway? Space debris, bits and pieces of a parent comet’s rubble slamming into Earth’s upper atmosphere at 130,000 mph – then disappearing so fast you get whiplash trying to catch the sight of those fleeting, radiant lights before they are extinguished.

What is it that continues to attract us?

I know the answer: it’s our children. They are far afield, across countries and the universe, but on the nights of the Perseid showers we are all joined anew. Wherever we are, each of us sets an alarm, dresses, and heads into the dark.

One son walks into a desert in the Middle East, one son carries his daughter to the car and drives up Temple Fork, and one son, lost to this earth, watches from his ring-side seat in the other world.

If the other months of the year our children are away from home, out, as they should be, “fulfilling life’s longing for itself,” the night of the Perseid meteors, we make a place together at the edge of the world and gaze upward, all of us together, taking our infinitesimal part in this August mystery.

 

 

 

 

His Feet Were Wings, His Beautiful Head a Compass*

I usually think of travel as getting in the car or boarding a plane and going away from home. Recently, I’ve found those journeys, however long, are never as far-reaching as the inward ones. This year, out of habit and to find new perspective, I traveled again to the Middle East for another two-month volunteer stint. There, working, I continued on another journey, the longest I’ve ever undertaken: an exploration of the inner country of grief, caused by the loss of our son to cancer.

Some months earlier, on a late morning during shiva, just a few days after Dov’s death, I lay in the grass in our backyard eye level with the splash of spring violets across our lawn. Among the flowers, little bees I’d never noticed before flitted from blossom to blossom. Watching them a question rose and circled round and round in my mind: “Where are you, Dov?”

Witnessing the bees with the gentle astonishment nature often elicits, I sensed Dov’s spirit linger, hesitant to let go of earth, and I thought he might answer. He hasn’t answered, at least not in any way I anticipated, but as time passes, I hear the answer almost everyday.

After shiva, I spent a year in study, reflection, and therapy, and I began to realize that the question, “Where are you, Dov?” was more important than the answer. In the struggle of those months, I had to accept that neither I, nor anyone else, can answer it; and, as time passed, I realized that “Where are you?” inevitably leads to “Where am I?” Dov, in the newfound wisdom he must now have wherever he is, would laugh aloud to know I was figuring things out.

It’s not up to me to know what I can’t know, although I continue to think about an afterlife; but it is up to me to know where I am. Where do I stand now? What am I doing with the grief, with the memories, with the longing for a son I won’t see again as long as I live?

How has Dov’s death changed me? If I look in the mirror of grief, what do I find of use to this life, besides a bereaved face? How do I continue carrying the sorrow, not trying to recapture my lost son, but living in a way that honors his life? How do I make memory a catalyst to action in this world.

Dov and I talked together and wondered together about the afterlife, particularly during long, wakeful nights in the hospital. From childhood on, and even more intensely during the progressively difficult years with cancer, Dov’s answer to the question ‘Where am I’?  was without fail, an exuberant “HERE!” The same as when he was a boy.

To use the hackneyed phrase, he lived in the moment. If that led to a certain chaos of distraction, timing, and scheduling, to minor frustrations for those around him while he grasped the tail of each minute and ran with it, the annoyance was balanced by seeing such joy for life, which many long to have, but of which few are capable.

While many choose to sit and think about what’s next on the calendar, Dov was stopping to thank and chat with the janitors working in the hallway at the infusion room, or was telling a joke to the clerk at the front desk, or recognizing that the pamphlets a dismayed young woman was carrying signified it was her first day on the cancer ward and he could help alleviate her fear. He explored every encounter to find a laugh, a bit of fun, a meaning, a discovery of shared humanity. This habit of seeing riches dispersed in every minute stayed with him to his last breath. From his life-threatening, premature birth on, he used the seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years with a dizzying intensity.

I don’t mean to draw a Pollyannaish depiction of Dov, and he would not want me to. He spoke to me of the unease he felt when people made too much of him – even though paradoxically, he loved being the center of attention. He knew his intensity for the moment could be enticing and trying, that his great joy in life, his insistent expression of it, demanded time or effort others could not always and did not always want to give.

Simply, he stood in thrall to love of life, to his comedic gifts, which he spent his youth developing in repartee with his brothers and father, all of whom matched him for wit.

As he aged he continued to channel his delight at living through laughter and stories, sometimes, in his generosity of words, augmenting reality. I think his genius was in carrying the feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood. It was his sweet remnants of narcissism joined to his readiness to take on the rough work of dying that made him the man he became in adversity.

With cancer close behind, shoving him in the back, Dov brought his gifts to fulfillment. If his laughter fluttered at the edges with anger, fear, fury, pain, that was okay. He realized in full, like his folklorist father taught him, humor can be a two-sided coin. We laugh about the things we take most seriously. For Dov, and for other cancer patients – no matter how graciously they skim over or belittle their suffering to put others at ease, behind the smiles and the self-effacements, and the I’m-doing-okays,  the torments of the illness are there in spades, and the concern is how to deal with them.

More outrageous and edgy every year, Dov’s comedic gifts transformed from a private genius for his own joy-pain, his own afflictions and those of close friends and family, to a gift for a whole community of patients, medical staff, caregivers. Dying of cancer, Dov gave life the complete attention of his complex character, shed of any desire for recompense. He opened his Facebook page to encourage communication; he sent his fine poems to everyone and anyone, he told stories, and when he was able, entertained wherever he was asked. He approached strangers to learn their stories, to create a tie, to say “we’re in it together”. He made community where it hadn’t existed. If he offended people with his FUCK CANCER shirt, I like to think the offense lasted only as long as it took them to realize which of those two words was the most offensive.

It was this flagrant, brazen laughter, shared and developed first with his father and brothers and then with others, that led him to the ultimate wisdom of love. His was a tenacious, resilient behavior: love as a force, love that ran headlong with abandon, love enacted with the brave elan of one jumping from a high cliff into the river below, yelling with a hoot of joy for being alive. If his hoot of delight was barbed by the gravelly sound of grief knowing he was leaving life, it meant not that he was diminished but that he was a complete man. It’s easy to see this kind of strength in the movies; it’s another thing to live it.

Where are you, Dov? Sitting in my office, the question, and the agony, come again, and again, I break down. I won’t stop wondering or crying until I die — and then, just maybe, I’ll find out. I hope more than anything I get to see you again, my son, some place where you exist beyond pain and yearning.

Until then the question will gnaw at me, and I know that just after it comes to mind, I’ll catch a fleeting vision of your smile and an echo of your laugh, and I’ll remind myself that today, on this earth, I have to ask not Where are you, Dov? but Where am I?

 

* Paraphrase from Roman Payne

 

Swimming to the Corners of the Earth

     Question: What do Logan, Utah; Santiago, Chile; and international sports competition have in common?

     Answer: Sixteen-year-old Logan swimmer, Tori Geller.

In May of this year, Geller was chosen, along with nine other U. S. swimmers, to represent the U.S.A. in the youth category at the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games in Santiago. These games take place in-between each Maccabiah, the “Jewish Olympics” held in Israel.

This December, Geller, one of six hundred U.S. athletes, will join over three thousand international competitors for eleven days in the Chilean capital. Pitted against other top-quality athletes in twenty-two sports ranging from basketball and karate to tennis and chess, all the competitors will have time not only for sightseeing, but particularly for community service, an integral part of the Maccabi Games and of the Maccabiah in Israel as well.

Geller has spent half her life in one or another of Logan’s swimming pools.

“I started swimming when I was eight. I think a friend suggested I try it. I did, and really liked it,” she says, “especially the breaststroke; it was my best, and now I do the IM [Individual Medley] too.”

“Best” is an understatement. In her first competition at eight, she was only two seconds off the state breaststroke record for her age group. Training under Barracuda coaches Jerry Hodgkinson and Dani Harding, Grizzly coach Matthew Butler, and Israeli coach Hanan Sterling, Geller has progressed from that eight-year- old who liked swimming, to Utah State Champion in the breaststroke, to swimming at the Israeli National meet, to being selected Rookie of the Year and voted Most Valuable Player.

Willie Mays once said “It isn’t hard to be good from time to time in sports. What’s tough is being good everyday.” And Geller is. It’s not only innate talent that drives her. A typical summer day for her means getting up at five a.m. to run repeats of the Old Main steps, followed by a dryland workout for strength, and only then moving on to team practice at the Sports Academy or the Aquatic Center for another hard session of dryland, core exercises, and swimming. In the afternoon it’s back to the pool for another one and a-half hours.

Just this year, high school coach Butler convinced Geller to try water polo.

“I wanted to try it, to do something different,” Geller says. “It was a way to refresh myself, so I wouldn’t get stale.”

When asked about her favorite moments in swimming, it was surprising to find out that it was neither the victories she’d won nor the records she’d set that she most remembered. Instead, her favorite times were those of individual challenge and team interaction.

“Every once in a while in practice, I do what feels like a perfect set. It feels so good. It’s not important to anyone else, but that’s one of my favorite moments. And the social things. You get to go to meets with your friends and sometimes stay overnight, and just have fun. So I get the individual times when it’s just me against myself, and the social team times too.”

Geller finds a way to keep swimming no matter what. At age twelve, she traveled with her family to spend a year in Israel. At the Leo Baeck School in Haifa she asked about swimming. The coach tested her, and when he found she was too advanced for his team, suggested she meet Hanan Sterling, coach of the Maccabi Haifa team, which included an Olympian in his twenties and other members, all three to six years older than Geller.

“When he tested me, he made me swim real slow. He was more interested in technique than speed. I got on the team, and it was tough. I could keep up with the older girls though and it was cool to have an Olympian in the next lane.”

Tori Geller is too modest even to think it about herself, but it’s easy to imagine a future international meet in which some young swimmer says, ‘It was tough, but it was really cool to have Tori Geller in the lane next to me.”

 

The community is raising funds to help send Geller to the Games. Anyone interested in contributing can find her Website at: http://support.maccabiusa.com/site/TR/Games/MaccabiTeamRaiser?px=1009901&pg=personal&fr_id=1040

 

 

 

 

Pino Zennaro, Venetian Artist

Venetian painter Pino Zennaro’s spirit works in conjunction with his hand. Through exquisite detail, his paintings invite us to explore aspects of our lives of which we may have have had inklings, but never investigated. The brilliantly colored abstract, “The First Day”, is an example. The painting encourages us to take part in the wonder of a beginning, a place of bright complexity, a myriad of colored forms where we lose ourselves in awe, just as one would on a true first day. As Franco Vian has said, elements of Kandinsky, Capogrossi, and Vorticism Inglese may be glimpsed in Zennaro’s work, but they are not the sum of, nor do they define his unique and generous gift. More than a statement, Zennaro’s paintings solicit our company; they encourage our presence. The stark and pure “Mandala Yamantaka” summons us to the spiritual. The “Ideogrammi” bring us messages from another world, as if we stood before an ancient wall of symbols and, suddenly, could read them. Then we turn to “Metropoli” and are whisked back to the contemporary world, swept with Zennaro by the rush of the city along the streets of New York or London. The canvas itself appears to stream by. Zennaro’s craftsmanship, his style, his distinctive use of color, and his eclectic vision carry us to places we’ve never been. One can’t help but thank him — and wait impatiently for the next painting.  See www.pinozennarocicogna.com

BROADWAY cm.103x117

BOLLE cm.150x200

Israeli Artist Yael Meiry

Yael'sChildren

     In the works of Israeli artist Yael Meiry, the heart of the Kinneret and early kibbutzim come alive in fluent brushstrokes that allow the viewer insight into the spirit of the country. 
     Meiry’s use of bright color and the dream-like quality of her paintings portray, through images of her youth, the agricultural beginnings and indomitable spirit of the Israelis. 
     We see in Meiry’s works fluid representations of landscape that often echo the Japanese style: humans in their sadnesses and joys are small, the natural world and its beauty large. 

Yael'sKibbutz

     Meiry’s is a Middle East where love of land and the people on it are in community, working together in a profound, constructive relationship with the land and its gifts.
     In difficult times, Meiry’s dismay manifests itself in muted colors and in the stance of the figures, shoulders bent, regarding a landscape of muted colors, as if the land too were weeping. 

twofiguresoverlookingKinneret
     

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