Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Climate Chaos Within Our Own Hearts


On San Francisco's BART (Winter, 2016)

Arriving in Logan Airport (Winter, 2016)


UC Berkeley Campus in the rain (Winter, 2016)

Roads and Smog, Oakland, CA (Winter, 2016)

San Francisco in the dark (Winter, 2016)


I’ve been trying to find the words. No words as dawn lit the dry air outside my Tel Aviv window. No words hours later, as I passed under banners for the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics in Logan International Airport. No words during rains that grey-shimmered my first few days visiting Berkeley, California, once home to massive movements for fairness, justice, tolerance and compassion in human relations. Now with people living on her downtown sidewalks and "post-housing bubble" rentals with ginormous price tags.
Without words, I walked through the chill air because I needed to be near other people, even if we were just passing each other without a look. The streets ran with rain. My clothes were instantly soaked. The wind turned my umbrella inside-out fast. I decided to head for REI to buy sneakers, and found that the 2.5 mile trip to and from, by bus, would cost me four bus fares. No transfers are offered in the bus system here.
I continued to walk. I passed a bus shelter filled with homeless and shivering people. I was passed by empty buses. According to Urban Habitat, the transportation system that used to be here in the Bay Area “…was easy to use... 170 ferries landed every day in San Francisco, connecting to trolley lines leaving every 20 seconds. The trollies were faster than the roads... until auto companies bought the trolley system — and burned it down!”
I waded through flooded gutters. Down streets filled with glistening cars. There were so many gas stations and the gas seemed cheap, about $2.49 a gallon. I was starting to understand why Trump nominated a gas corporation CEO for Secretary of State.
Still no words. I thought about the American Electoral College delegates who are trying to vote with their consciences. I thought of the brave men and women who fight modern slavery (trying to help the millions who are sex/labored trafficked - the novel I just finished writing is about a person trapped in that hell.) I thought about the compassion which still exists in every place and in so many souls though sometimes it feels like every form of kindness is about to blink out. The many people helping the homeless in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Some Arabs welcoming homeless Israeli Jews (made homeless because of the Arab arson-intifada) into their homes. Israeli organizations bringing wounded Syrians into Israel to give them shelter and healing. And many people, in many homes worldwide, trying to help animals that have been abandoned and brutalized.
The storm was starting to make sense too. The climate chaos that mirrors the conflicts within our own troubled hearts.

 

The comments below are exported from Facebook.
Comments
Tabitha Hall Wow! Thank you.

Chaya Rosen The Sari voice...love to read her...

Sue Finger You write so beautifully

Howard M Percival Always love the writing; where can I buy the T-Shirt? How long are you going to be back in CA?
Sari Friedman Thank you Howard M Percival! I'll be back a month.

John Smith You write so well...I have read a couple of things by Albert Camus and your writing reminded me of him.
Sari Friedman Wow, thank you so much John Smith. I love Camus!

Laura Smyth These are such complicated times
Sari Friedman Absolutely right, Laura Smyth. Where to begin to respond...
Laura Smyth I don't know. Haven't written a word in weeks. Trying to find my focus to enter the new year.
Michele Goldsmith There's normality and there is dread. Ditto Brexit.
Laura Smyth Dread is the word
Laura Smyth The lack of empathy between people of different experiences is the seemingly unsolvable problem.
Sari Friedman It's horrific, that lack of empathy. I've been struggling to find my own inner balance because it feels like everything is so topsy turvy outside.
Laura Smyth Everything is topsy-turvy. No seeming about it I fear.
Laura Smyth But we will hold ourselves together.
Sari Friedman It's all really strange. You'd think people so comfortable with fictional worlds and creativity and the life of the imagination would have an easier time with it all. For me, it's the coldness, the cruelty, the feeling that a beautiful future is slipping from our grasp... that's what gets me Laura Smyth

Michele Goldsmith I would love to hear how you are finding life in Israel as an immigrant.
Sari Friedman I've wanted to write about that, too, Michele Goldsmith. I got overwhelmed by trying to complete my novel and also professionally edit (which is how I make a living). I couldn't do anything more. I hope to get back to that other topic, though. Basically, living in Israel is difficult - but each morning you are waking up in this amazing place.
Michele Goldsmith A poignant summary. I haven't been for 20 years. There are cheap flights from the UK at the moment. It's time to visit again. Yet I'm reticent.

Lynn H. Friedman Your writing is so beautiful while expressing so much pain. It is so hard not to be swallowed by it. I hold so tightly to my faith and hope. I feel that is all I have. I refuse to live my life in pain despite the feeling of it pressing against the other side of the door. I take a deep breath and ask my father's partisan energy to take me over.
Sari Friedman Thank you Lynn H. Friedman. After I write the pain does feel transformed. Without art, oy. You know this too, my dear, yes?
Lynn H. Friedman Please continue to share it ! YES! My "art" consists of random acts of kindness.While I am on this planet, I am dedicated to the contribution of healing for myself (new concept..lol) and others. I love sharing my soul with my soul sister.Thank G-d for you,

Carlos R. Gonzales Excellent writing, Sari. The America I grew up in is very different from the one you describe. Trump's children sitting in his cabinet meetings and his attempts to control what the press says about him are worrisome.
Sari Friedman Thank you Carlos R. Gonzales, and actually I do completely share your concerns.
Marjorie O'Meara Beautiful writing. I felt I was walking with you.
Sunny Hester Beautiful!!!! Glad to see your poignant post, its been awhile. Thanks for allowing me along on your journey. Take care
Richard G Moss So true, but all the destruction caused by Obama will be fixed and the George Soros philosophy and his NWO will be eliminated.

Daniel Winter So sad that your heart is troubled... There is so much optimism over here in the land of the right. Clearly, the darkness reigns over there on the side of the wrong.

Sari Friedman Sorry but I can't join you in taunting the physically challenged, taking pennies from paupers to grant ever-huger tax breaks to the rich, gloating, being deluged by fake news, and an election that gives an office to someone who got 2.8 million less votes.
Charles Fishman "land of the right"? Which land is that?
Daniel Winter Sorry I can't join in vilifying you as you are so quick to vilify me. Your writing has earned you a soft spot in my heart. Enjoy hating me in the name of 
Carlos R. Gonzales Alan Dershowitz has called for an end to the electoral college. Wyoming, with half a million people has two senators. California with 33 million people has two senators. Antiquated system.
Sari Friedman Daniel Winter You say that your political views are "right" and mine are "wrong." I have a soft spot for you, too, Daniel Winter so let's talk about this. Do you feel that the political views of the current president elect are different from anything I've listed? If so, I'm open to hearing about this. This is a case where I'd be relieved to be wrong.
Daniel Winter I think Nancy Pelosi turning her backside to a democratically elected visiting head of state was horrific. Obviously, you disagree (or, at the very least, I failed to see you posting your outrage).

I think the POTUS claiming the clearly targeted as vi
...See More
Sari Friedman Daniel Winter You make excellent points. I'm disgusted right there with you by a lot of what you describe.
Sari Friedman I'm sort of behind on a tremendous amount of work, which is why I haven't blogged much in the last few months... but why don't you write this book yourself? It's a good idea.
Daniel Winter Sorry. Had to delete. Thought I was replying to your post in Children of Holocaust Survivors, not your public page. My bad.
Irmgard Friedburg I think I am missing something....I will try to come back to this discussion at some point. Because I am just frightened what else is coming as this all seems to be like a wildfire to me....

Gavin-Jon Phelps Everything is going to be ok. Things have a way of working themselves out. The sun will still rise. Bread will still smell nice in the oven. Young girls will still wear dresses too short and not know whether to pull them up or down. Stop giving in to fear and take your lives into your own hands.
Charles Fishman Moving and luminous witnessing, Sarita. Thank you.

Ellie Libitzky Caruso That was so beautifully written, Sari. You write from your soul and so obvious when one reads your words. I like your comment about living in Israel being difficult but every day waking up to that amazing place. It's true. I've heard those words from my son, as well. Enjoy your visit to CA...another wonderful place. Alot of my family is there and I visit often. You have a wonderful talent with words.
Irmgard Friedburg I am glad to see more people being so touched by your words, i did not realize that you are a professional writer!  But as you could see on the same post in the group, your text touched me deeply! And yes, beautifully written, but also very deep!

Charles Fishman Moving and luminous witnessing, Sari. Thank you.
Helène Eisenberg You finished your novel! I'd like to say hooray!, but don't know if you feel empty or new stories are crowding in....In any case, mazel tov! 
What brings/takes you to California? Bay area tent cities just in the Times...you're tuned into the zeitgeist, into the storm.
Sari Friedman Thank you Helène Eisenberg! I've got a lot of love for this place, and for a lot of reasons I wanted to come back. I'll be back for a month. Yes, tent cities everywhere. I walked through the one in TLV and wanted to write about it, too. Didn't have time. Maybe when I'm back. And yes, I finished the novel!!!!!!!!!!!! Except that I now want to revise the last forty pages. But I'm basically done. *Doing the happy dance*
Helène Eisenberg Ahh, glad you are happy! 
Thinking of an old friend who went from New York to Berkeley, no trace of her on the net...

AR Singer · Friends with Fred L. Zaidman
Beautiful writing.
Sari Friedman Thank you AR Singer!

Lisa Horn Thank you so much for this Sari.You've spoken my heart in a way that I don't find often. I so overwhelmed sometimes so worried and Afraid and sad, and then I dig deep and and rise up again. I am working on efficiency. Listening to the stories from Alep...See More
Sari Friedman Lisa Horn that's beautiful, thank you and yes....
Lisa Horn My beloved parents, Holocaust survivor and prisoner of war, taught us gave us transmitted to us huge love for Humanity and sentient beings. 
As horrible as everything is I still retain that love and Trust for Humanity. I have to assume and act as if 
...See More
Irmgard Friedburg You do the work that is recommended by those who want to resist! Thank you for sharing about not giving up and where you can draw strength from!
Eileen Malone The trollies were faster than the roads... until auto companies bought the trolley system — and burned it down!” --- yeah, that's a whole other story.

Louise Frost So good to read your beautiful post and glad you are in the US for a month. The lack of empathy you speak of that people lack for others is what bothers me most. I know so many who have this problem. It's inconceivable to me yet I see it so often.
Sari Friedman Yeah, it's astounding Louise Louise Frost thank you.

Anne Vogle Todah.nice bit of writing.soon You will be a published writer.you are gifted.
Sari Friedman Thank you Anne Vogel.

Hindy Abelson Wonderful Sari. Thanks for lightening and brightening my soul. Luv you! Wherever you are, that country is lucky to have you. 
Sari Friedman Oh Hindy Abelson you're so sweet.

Dawn Lenard Parrott Sari ,life is so tenuous , so fragile , yet so hearty and determined, and you capture it all and weave it with words into a tangible feeling . When I read your writing I feel like I'm there, my eyes and my soul . I very much want to read your novel .
Sari Friedman Thank you Dawn Lenard Parrott I want you to read it too 
Dawn Lenard Parrott when will it be out?
Irmgard Friedburg I agree! And now I am curious! 

Bright K. Arvut You are simply an amazing Talent Sari. Your impeccable skill of writing is very attractive indeed.   
Sari Friedman Thank you so much Bright K. Arvut 😌

Sandra Tyler Welcome home ❤️
Sari Friedman Thank you dear Sandy.

Deborah Birman Shlider Sari write write write ! Happy New Years 2017! BTW it's cold here too. Who needs winter anyway ?
Susan Lewis Hadash Love your writing. I am appalled at auto companies buying trolleys to burn them down! Pure evil.
Sari Friedman Thank you Susan Lewis Hadash and yes, I agree. That sort of selfishness led to our ending up here.

Nancy Flesch Brundige I so enjoyed reading this, Sari! UCBerkeley is my alma mater...it has changed so much since I was there, and not in a good way, unfortunately. I'm looking forward to your book!
Sari Friedman Thank you Nancy Flesch Brundige, and congrats on getting into Cal, that must have been great.
Nancy Flesch Brundige Oh my goodness, Cal was very, very long ago! Wasn't as difficult to get into then as it is now. But I was happy I got in!

Bruce K Main Welcome home Sari, if only for a month! Your writings are always so rich with content and always thoughtful provoking me always to think deeply about matters of such social value.
Sari Friedman Thank you Bruce K Main. I really feel like we're all reaching each other and it means a lot to me.

Arbel Shemesh Hi Sari, I am in Berkeley too, would love to meet you face to face finally, 
5103345853
Sari Friedman Hi Arbel, we are in the same city? Cool! I don't have easy use of a regular American phone number and phone, so can you text or WhatsApp to my Israeli number? That should be free. 9720584229952.

Rob Friedman Hello Sister, hope to see you!!!
Sari Friedman Hi Rob Friedman, let's talk.

Madison Taylor Wow. Just ... wow. Great news on finishing the novel. Keep us posted on its road to publication. I hope your agent finds the best home for it.
Sari Friedman Thanks Madison 

Ira Glick mazel tov on finishing novel

Phosawe Romero I felt like I was there. It's because I've walked that way too.
Sari Friedman Yes Phosawe Romero and it's great we all share so much.

Mary Friedman Heartbreaking, your feeling so sad. Just personally, I would like to see you as a hopeful soul with happiness in your heart. Just me loving you.
Wendy Williams America is on the skids.
Michael Mellon Thank you Sari, as it's writing like this , that first caught my eye, and you graciously accepted my friend request. Amongst all the chaos , and the sorrow, there are many unnoticed acts of kindness and good will in every corner of our world. I'm going to share this on my page, as a reminder, to all, that love will trump over hate every day of the week. Thank you for this.
Steacy LeSadler I love you, woman. 
James LeCuyer But you are the most outrageously beautiful sensitive woman I know. When's your story coming out? I'm rather retiring from most everything and concentrating on writing. We shall all be wonderful and survive and the world is generally improving and we are learning how to cope with setbacks such as Trump. He may have even been something necessary for us to endure, and to reflect upon. Love. Jim
Mary Friedman Beautiful prose, thank you. Very sorry haven't got to see you.



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