Ron Itzigsohn
Man of Apathetic Elation

Life Here Is Always the Lull In Between

Life during one of the lulls. Source: Ron Itzigsohn

My heart is with all our hostages and soldiers putting their lives on the line in Gaza, those stationed in the North, the displaced families, and the multitudes of others going through it in this war, we will get through this together. Bring them home.

Life here is always the lull in between,
The summer nights cupping a mug, the comedic shrug, the glasses clink
celebrating new opportunities, talking nonsense with little impunity.
Four dead and seven injured in a shooting at a cafe two blocks away.
The casual winter, a friend rolling a joint carton filter,
the south city streets clamoring with tiny scurrying master splinters
while the smoke lingers.
Bus ramming killing two: man and child succumb to their wounds.
The skyline, dazzling lights, blue and white, cranes in every slight corner, what a
sight to behold, a city barely 70 years old.
Six attempted murders at pride parade, young girl’s life taken.
The midday bustle, the coffee fueled hustle, the mural of graffiti with
spray paint still fresh.
The dried blood stains scar the kibbutz where entire families were burned alive.
Intimate live shows in tiny alcoves and groves turned into professional venues, artists beckon to extend you
their singularly perceptive prospectively reflective perspective about the societal collective.
Planes on their ways to flatten streets shake city blocks every night.

The first days I lie awake holding back tears, fluctuating between venomous rage and debilitating sorrow. Simultaneously overwhelmed and unable to stand still, I get in contact with whoever needs it, pack equipment or people and drive. Men to their bases, equipment for soldiers or for displaced families, food for holocaust survivors, it doesn’t matter, I need to move…
Eventually I end up in uniform myself, 8 hour guard shifts with strange men in cars too small for the enormous Vietnam era rifle we were given. 65 days discussing every aspect of our failures, and pointing fingers at every possible party. The truth is we all played our personal parts, but I don’t utter such guilt charged words, it’s a conversation no one is ready to have.
On the off days there are glimpses of the life you once lived… the unexpected reunions with colleagues in eerily empty offices, dinners with close friends, card games with the family. Nothing is the same. The war and devastation pervades every conversation, everything has changed and no one can prepare you for the dazzling speed of loss, the emotional whiplash, nor the loss of ceremonies marking the passage of time, time simply marches on unmarked. The whirlwind of chaos leaves you spinning, and in that fog of calamity you blunder through, you think of the lulls you used to call life.

About the Author
Ron Itzigsohn is currently an MSc student at the Weizmann Insitute. He holds a B.Sc.Med degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He's been residing in Israel for twelve tumultuous years since 2011.
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