What I Thought: On 10/7 from the Diaspora

Field No. 4, Nir Oz, by Uri Guberman (used with permission from the artist)

I thought I should stay haunted. I thought, I will only feel better if I turn my heart away.

I thought about our hearts. I thought about my body.

I thought about the bodies.

I thought about learning a new anthem.

I thought about being quiet. I thought about being loud.

Of all things, I thought about my cell phone. I thought: staying on the phone with my husband every second of that day would not have kept me alive. I thought: No, my husband was a soldier once; he will always keep me alive. And for a moment, I thought no further.

I thought that God fell asleep. I thought maybe God missed his alarm that morning.  I thought, God is a single parent.

I thought about all the new single parents.

I thought: I should not remember any of their names unless I can remember all of them.

I thought: maybe duty is stronger than love.

I thought, should I try to make my children understand? I thought, they cannot be children forever.

I thought: I must be old now, because my life depends on dutiful children in green uniforms who live thousands of miles away.

I thought, Be here now. I thought, Get me out of here. I thought, We have nowhere else to go.*

I thought: there has never been a day after.

I thought: there will never be a day after.

And I thought about the day before.

*A note: In his remarks on 10/18/23, American President Joe Biden reflected on his visit to then-Prime Minister Golda Meir during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. He said: “Without her looking at me, she said to me, knowing I’d hear her, “Why do you look so worried, Senator Biden?” And I said, “Worried?”  Like, “Of course, I’m worried.”  And… she said, “…don’t worry, Senator, we Israelis have a secret weapon: We have nowhere else to go.”

During these remarks, President Biden also stated, “I have long said: If Israel didn’t exist, we would have to invent it.”

About the Author
Manya Treece is a Jew who lives in America. She is also a wife, a mother, a psychotherapist and a sporadic poet and author of fiction. Manya lives outside Chicago with her husband and three children.
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