Thursday, July 29, 2021



Being part of the human race, it's only natural that we, people.  want and seek the company of other people.

Yet,  when I look back at my life, I find out that it is people that have weakened me most - more than work, more than bad habits, more than the...flu.  What can I do with this awareness? Not much. I can try to ignore  bad manners, stay away from some "toxic" individuals, keep to myself for protection (avoiding isolation). 

Barbara Streisand opens her famous song 'People' with a line claiming that "people that need people are the luckiest people in the world".   Well, let's not exaggerate. We all need people,  but needing them  might also make us dependent, and dependence  of any sort is rather undesirable, even within the family.

Another singer,  Jonathan McReynolds, has also a song named   'People' . He says about them that  "they are the best and the worst you've created / loving and hating and opinionated / loners in basements, and those congregated / ".  That's  closer to what we know of people.

People with talent find a long escape in art, others bestow hours of  attention on critters . I've got none of these tendencies (except feeding pigeons and growing the  'lucky bamboo' plant). So, no escapism for me, only the bare reality of trying to cope with people.

That's not as bad as it sounds ; it gives me considerable insight into human nature, and often saves me from falling into the traps laid by the combined efforts of populism and stupidity.These traps are becoming more numerous as the outer conditions (virus, climate) are getting worse.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Back to Nomadic Style?


I've been following the news about the recent floods in western Europe ( Germany, Belgium, Holland).  Total surprise, although  these countries are said to have  excellent warning systems. It appears science cannot predict the flooding with exactitude. People in Germany describe their cities and villages, as being now like battlefields.

We all know, of course, about climate change and global warmingׂ (Siberia's forests are burning - 38 C degree!), but precious time is wasted on theory, and not on practical issues. I believe we cannot prevent natural disasters , that's God's domain;  but we can perhaps learn ways to save our life.  

Education is vital here. First of all, people should be well aware of the fact that weather can be deadly; not only  a topic for  daily small talk.  Secondly, if possible, don't choose to live near a river or any other body of water. Thirdly, we'll probably have to adjust in the near future to a nomadic sort of life, as climate change will make us be on the move - albeit not with horses, but with vans, ,cars, cycles.

Covid -19  might also put us on the move as people who lose jobs due to restrictions are looking for all sorts of possibilities to earn a living.

By the way, in Israel, we're  facing a fourth virus Wave which will  possibly lead in a few weeks to  a fourth lockdown! It is the travelers to and from abroad that are being blamed.The airport is considered  'the gate to corona'

Without traveling abroad, israelis are dead people; the country is  a sort of ghetto surrounded by hostile neighbors. So, they'll keep on traveling abroad, and Covid-19 along with them. Sad.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Looking For The Desert


Territory is important. History is full of bloody battles over  land, regardless the size, value and quality of that land.

The vaster the better. A tiny, crowded country with hardly any solid borders like the one  I live in, is a recipe for disaster. It might get swallowed up by its neighbors. Peace can help, but genuine, lasting peace in this region is hard to imagine, as the dispute is...over land. We're being accused of having robbed others of their land.

A country with a pluralistic population definitely needs a vast territory ; this will help give people the right space and distancing, and so prevent ethnical and religious conflicts between the various groups. Togetherness can sometimes  be a recipe for disaster too.    Luckily, most pluralistic nations do have the adequate space.

And from the general to the individual.

I once had a neighbor whose 'hobby' was to demolish parts in his apartment (and even beyond that) seeking to enlarge it; that was weird and annoying. 

I discussed the matter with another neighbor  and she said:  'oh, well, he's looking for the desert , he'll never have enough space compared to the vastness of the desert'.  


- What do you mean? 

- His ancestors lived in a place close to the Sahara desert in Morocco.

- So ?! He's second or third generation in Israel, and hasn't even seen that desert.

At this point, she threw me the famous line: 'you can take a man out of the desert, you cannot take the desert out of a man, for many generations'.  'As long as he lives, wherever he  lives, he'll always try to demolish something to make way for more living space'. 

That's the desert syndrome, according to her.

It sounded like a joke,  but she wasn't joking.

Anyway, if you happen to be angry at someone or something (and I used to be very angry at that demolish-er), you might 'buy' even a rather strange explanation  such as 'looking for the desert'.



Wednesday, July 7, 2021

A Matter of Health


I believe we could do much to help ourselves with health issues, if only we pay more attention to what happens to and around our body. Most of us, however, are deep down into what I call  "happy escapism" : reading, watching TV, hobbies - leaving health symptoms to doctor appointments mainly.

There was a time, some ten years ago, when I often experienced palpitations. Scary! What usually stopped them was vigorous coughing and trying to sit or lie down in a certain position if there was a suitable place nearby.

After a while, I noticed a very crucial fact - that it never happened at home, only outside or in a shop. That puzzled me, and I started thinking hard until I solved the enigma. It was the rather heavy backpack that caused the palpitations . Carrying it, triggered some tissue that interfered with my heart electrical system (cardiologists will usually recommend ablation of that tissue if things do not improve with meds or otherwise).


After eliminating the backpack from my life, no palpitations  occurred to me ever again, thank God. Since then, I don't even carry a bag in my hands or on my shoulder. I put it in the little shopping cart or in the wheeled duffel bag I take with me when I leave home.

Whenever I gain a few pounds (usually in winter), my knees immediately make me notice them. So, if I don't want this to affect my walking  and I wish to avoid injections and surgery, the only plausible solution is to get rid of the weight surplus. No big deal after all, and, so far, it works, thank God again. (People who do a lot of walking should consider protecting knees with some sort of brace; there's a variety of them on the market).

The soles of my feet get treated more or less regularly by placing them on a roller massage manual device .
It does good to the whole body, not only to the feet.


Sometimes, pain comes and goes without apparently any cause or interference . If it persists, I'll try to locate it and understand its nature before I do something about it. I'll usually apply ice if I suspect swelling, or wear a compression sock if there's pain in the leg indicating possible, dangerous presence of a clot.

For a sore throat, I squeeze a lemon and drink the undiluted juice slowly. It has an immediate  beneficial effect. 


Once, I cut my finger  in a bad place ; nothing I did could stop the blood flow , and I started to panick. Suddenly, I saw a clothes peg. I grabbed it and clamped my finger with it for a minute or two. It did the job, and saved me perhaps  a trip to the ER.


The flu is a very nasty condition to an elderly person: fever, headaches, overall weakness.  The annual flu vaccine was of no help to me. Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, I've discovered the mask. No flu so far, and that makes me happy and grateful to the little health device. I feel sorry for myself for all those winters of suffering when no mask was recommended, only the annual useless jab.




* web pictures