Switching Gears

We are off to New Hampshire for the summer, where I'll be refocusing on the electric car: its commercial "ecosystem," the implications for public policy, and so forth--about which more soon. Watch this space also for updates and reflections on Obama's Middle East peace initiative as seen from the other side of the world.

If you've been thinking about becoming an email subscriber, you might pull the trigger. I expect posts will be more infrequent during the summer. Also, if you'd like to drop a line with suggestions, or simply to tell me how the blog is working for you, I'd be grateful: bernard.avishai@gmail.com.

I confess I am looking forward to spending time in America, to feeling the ambient pressure of ordinary liberalism, rather than the pressure of heroic solidarity. At the same time, I shall miss the narrowing instances of their combination, as captured in this marvelous poem by Lea Goldberg:

Is it true - will there ever come days of forgiveness and mercy?
And you'll walk in the field, and it will be an innocent's walk.
And your feet on the medick's small leaves will be gently caressing,
And sweet will be stings, when you're stung by the rye's broken stalks!

And the drizzle will catch you in pounding raindrops' folly
On your shoulders, your breast and your neck, while your mind will be clean,
You will walk the wet field, and the silence will fill you -
As does light in a dark cloud's rim

And you'll breathe in the furrow in breaths calm and even,
And the pond's golden mirror will show you the Sun up above,
And once more all the things will be simple, and present, and living,
And once more you will love - yes, you will, yes, once more you will love!

You will walk. All alone. Never hurt by the blazing inferno
Of the fires on the roads fed by horrors too awful to stand,
And in your heart of hearts you'll be able to humbly surrender,
In the way of the weeds, in the way of free men.

You can hear Chava Alberstein's wonderful rendition of this song-poem here. Take the time: it is lovely. (My thanks to Ganze Jahr Freylach, whose translation I am poaching.)