Saturday, September 20, 2008

Song of the Morning: Trees

Israel is my adoptive home. There, I said it. It's not like I, my parent's or even some of my grandparents were not born here. It's how much I feel at home that I'm talking about. On the one hand, I barely feel comfortable in my own skin. This feeble body has brought its fair share of disappointments and frailties. On the other hand, in this life I'm not likely to experience how it would be like living in another body, which means this is the only body I have and may as well consider it Home (there's a somewhat disturbing dualistic view of Mind-Body acting as a pre-supposition here; disturbing because I'm not sure what I really think or feel about it).

But I digress. My point is I don't always feel at home here, like I belong or long to be here. Whether this is the result of me being a snob, some remnants of another (and better) life elsewhere, plain escapism or a correct reading of the facts, I don't know. I like forests and rivers. The desert has its charm, but I'd prefer it'd keep its distance from me.

So yes, I'm at home here. But maybe I need a little RV time before I can finally settle in.

This post's song deals with similar issues. It was written by one of Israel's greatest poets, Leah Goldberg, expressing longing for her birthplace (she was born in Königsberg). Achinoam Nini (also known as Noa), along with Gil Dor, composed the music for it as well as adding a few verses of her own in English. She spent most of her childhood in New York and has, as she sings, "roots on both sides of the sea".

Perhaps it's possible to have roots in a far away land one has never been to. Perhaps we grow our own roots after the fact. Right now, I think I have some packing to do.

Achinoam Nini (Noa) - אילנות (Trees) {MP3} (from Achinoam Nini/Gil Dor [Leah and Rachel])
Achinoam Nini's picture from

Late Edit: When I first heard Amit Erez's "Postcard" a couple of years ago, I thought it dealt with the same feelings I mentioned earlier - not really belonging here and longing to be elsewhere. With the video clip of the song, released a few months ago, you get a somewhat different meaning. See below the beautiful clip.

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