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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Disjointed Thoughts From Jerusalem On Finding The "One & Only"

Today in a very retrospective mood, I happened to find, by way of a wrong click actually on a hyperlink, what the Jerusalem Post, calls their Blog Central. I am not sure how or why people today use the Jerusalem Post for their Blog ideas, though I assume it is to be read by the tens of thousands of people that read the Jerusalem Post on-line every day.

I am not a particular fan of the Jerusalem Post, truth be told. Never have been. Sometimes as readers of The View From Jerusalem know, I do quote from their editorial section. Some of their editorials are written well and fairly clever. Some are worthless. But then again that is the case with the New York Times as well.

I cannot put my finger on why I have always had this somewhat "negative" attitude to the Jerusalem Post. Maybe it is because their news reports sometimes sound like editorials to my ears. Maybe it is because I think the International Herald Tribune is just a better paper.

But if I were to be totally honest, I think it is has a great deal to do with the fact that the Jerusalem Post is just too close to home for me. It just tends to be my backyard and my life. And that tends to make me scared and frustrated and sad.

So I perused Blog Central with a mix of cynical humor, introspective thoughts and sarcasm. After all, just like me, these people are blogging their ideas about Israel. They speak of all sorts of topics. Politics, medical stories, news, terror, being an Oleh, driving - any subject imaginable. Just like the outside world of blogs - with only one caveat. It is all about Israel. Thus one can get a fairly biased, and often not pretty view of Israel, depending upon the Blog author's opinions and ideas.

I found it educational and interesting. I found the ideas presented there often nutty and sane at the same time. I found the people posting on these blogs - speaking of real life and human situations about our crazy life in Israel.

And then I happened upon a blog, called the "Queen of Katamon". Now since there is an incredible amount of inference in this title let me explain.

The Jewish singles scene in Jerusalem centers around three neighborhoods - Katamon, German Colony and Bakkah. Much like the Jewish singles scene in New York City centers on the West Side of Manhattan. Now these three neighborhoods are really just a cross of the street and all in one big triangle. However, anyone just seeing the title the Queen of Katamon would know exactly what this blog would be about. And there are sadly, a tremendous amount of Jewish Singles here in Jerusalem, especially from English speaking countries, who came to live here on Aliyah.

Now I am divorced. And though I am way past a normative single scene in Jerusalem, almost all my friends are part of this "scene". Very close friends by the way. People I speak with, enjoy and go places with. And people I respect. Yes they are not within my "generation" but I guess I was personally always like that. So I do have somewhat of a inner, intimate knowledge on this "singles" scene that is discussed in the Queen of Katamon blog. I have also experienced it.

I assume that the woman writing this blog is attempting to be funny and witty about many different things. There are certainly many things to laugh about in any "singles scene" and certainly one that consists mainly of anglo-saxons living in Israel, and truly seeking their "one and only".

But you see, I must be getting old and just out of it. I really must be getting senile. Because almost every post bordered on the bitter and mean undercurrent of how difficult men are and just how impossible it is for the Queen to find that "right" one.

"Cool", I say to myself. "This is her perspective and I am sure there is a reason for it."

Oh no dear reader, I am not going to where you think I am going. I am sure there are quite a few people who enjoy this blog and it certainly is not meant for someone my age, I assume.

So where am I going? Know what bothers me about the blog? Know what turns me off? What I would certainly tell a friend if they were writing such things?

I would say, "Go for it. But for all that is holy, stop being so damn self-centered about YOU. YOU YOU YOU YOU. "

This is the greatest sickness of our society. The "ME". We are enthralled with ourselves. With our wittiness, our intelligence our achievements. We have fallen in love with ourselves, and everything we do. We are the center of our own universe. We are the smart ones; the witty; the nice; the intelligent.

In another context, over at Cobwebs Of The Mind, about writing and agents, I wrote about The "House" Effect on our society and in publishing in particular. This blog, Queen of Katamon, though I admit funny at times, is the quintessence of the "House Effect" on a personal life.

Make no mistake. I am sure the woman who writes Queen of Katamon is really a great lady and full of life. I am also sure that part of her personality comes out in the blog as well.

It bothers me. It kind of makes me think and wonder. It makes me incredibly sad.

Are we all turning into "I" and are we all imitating the need to think of ourselves as the center of life?

And I wonder. Can we afford to do it? Because in essence, the seeking of a partner is something that demands of us NOT TO BE self-centered. It demands giving and nurturing and understanding. It demands compromise and the willingness to allow the love to at least make a small inroad into our hearts. It demands we look out upon the world knowing the focal point is not our own selves. We seem to forget so easily, that the other in our lives hurts, cries and is often pained by what we do. As we are effected by our partner. We bleed and yet they bleed too. We are caught up in our own selves, our own needs and consequently we sometimes fail to see anything else except for our own "I".

Maybe, just maybe, the Queen of Katamon is a reflection of our own minds in modern society. And maybe, just maybe, that is why the Queen of Katamon has not yet found her "true partner".

I do hope the allegory for most of the readers of The View From Jerusalem is clear. And if it is not, then I humbly suggest a real honest look into the mirror of your souls. Perhaps there you will find the wisdom you require to balance your own needs against those of others. And perhaps then you will find what we all seek: the peace and satisfaction of finding your "true partner".


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