Hello Natalie.

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Natalie Portman has stepped into our life three times this past week, a considerable amount, I believe, and exceptional enough to take a moment and share about.

First, her words on "What Israel Means to Me" I liked it so well that instead of only sharing the link, I thought I'd just put the quote right here...she says so much about Israel in such ironic and true terms, not to mention beautiful...that, well, we just had to share.

Where I was born. Where I ate my first Popsicle and used a proper toilet for the first time. Where some of my 18-year-old friends spend their nights in bunkers sleeping with their helmets on. Where security guards are the only jobs in surplus. Where deserts bloom and pioneer stories are sentimentalized. Where a thorny, sweet cactus is the symbol of the ideal Israeli. Where immigrating to Israel is called “ascending” and emigrating from Israel is called “descending.” Where my grandparents were not born, but where they were saved. 

Where the year passes with the season of olives, of almonds, of dates. Where the transgressive pig or shrimp dish speaks defiantly from a Jerusalem menu. Where, despite substantial exception, secularism is the rule. Where wine is religiously sweet. Where “Arabic homes” is a positive real estate term with no sense of irony. Where there is endless material for dark humor. Where there are countless words for “to bother,” but no single one yet for “to pleasure.” Where laughter is the currency; jokes the religion. Where political parties multiply more quickly than do people. Where to become religious is described as “returning to an answer” and becoming secular “returning to a question.”

Where six citizens have won Nobel prizes in 50 years. Where the first one earned an Olympic gold in 2004 for sailing (an Israeli also won the bronze for judo). Where there is snow two hours north and hamsin (desert wind) two hours south. Where Moses never was allowed to walk, but whose streets we litter. Where the language in which Abraham spoke to Isaac before he was to sacrifice him has been resuscitated to include the words for “sweatshirt” and “schadenfreude” and “chemical warfare” and “press conference.” Where the muezzin chants, and the church bells sound and the shofars cry freely at the Wall. Where the shopkeepers bargain. Where the politicians bargain. Where there will one day be peace but never quiet.


Second, she appears to be directing, and starring in, a film just across the street from us in Nachlaot. Apparently Kurt and I have missed plenty of opportunities to watch from our window, but others have walked over to watch. It will be an adaptation of Amos Oz's A Tale of Love and Darkness and it is her directorial debut. Watch out for that foreign film one next year at the Oscars.

Lastly, and less interestingly so, Kurt and I watched the new Thor movie this weekend. I'm a sucker for Marvel movies, which I attribute to my brother, but so is Kurt - so it works! Here's to you Natalie Portman, you're just lovely. 

1 comment:

Kaysie said...

OMGGGG she is my ultimate woman crush (human crush too) and I am so jealous you have seen her in the flesh! She's such an incredible person. Do I sound like a wacko?