Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 2 November 2007

A small but important addition

To my very small blog roll I have added the site of my friend Lisa Goldman. The Thoughtful Dresser is not a political blog but from time to time it does reflect some of my wider interests. Lisa is a Vancouver-born Canadian-Israeli journalist, now based in Tel Aviv. Building up to the summer of 2006 she worked to make contact with bloggers on the other side of the sealed border with Lebanon. When the war started and the bombs fell she insisted on doing everything she could to maintain contact with the ordinary individuals, bloggers and journalists like herself, who were supposed to be her enemies. She insisted on not accepting the demonisation and dehumanisation which is a characteristic of this conflict. She embodies for me the quote from Vasily Grossman's novel Life and Fate, on the sidebar (a book which at some point I will write more of): 'The only true and lasting meaning of the struggle for life lies in the individual, in his modest peculiarities and his right to these peculiarities.'

Prohibited from entering Lebanon because she holds, in addition to her Canadian passport, an Israeli one, she nevertheless went there this summer. The discovery, after she left, prompted a scathing editorial in the Beirut Daily Star accusing her of being a spy. The hundreds of emails and comments she received from Lebanese civilians thanking her for her visit, proves Grossman's maxim.

There are evil people in the world, but most of us merely struggle from day to day to find joy in whatever interests us, in love in friendship, in clothes or football. Flawed and often failing, we must nevertheless do what we can to live our lives in the circumstances, societies and political systems in which we find ourselves and sometimes we must struggle to change what is intolerable about those societies and systems. But mostly, we just live. And being alive is a unique wonder of its own.


Lisa Goldman said...

Aw, Linda, thank you for this post - it's such an honour. I stared at your kind words and thought, "Who, moi?"

I love it that you chose the photo taken outside a boutique in Tel Aviv - so in keeping with the theme of The Thoughtful Dresser.

Tiny correction: I was born and raised in Vancouver, not Toronto.

Lisa xx

Linda Grant said...