- Issues of the Day
- Spheres of Activity
- Audio and Visual Gallery
- About Me
- Climate Change and Israel’s Week of Fire (Wednesday, November 30, 2016)
- Environmental Milestones in Global Warming Efforts, Carbon-Free Energy Production (Wednesday, October 19, 2016)
- Israel and Tunisia: Shared Environmental Fates (Monday, September 26, 2016)
- Civilians as Cannon Fodder: The Continuing Fiasco in Syria (Sunday, August 21, 2016)
- Murder in the West Bank Further Distances the Prospects for Peace (Sunday, July 03, 2016)
- Britexit, A Step in the Wrong Direction (Friday, June 24, 2016)
- A Week Among the Basque (Monday, May 16, 2016)
- Honored to Serve Yedid, Israel’s Association for Community Empowerment (Tuesday, March 15, 2016)
- Edvard Munch: Archetypes (Tuesday, February 02, 2016)
- Anxiety and the Weather (Thursday, December 03, 2015)
- Nordic Countries Show that Alternative Sources Can Replace Fossil-Fuels While Sustaining Strong Economies (Monday, October 19, 2015)
- We Can't Afford Despair, A Comment on Terror in Jerusalem (Tuesday, October 13, 2015)
- An Unprecedented Dust Storm, Extreme Weather and Unrest in the Mideast (Sunday, September 13, 2015)
- Inseparable Threats: Climate Change and Strife in the Middle East (Thursday, August 20, 2015)
- Giving Birth to A Private Passage (Monday, August 17, 2015)
- Anish Kapoor: Lessons from Versailles (Tuesday, July 07, 2015)
- I Remember Nepal (Tuesday, May 05, 2015)
- Of Prague, Kafka and Havel (Friday, April 03, 2015)
- Israel's 2015 Elections: A Birdseye View (Friday, March 20, 2015)
- With You, Armenia (Thursday, March 05, 2015)
- Hamas: By Its Words and Its Deeds (Wednesday, August 20, 2014)
- A Weekend During the Gaza-Israel War (Friday, August 08, 2014)
- I Thought I Killed a Bee Today (Wednesday, June 25, 2014)
- The Emerging Science of Inequality (Thursday, February 06, 2014)
- Support for Hadassah (Friday, May 09, 2014)
- Draft Three, Dance of the Uroboros, Completed (Monday, February 24, 2014)
- Understanding Frida Kahlo (Sunday, December 22, 2013)
- A Writer's Worry: On Completing Draft Two of Dance of the Uroboros (Saturday, November 30, 2013)
- Israel to Shift to a Quality-of-Life Policy Focus? (Tuesday, October 29, 2013)
- Jerusalem Spared Further Sorrow (Wednesday, October 23, 2013)
- Talking About Dance of the Uroboros (Monday, October 14, 2013)
- Weapons of Mass Destruction Are Not the Only Global Threat (Monday, October 14, 2013)
- Dialog in the Middle East Today: What if it Worked? (Wednesday, September 18, 2013)
- Why Egypt Rebelled (Friday, August 23, 2013)
- Civil Society: The New Authority (Sunday, July 28, 2013)
- Lessons from Greece (Friday, July 05, 2013)
- Big Data Blues (Friday, June 14, 2013)
- 400 ppm: Our Carbon Addiction Takes Us to a New High (Thursday, May 23, 2013)
- The Resumption of Israel's Social Protests (Sunday, May 12, 2013)
- Salutogenesis: Wellness Amid Strife (Thursday, April 25, 2013)
- From Memorial Day to Independence Day, A Passage (Tuesday, April 16, 2013)
- Countering the Violence Within: A Must for Israel (Saturday, May 04, 2013)
- Israel's New Government: A Different Future? (Monday, March 18, 2013)
- Heed the Gatekeepers: The Directors of Israel’s Secret Service Speak Out (Monday, January 21, 2013)
- Of Israelis and Palestinians and the Life of Pi (Tuesday, January 08, 2013)
- Vote Against Rejection (Wednesday, December 26, 2012)
- An Over-Crowdedness of the Senses (Thursday, December 20, 2012)
- Turritopsis dohrnii, Forever Young: A Poem Inspired by a Jellyfish (Tuesday, December 11, 2012)
- Israel and Palestine: Beyond the Proclamations (Wednesday, November 28, 2012)
- An Ideology to Die For and Changing the Future (Wednesday, November 21, 2012)
- What Matters When the Lights Go Out (Monday, November 05, 2012)
- An Earthly Neighbor in Alpha Centauri (Friday, October 19, 2012)
- Ending Our Political Servitude (Friday, October 12, 2012)
- Visiting the Past: Megiddo and Beit Sha’rim (Saturday, October 06, 2012)
- The Meaning of Yom Kippur: The Power of Our Humanity (Thursday, September 27, 2012)
- Something Like Peace (Tuesday, September 18, 2012)
- Beautiful Israel: Doers of Good Works Honored by Pres. Peres (Thursday, September 06, 2012)
- The Changing of Seasons and the Renewal of Hope (Friday, August 31, 2012)
- Bigotry Has No Place In Israel -- Or Across the Border (Wednesday, August 22, 2012)
- The Government’s Iran Stance and the Prevailing Doubt (Friday, August 17, 2012)
- Mr. Romney’s Kibbutz (Wednesday, August 08, 2012)
- Lamentations: Reflections on the Ninth of Av (Sunday, July 29, 2012)
- Desperation and Defiance: One Man’s Protest (Monday, July 16, 2012)
- Landscapes of Beauty in the Judean Desert (Monday, July 09, 2012)
- The Commitment to Social Justice is the Israeli Norm (Wednesday, June 27, 2012)
- The Iranian Bomb and Global Zero (Saturday, June 23, 2012)
- At the Jewish Book Council’s Meet the Author Event (Thursday, June 14, 2012)
- Responding to Anti-Foreigner Violence (Tuesday, June 05, 2012)
- Writers Demand End to Exploitative Practices (Friday, May 25, 2012)
- Striving for Transcendence in Two Poems (Friday, May 18, 2012)
- Israel’s Greentech and Cleantech: Marks of Distinction (Thursday, May 10, 2012)
- African Refugees in Israel: Dealing with the Challenge (Thursday, April 19, 2012)
- Adapting to a Changing Environment (Wednesday, April 11, 2012)
- IFLAC Radio Comes Peaceably into the World (Wednesday, April 04, 2012)
- Chapter Ten of Rise now available for viewing (Sunday, April 01, 2012)
- Healthcare is a Human Right - All the Way to the World Bank (Wednesday, March 28, 2012)
- Workshop on Publishing for Independent Authors (Wednesday, March 28, 2012)
- Points of Darkness, Points of Light (Tuesday, March 20, 2012)
- Ode to Michal, Death Be Not Proud (Wednesday, March 14, 2012)
- “A Separation”: Iranians are People, Too (Wednesday, March 07, 2012)
- Peacemakers Turn Their Sights on Nigeria (Monday, February 20, 2012)
- Why “Jewish Avant-Garde Artists from Romania” is of Interest (Sunday, February 05, 2012)
- Not Giving Up on Two States (Monday, January 23, 2012)
- A Poem about Vienna (Monday, January 16, 2012)
- Polluting Ourselves: Discarded Meds and Water Contamination (Sunday, January 08, 2012)
- The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace and Rise (Wednesday, December 28, 2011)
- Radio Hosts: Is the Israeli Social Protest Movement Similar to those Elsewhere? (Saturday, December 24, 2011)
- The “Price Tag” Campaign of Extremist Violence is on the March (Sunday, December 11, 2011)
- Brain Storming for Change Throughout Israel: Round Tables 2021 (Sunday, June 12, 2011)
- Taking Aim At Our Feet: Withholding Tax Revenue to the PA (Wednesday, November 16, 2011)
- Striking Against Contract Labor Abuse (Monday, July 11, 2011)
- Cemetery Desecration and Other Racist Attacks Fraying Israel's Social Fabric (Monday, July 11, 2011)
- Declining Cooperation (Friday, October 28, 2011)
- Slight Movement: Israel and Turkey (Wednesday, October 26, 2011)
- Injustices of the Week: The Final Indignities Foisted on Gilad Shalit; Qadaffi and Jungle Justice (Wednesday, October 19, 2011)
- Gilad Shalit: May he have a long life, free to just be (Tuesday, October 18, 2011)
- Extremist Attacks on Israeli Arabs is an Attack on Israel (Tuesday, May 10, 2011)
- With a New Israeli Nobel Prize Winner, Celebration and Concern (Monday, July 09, 2012)
- Developments, Both Bleak And Promising, at the Start Of The New Year (Monday, October 03, 2011)
- 100 Thousand Poets for Change, in Haifa (Sunday, September 11, 2011)
- Days Five Through Eight in Spain: Discovering a Jewish Place (Monday, September 19, 2011)
- An International Community Fights Breathlessness (Sunday, September 18, 2011)
- Israeli Specialists Convene to Discuss Land Degradation, a Global Problem (Tuesday, September 06, 2011)
- Nearly Half a Million Rally to Repudiate the Government's Program (Sunday, September 04, 2011)
- When the Government Fails to Lead, the People Must (Tuesday, August 30, 2011)
- Thursday's Terror Attacks: Suffering on All Fronts (Sunday, August 21, 2011)
- Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, What's in a Name? (Wednesday, August 17, 2011)
- Forces of Light Radiate in Israel's Periphery (Sunday, August 14, 2011)
- Rise now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and as a Kindle eBook (Sunday, August 14, 2011)
- Three Hundred Thousand Israelis Demand the Return of the State (Sunday, August 07, 2011)
- Israelis Demand Power to the People (Sunday, July 31, 2011)
- A Warning from Nauru (Sunday, July 24, 2011)
- More from Al Gore on Climate Change Denial (Wednesday, July 20, 2011)
- Yedid, Israeli Community Empowerment Organization Struggling to Survive (Sunday, July 17, 2011)
- Kudos to a Noble Adversary, the Speaker of the Knesset's Defense of Democracy (Friday, July 15, 2011)
- "Boycott" Law: Further Erosion of Israeli Democracy (Wednesday, July 13, 2011)
- The continuing bloodletting in Sudan (Tuesday, July 05, 2011)
- Yarid Shira, a testimony of love (Friday, July 01, 2011)
- Bob Dylan, Anti-Social (Monday, June 20, 2011)
- "Pulmonary Hypertension: Profile of the Disease" Conference (Thursday, June 16, 2011)
- The 21st Century Text, David Yellin College (Tuesday, June 14, 2011)
- Joseph Cedar's "Footnote," an Extraordinary Film (Saturday, June 11, 2011)
- Beautiful Souls in the Subway (Saturday, June 04, 2011)
- Savage Beauty, the Alexander McQueen Exhibition (Thursday, June 02, 2011)
- Encountering the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Monday, May 30, 2011)
- Anti-Israel Graffiti on a Humanitarian Website (Saturday, May 28, 2011)
- Remains of an Environmental Treasure: Everglades National Park, Florida (Sunday, June 26, 2011)
I began writing preliminary notes and drafting sketches of what has become my current work-in-progress, a novel entitled Dance of the Uroboros, in early 2010. Although this is not an autobiographical work, during the period from 2002 to 2006 I underwent much of what is depicted in the novel -- a mortal struggle with end-stage liver disease – and decided that I would chronicle what I had learned from the odyssey -- if I survived.
The lessons of that experience accorded me profound insights that have subsequently enabled me to live with greater awareness and more meaningfully than ever before. What I have attempted to do in imparting these lessons is to provide hope to those who whose present circumstances allow them to see only the faintest light at the end of the tunnel.
Advancing, But How Far Along?
In the past four years my initial notes and sketches have gone through two full drafts comprised of thousands of pages. Individual chapters have been revised multiple times. I have devoted many, many hours to the project.
I am not done yet but I soon foresee sending out the work to select readers, people whose judgment I value in order to receive feedback and perspective that will inform final revisions. Following that, my hope is that Dance of the Uroboros will be ready for editing, proofreading and finally publication.
But now with the second draft completed, I ask myself if Uroboros is truly ready for others to read?
A Very Different Work than Rise
My previous fictional work, Rise, A Novel of Contemporary Israel, took twenty-five years to complete. Of course, I did not work on it continuously and the initial year and the final two involved far more work than the others combined. Still, by any measure Rise, a political thriller, had a lengthy period of gestation, although in many respects it was a much easier book to write than Uroboros. The former's plot and characters remained remarkably stable across the years. The landscapes rendered in it were familiar to me and the sequencing of events was straightforward.
Dance of the Uroboros is a psychological and spiritual work involving considerable research (mainly medical) and complexity. It is less plot-driven than Rise and more concerned with the personal worlds of its characters.
Uroboros weaves into a single tapestry the present, defined by the sixteen months that the book's protagonist, Eitan Rosnik, spends waiting for a transplant in a Jerusalem hospital, his memories of key events that led to his current forlornness, and the altered states of consciousness he experiences resulting from the physiological effects of his disease.
The book encompasses multiple temporal dimensions and a diverse geography of experience, both real and imaginary, that must be carefully and relevantly rendered.
From the author's point of view, these are formidable challenges. It would be foolhardy not to question if I have succeeded.
A Writer's Worry
Now that the second draft of Uroboros is complete, I suffer a writer's worry: Have I pulled off what I have set out to do? Is the message clearly presented? Have I been successful in interweaving memory and present narrative with the content of illusionary states replete with symbolism and allegory? Is the thread of Eitan's life comprehensible and interesting to the reader? Has Eitan's expanding awareness of self and the internal changes he undergoes been well communicated?
For a writer, such concerns are of a kind that keeps one up at night. They define the line between literary success and failure.
Have I Succeeded?
In reading Draft Two my notes express satisfaction and often enthusiasm for the individual chapters; as distinct parts, they work. However, these parts have to function in ensemble and their summary effect must resonate a message that transcends them individually. Now I have to ask if the work "hangs together?" Did the message get through as intended? Does the narrative flow? Is the prose supple and engaging? Does the dialog leave the impression of truthfulness?
Accordingly, the time has come then for another reading, one that is undertaken not with an authorial or editorial eye but from the perspective of a reader who encounters a book hoping to be rewarded by it.
In the coming week I will read the book in environs that do not easily allow me to "work" on it: During a long flight from Israel to Mexico I will focus only on determining whether Dance of the Uroboros allows the reader to enter Eitan Rosnik's world and be enhanced by the experience.
I should soon know better what remains to be done to make Dance of the Uroboros a meritorious read, one that will enrich the lives of those who generously venture into its pages.
Look for my assessment in a forthcoming post.