Saturday, February 21, 2009

evolution gogo - by b

dorian found these cool little plastic characters in spain called Evolution GoGo Crazybones. and, it turns out, they have many uses. in essaouira we hid them and searched for them. it was fun, with the added bonus that the seeker got a good 10 or 15 minutes of quiet time while the hiders hid. during one of these quiet times i was in one of our many!! bedrooms. (it is a real drag Kim, Jim, Emma and Myles (KJEM?) couldn't make it to use some of the rooms ... we woulda had fun). Here are some... the kids just call them Evolution GoGos.


i was lying on my back on the bed and i noticed a shape above the light hanging from the ceiling.


was it an echo, a memory, a shadow of a jewish star? here in this very muslim place? some of the lines were removed but i could easily complete the shape in my mind.

not that long ago essaouira had many jews living in it. some people say a majority of the town were jewish, others say it was 40%. either way, it's a lot of jews per capita. one morning i walked out of town to the jewish cemetery (there are actually two). this is what is left of jews here --- cemeteries (if your french is better than mine you can read about them here) and a synagogue that doesn't get much use. i called the synagogue and a caretaker let me in. it was really beautiful inside. with the most amazing tiles and designs.. very humble and very beautiful. A hint of a rich culture lived by a poor people

what's left of jews in essaouira are hints... like the imagined or real sign on the ceiling

as i lay there on the bed and thought about this it didn't make me sad. the story here was different to the story in europe where what's left of jews (and really so many other people too) are ghosts.

these jews left here in the 1950s for israel. and they are there now. for better or for worse. they are apparently even officially welcome to return to essaouira.

lying there kind of reminded me of walking around the lower east side of manhattan, in alphabet city, and seeing the remains of synagogues.

neighborhoods change, people move on. evolution. gogo