Tuesday, July 11, 2017

PART TWO: The Story of Trees Continues

Dry Bones cartoon,Trees, The Green Testament,Click to read Part One

    The story so far:
I was the political cartoonist of The Jerusalem Post.
I lived in Jerusalem and I was writing a graphic novel.
Because I was a completely secular and “rational” Jew I did not tell anyone that what I was writing and drawing was being "dictated to me" by “The Trees” (who referred to humanity as the rootless ones.)

    Taking Dictation?:
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is the American wing of the Israeli organization that plants trees in Israel.
The Israeli part of the operation is Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael (KKL).
JNF/KKL manages forests, pushes back the desert, and builds water reservoirs in the State of Israel. Israelis often enjoy holiday picnics and family outings in KKL forests. As a journalist I had been invited to take a JNF bus tour of their operations and facilities. I saw how seeds were sprouted, saplings pampered, and trees planted. And so when “The Trees” spoke to me I understood the world that they lived in and the images that they showed me. Having been on the journalist tour allowed me to maintain the fiction that I was the one writing the book, not “The Trees.”

On the days that “The Trees” were silent I attempted to write an outline of the book,
but I couldn’t.
I tried to estimate the length of the finished book,
but I couldn’t.
I attempted to write a chapter "on my own",
but I couldn’t.

Telling the story of Israel had always been difficult for me. There were three conflicting stories.
One story was the long and painful history of the Jewish nation.
A second story was the religious one, complete with bizarre Biblical “end of days” prophecies.
The third story was that of the modern state, the revival of our dead language, the ingathering of our brothers and sisters, the building up of our cities.
And so I was not surprised when ”The Trees” argued between themselves in their dictation to me. Maybe they weren’t dictating. Maybe it was all just my subconscious. It was a comforting thought, but I dutifully continued to watch as each page surprised me as it flowed from my pen.

A heavy Jerusalem snowstorm blew down neighborhood trees and damaged the little house we lived in. In reaction, my wife and I moved to a Tel Aviv apartment. Soon I would find myself sitting, every day, at a table in a local Tel Aviv café across the street from our apartment, furiously drawing page after page. The book was now nearing completion, but I had no idea of what lay in store.

    To Be Continued . . .

You can buy the book from Amazon (Print copy or Kindle) at http://amazon.com/author/kirschen
Or you can order a signed copy to be mailed directly to you from my home in Israel http://store.drybones.com/
And if you buy a copy from Amazon PLEASE leave a review. It would be really helpful. Dry Bones cartoon,Trees, Th Green Testament,

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