How Long, My Lord? — Necessary Stories in The Times of Israel

Haim Watzman

A prophetic Necessary Story. Except the prophet is a cat.

illustration by Avi Katz

After Isaiah 6

“I am a cat of unclean lips!”

I give the seraph with the live coal my most bellicose stare, the kind I usually save for when King of the Refuse Heap Ahaz perches himself on top of our frog-dumpster at 15 Nahum Lifshitz Street to make a speech. I’m not sure what the thing with the live coal is about, but it doesn’t look good.

“Also,” I point out, “I live among cats of unclean lips. We all eat garbage.”

The seraph keeps flapping its wings and its arms and its legs and gets closer and closer. “Your eyes have beheld the King Lord of Hosts,” she points out. “No other cat has ever been honored in this way.” … continue reading at The Times of Israel

Read moreHow Long, My Lord? — Necessary Stories in The Times of Israel

Third Day of Spring — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report

Haim Watzman

The third day of spring is warm in the sun but cold in the shade. Ilana and I take the day off to head south and see lupines and anemones blanket green hills. But first we have a stop to make. We drive to the Botanical Gardens at Givat Ram for lunch at the café, and then buy flowers to plant at Niot’s grave.

illustration by Avi Katz
The military cemetery is a short ride away. We park in the small lot above Area D and walk down a long flight of steps, past plots holding soldiers from past wars and the uneasy intervals between them. We avert our gazes from the new section, where current burials take place; most of it is still covered in lawn. But, out of the corner of our eyes, we see a lone figure sitting by the newest patch of upturned earth. Two flights down from that is where Niot lies. We would hold hands as we approach him, but our arms are full.

On Niot’s plot, the flowers Ilana planted last year are blooming again, but the stems have grown long and tangled and tough. We try to put at least some of them in order, but realize that they have gone feral and will no longer bow to our will. So we dig them all up to replace them with young, soft newcomers, bearing petals of many colors. The sun is warm and I take off my sweater.

We do not speak much. We do not need to; lovers of many years know each other’s minds, and for the last six years we have been tied fast to each other not only by love but also by grief, and intense longing that often knows no words.

Read moreThird Day of Spring — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report