Barbara Kane's Reflection

Marcia died two days ago. A great sadness overwhelmed me, at the news of her ‘ loss. We had been close buddies for almost 25 years.
Paradoxically, now I think I have found her even more. More alive within me. What happened?
Stories, touch and smiles are flowing back into my consciousness. Hello, Marcia!

My god, and your God, O Dio mio e Dio d‘altro, you have never been so vivid, so alive within me!
What a funny paradox of Dying. You’re more alive within me than, say, last week. It’s been years since I have actually seen you.

Thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Marcia, you were a giant, so many say. Yes, true enough. But, really you were a physical midget, as we know. You barely scraped the chart at 4 foot eight!
Oh, that was Rosa Luxembourg but not much different.
Rosa’s motto was in fact, just like yours:
“The most revolutionary act is always to say, WHAT IS.”
Another giant.

Remember though, that day long past, when you transformed before the whole Israeli Knesset’s staring eyes, stretched out your little body from tiny little Lady as they saw you, into a creature never seen before or since in the Israeli government.

Haha. You yourself didn’t know what to expect when you were, it seemed, accidentally, elected to the Israeli Parliament. An exPat. From the United States, teaching Philosophy in Haifa. Shulamit Aloni solicited you to join her Women’s Party.. You were a little noisy Jewish lesbian. No one thought you would win. But, with the flukes of the shifting clouds and storms of political dealing making, suddenly you were thrust into office.

As Yogi Berra says, when there is a fork in the road, take it! That’s exactly what you did, didn’t you?

The first opening day of the Knesset meeting, you sat, credentials in hand, appalled. The podium where you were to stand behind and give a perfunctory acceptance speech was very high. How would your midget self see over the top of it, you wondered. Your courage wavered.

Finally, you threw caution to the winds and strode your little body right up there. You’d shout, if necessary you told me.
“Barbara, I stepped on the little platform behind the podium and at once I felt it rising, lifting my body up to the requisite height to give my chest and my head and shoulders visibility.”

It dawned on me, you said. “Oh, that’s how they do it here. All those short Jewish men from Eastern Europe, they would have all been hidden behind that impressively high podium which was needed for the stage prop of power. The little platform behind it lifted people up so they could rise and, proportionately, look like mighty giants.
So I did step up!”

Yes, Marcia, so you did.

You became a giant, standing there before the world. Yes, they laughed when you announced you were planning to take on issues like abortion, violence against women in the home, and violence in general in Israeli society. Forbidden subjects. Breast cancer, women’s rights, lesbian and gay rights, and worst of all, the need for a Palestinian State for the refugees to come home to! They laughed audibly at you! (Sara laughed but Issac was born.)

You said it all. Your midget self never changed, did it?

Indeed, you became and remained a giant, physically before them and also always in my mind.

I love you, Marcia.
You are not alone and neither am I, am I?

You are with me and also all of us our midget, giants selves, past present and future, accompany us through the forests, through the deserts.

In death, you have become more alive to me.

Barbara Kane

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