I know for a fact that there are Israelis who think I’m crazy for choosing to leave the United States to live in Israel – I know it because they tell me. Repeatedly. It’s not all Israelis or even most, but those who do have a tendency to question my sanity for reaching such a decision. They aren’t interested in hearing about my former identity as a Diaspora Zionist or my pro-Israel campus activism. They’re not impressed that I fell in love with the country when I was just fifteen years old, vowing on that first trip that I would someday move here (much to the chagrin of my parents who, more than 30 years later, are still hoping it’s merely a phase). The bottom line is that everyone wants to know how I could choose to leave a country where the salaries are higher and the living is easy.
Sometimes, I wonder the same thing. I’ve lived here for more than twenty years and have no plans to leave. I do, however, occasionally fantasize about having a life that’s financially easier, a life where I don’t feel compelled to make professional compromises that enable me to take my son to visit his grandparents in America once a year and pay for his Waldorf education. Of course, with the amount of money we save by purchasing Legos in the US, the trip practically pays for itself, but still… (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
Whiling the hours away at home during my son’s high-risk pregnancy, I started a blog. My friend Ashley talked me into it, and as I recall, it didn’t take too much convincing. As a technical writer I desperately needed an outlet that would satisfy my creative desires and, if I was being honest with myself, I wanted to see how my writing would be received by others – assuming, of course, that people would actually be interested in anything I had to say.
I wrote about whatever topics happened to pop into my head, and while I had a propensity for writing about current events and politics, I rarely shared anything too controversial. I soon developed a very small following of readers and my initial foray into the blogging world was pleasant and uneventful. It was also short-lived; once my son was born, I could scarcely find time to eat let alone write, and blog posts slowly petered down to nothing. (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
There’s something about my birthday drawing near that always makes me feel like putting the proverbial pen to paper to do a bit of soul-searching. In 2009, it resulted in a blog post about musical influences, and in 2010, it resulted in a mind-spill of self-reflection.
Now here I am in 2013, trying to figure out how to mark my latest trip around the sun (in writing, anyway – the real-life celebrations are being taken care of as I write this…). I’ve been tossing a few ideas around in my mind and brainstorming with a few of my closest friends, and what you’ll find below is a result of that process. Since my son turned nine last week (and because nine fits nicely into 45, but we all know the first reason sounds much better…), I’ve divided the list into five categories with nine items each, mostly in random order. I’ve included a slew of links to relevant old blog posts, and just for fun, I’ve linked almost every instance of the word “poetry” (or variations thereof) to a different poem of mine, so be sure to check those out too. You can hover over each link to read its brief description.
About me: (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
As I wrote in this blog post, I recently had the privilege to profile Tel Aviv’s Gallery of International Naive Art for Haaretz‘s ESSENCE Lifestyle Magazine. What an amazing experience that was! Now that you’ve had a chance to read my personal thoughts about the gallery and naive art, how about reading the article itself?
Click the image below to read the entire article.by Liza Rosenberg
Through my work as a freelance writer, I’m often given opportunities to meet interesting individuals and explore topics and establishments whose paths would probably not have crossed with mine otherwise. I feel very fortunate to have a skill that allows me to do this, not to mention feeling incredibly lucky to have an editor with a knack for providing me with assignments that never fail to excite me and enrich my life somehow.
For my most recent assignment, I was asked to visit and then write about an art gallery. Though not an expert by anyone’s stretch of the imagination, I’ve always enjoyed visiting galleries and museums. As with any medium, some genres move me more than others, and it’s on a completely visceral level. That being said, I was absolutely not prepared for what awaited me at the Gallery of International Naïve Art (GINA). I’m sure I’ve encountered naïve art before without giving too much thought to the genre itself. It can be found all over the world, with a distinct set of attributes that characterizes this type of artwork no matter where the artist is from or when the painting was created. The genre is utterly timeless, and one of the most defining characteristics is that the artists are self-taught, having received no formal training. The paintings explode with warm colors and intricate detail that draws people in, speaking straight to the heart. There’s no need for explanations or commentary; the images simply speak for themselves.
And I was blown away by what I saw. (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
It was the hardest telephone call I’d ever had to make. “He’s gone,” I said quietly. “It’s over.” I could hear my father’s sharp intake of breath, followed by a choked sob. From my mother I heard nothing. Sitting on the narrow bed in our spartan hospital apartment with my husband by my side, I proceeded to convey the news to my parents that their six-month-old grandson had died.
The days and weeks that followed would pass in a blur, and the only thing I could recall from the funeral was the way my friend Grace grasped my hand so very tightly, and how grateful I was that she did so. I remember the friends who came to our home during the traditional week of mourning, and I remember wondering whether I’d ever be able to smile or laugh again. At the time, it seemed unimaginable. (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
Sometimes, life isn’t so great. You get bogged down in the negatives and lose sight of the good stuff – the stuff that makes you smile. And, while I’m not trying to minimize the negatives (and these days, there are more than a few, what with a friend being very sick, political and environmental disasters that are seemingly at every turn, a difficult job market, etc.), perhaps taking some time to focus on the positives will help take you to a better place. That’s why I’ve decided to take up a challenge – one that I will also pass on to you. But more on that later…
Fabulously talented author Isabel Losada (you really must read her books if you haven’t – even my son thinks she’s wonderful 😉 ) wrote a book entitled 100 Reasons to Be Glad, and as she shares her own list, she challenges readers to come up with their own. And because you know I simply can’t resist a challenge – especially one as interesting as this one, let’s see what I can come up with (in no particular order, of course).
My 100 reasons to be glad: (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
Whenever I’ve gone on job interviews over the years, there has always been one question that I’ve always dreaded – where do you see yourself in five/ten years’ time. I’ve never known how to respond, since I was always fairly certain that any answer I gave was not going to be the right one for them. I was never looking to climb the corporate ladder; I’ve never been interested in managing a team. There were several factors that came into play, but when it came down to it, I suppose I simply wasn’t prepared to offer any kind of verbal commitment for the long-term because I didn’t really know what direction I wanted my life to take. I’ve rarely been in a position of being able to admit to being so passionate about my work that I could see myself continuing with it far into the future.
Of course, there have always been fantasies about writing, but for many years, it wasn’t something I took seriously. It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable enough to call myself a writer without feeling like a fraud, and admittedly, when I am in the company (either real or virtual) of other writers, there’s still a part of me that’s always surprised when they see me as an equal. After all, it’s one thing when you’re father tells you that you can write (which always reminds me of those poor, untalented souls on American Idol who lament that “their mothers always told them they could sing”), and quite another when people with little to no vested interest in your professional well-being and no obvious reason to stroke your ego are telling you that you’re a pretty good writer. (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
Every year in the days leading up to my birthday, I enter a period of self-reflection. I look back on the events of the past year and think about how they may have reshaped my life. In the years before we had our son (who arrived just over a week before my birthday back in 2004), I would often see my birthday as a milestone that marked another year of failing to achieve our goal of having a child, and of course, everything else just seemed to pale in comparison. These last six years with my son have been a gift that knows no bounds, and every birthday celebration of mine is now intertwined with the joy that his birth has brought me.
But I digress. The past year has been interesting, to say the least. I went from having two part-time positions in technical writing to becoming a full-time freelancer, having successfully managed to lose both jobs within weeks of one another. I’m certainly enjoying the variety that being a freelancer brings, not to mention the freedom to make my own schedule and do more of the writing that I actually enjoy (such as the pleasure I derive from writing poetry – a relatively new hobby, or the essays I submit to various anthologies); it also means that I have to work harder to ensure that I include social interaction with others. Of course, whatever my gripes might be with this new situation, it’s still infinitely better than my life before, when I was coming home every evening at 7:30, miserable and unable to find a satisfactory home-work balance. Now, my office consists of the corner of our blue, L-shaped couch (which is now at least several centimeters lower than every other part of the couch), and I’m trying to figure out which cappuccino maker to purchase (suggestions are welcome!), given that good coffee is missing from my life these days almost as much as good opportunities for social interaction. And, while I currently have a rather healthy load of writing projects, I’m always on the lookout for more, so feel free to give a shout if you think you’ve got something I might be interested in (end of professional plug). (more…)by Liza Rosenberg