Friday, July 11, 2014

Letter to a Friend as Gaza Burns

Thank you for your note. It is with a sick heart that i write this from my kitchen table. About 3 mos ago i made a vow to my partner that i would be here for her and not travel this summer as we prepare to move to Florida. i have already broken that vow once. i can not do it again.

It is incredibly difficult- i feel physically ill. Not because my presence in Gaza would solve anything, but only because what is happening to the people there is so egregious and so stunningly inhumane that i prefer to stand with them--- in a sense to reclaim my own humanity which is diminished every time a bomb demolishes a home. Anything less doesn't seem like enough. So i feel like i've failed, not just a small failure before me, more a universal failure----a failure without redemption.

For many days i have been besides myself with anger. Writing these words helps dissipate the violence in my mind and allows the incredible sadness of my being room to breathe. Unfortunately, it does nothing to stem the violence raining down on the people of Gaza.

i reach out to touch the beauty around me, my friend, my dog, the ocean, the blue sky and it sustains me for a moment, realizing it is a temporary panacea as the bombs (our bombs, my bombs) continue to fall far around the world. i recognize the people of Gaza have few moments to reach out as the unrelenting bombardment continues.

Last night they blew up the port and many fishing boats. They attacked a mosque (in this holy month of Ramadan), they attacked a hospital. They buried people in the rubble of their homes(as they have done everyday since the beginning of this onslaught). It is beyond my understanding.

When human beings, my friends, like the journalist (and a new father) Mohammed Omer write, "I don't know what else to say. I think we are going to die." And my dear friend Intimaa writes, "i am going to try to call my family. I hope they are not all dead." my spirit is crushed.

These are dark days.

May beauty sustain us. Love, Johnny