not drowning waving

SEPTEMBER 25, 2010 11:59AM

A shack in the dunes

Rate: 24 Flag

 images

 I stumbled upon - south Australia, remote. 

It was empty, I was looking through the drawers.

They were empty too, but lined with newspaper.

August 8, 1952. Less than a month after I was born.

Ron came by on a quad. Check shirt, shorts, beard, blond grey hair in a ponytail - I said I'm sorry, I didn't know it was anybody's place.

We went back to his house. His three boys, my two girls, me and Ron,

at the table.

The youngest boy brought some falafel, and olives around.

The kids were talking, I leaned to Ron, said so what's your trade ?

Laying down roadbase or something like that ?

He stood up and walked behind me.

We took it outside, and walked along a footpath under trees,

he said : I'm afraid of myself, how much I hate you, I'm afraid of my answer. 

 

 

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This was a little creepy..... like a bad dream.
It really does sound like a scary dream. The images and Ron, both in the background ready to strike. If it isn't a dream, its the kind of poem you want to learn more about the events that transpired.
rated
the way this unfolded was wonderful! ... for reasons i do not know, other than the suspicion that its some sort of hidden universal truth, i loved this: "I'm afraid of myself..."
Yike! but I want to read more.... : )
A forthright psychopath anyway, putting the best light on it we can.
There are things I don't get to feel as a woman, that I am glad for. One, apparently, is that the line between two civil men is very very thin, and that at any moment, that fighting rage can pop out (perhaps for some more than others). I have seen this, and it scares me. I suspect a rural man with feral boys would likely be living on that line.
Fascinating tension...One never knows where the sore spots are and we all run the risk of poking one however innocently.
More, please! Even tho' it is frightful, it's too good to miss.
R
The date on the paper strikes me first. I had just turned one. Then I feel the awkwardness of being discovered in someone else's space. Awkwardness dissolves? abates? when his son brings simple food to share. Only then when an innocent assumption is made about what he does, does something spark clearly enough for you both to go outside. I hear the words he speaks to you. I begin to assume. I can not see the eyes of the men as they stand on the path under trees. I can not see if you somehow made a peace and so, I fear for the father I know and his little girls. I want to feel closure and safety. Instead I feel edge ... as I suspect you felt then. And yet, I wonder, what of him. Powerful portrait in these words.
good writing.

gave me a bit of raised hair on the back of my neck.
You change the world with words.
Beautiful writing, lean, so lean, menacing. Still, I'm not sure...of anything here. I love the juxtaposition of the ordinary, the children, falafel, olives with the walk under the trees and the words said there. And that first line, here, I'll repeat it because it excites something in me and I want to make the words, however briefly, my own:
I stumbled upon - south Australia, remote.
Rhythm, pace perfect here.
Is that it, or are you going to finish it. Scary stuff that conjures up all sorts of scenarios. Great Stuff. R-
Yikes! Is he friends with Torman's guy?
I'll just keep the motor running outside, OK?
Eeeerie. Gave me pause. I am glad DB is keeping the motor running.
...you've set the hook. chilling...impossible to stop wondering now. R more?
Dave
you crack me up - you know I love you - is that it, or are you going to finish it ?
I'm swimming, seriously, with the blue groper on Myriad's avatar.
M.A.W.B. - it became our nightmare

R.P.
Ready to strike

l,
the universal fear

J.T.
it's in the papers

B.
Which one's the psychopath ?
( there's a prize ... )

O.
the boys weren't so feral that they didn't serve us food

L
in my case not so innocent

P.W.
None of us are gonna miss how this turns out

a,
nailed it

F.M.
thanks
no apologies

d
what else are we going to use ?
Swords, bullets ?

G,
at 58 I love being called "lean"

Mr P,
I'll go read Torman

David,
I've read you - I love your mind

DB,
Turn the fucking motor off.
This is going to take much longer than we thought.

pv,
go keep the poor guy company.
He's got a million stories.

A P.M.
no more. You ?
fears...shadows, not substance...but oh so real.
Kim, I would not underestimate the power of what you have allowed to happen here. By using a different lens to focus on this picture, you allowed readers to come inside without any preconceptions that words like Palestine or Israel immediately put in place. You took most of us to a physical place we may not know even as you described an unease familiar to anyone who has looked at or opened something or... fill in the blank ... that was not theirs, that did not belong to them. Because you used first person and brought your two girls into the mix, you allowed the chance for your reader to care in a way one might not if the characters could be anyone. The caring makes the sharing of food more personal and clear. It also makes the standing up and walking outside far more ominous. The words then spoken and aimed at you jar your reader's space and then offers no final scene. There is only edge and unknowing.

The longer you waited to add a clearer lens, you allowed your reader to be aware of what such edges mean and how they feel especially when one we love is balanced on the pivot point.

Now you have offered your intent and because it seemed as though you and possibly your daughters were the ones at risk, you have allowed what otherwise might seem so remote to touch us at our own pulse points. You have raised the consciousness of your readers to a reality of today, 26 September, when at midnight the moratorium on settlements ends. 50-50 chance of peace talks continuing, Barak said yesterday, if some compromise on the settlements can be managed.

I have been following this story and I have had to hunt for news on a Sunday here. I have been following this story but when I read your piece here, my focus was on you and the possible outcome in the shack in the dunes.

Writers use different lenses to catch their readers unaware and allow them to ponder what they otherwise might miss. I think your approach here is masterful and may have achieved, albeit in a somewhat roundabout way, much of what you hoped to achieve.

As writers, we can not control what a reader will and will not see. We can offer our words and then we wait until our readers speak. I have not been able to put your words down since I read them yesterday. I doubt that I am the only one. You give us here the bones of the tale that affects so many. It is up to us to extrapolate a sense of what exists and what has long been at stake. I, for one, can not stop thinking. That is the gift of this piece to me.
Good stuff. Grab you by the throat good stuff. More!
geesh louise this is intense. Had to read several times glad to know the context. what annaliese said.
Beth,
laughing one,
my first lover,
more ?
make that happen.

Anne,
What did she say, do you think ?
Or was it clear enough ...
sometimes I want her to write my pieces for me.
I can alienate people,
anna1liese can bring them close like a whisper.
She inspires trust, somehow.
See you soon.
anna1liese,
hi.
Your reading completely humbles me. Thank you for taking the time to explain how you received this meagre piece and the aftermath.
As far as we know now the moratorium has ended.
Bulldozers spewing gas and bones are razing productive land for Yaweh.
I'm afraid of myself ... of my answer.
Kim,

Still here with you, reading, listening, thinking, hoping, worrying. Now waiting. Fearing. Hoping.

I believe that whether or not you intended it, you offered me and others an anchor, a way to feel the immediacy of it all. To feel it. To feel it all before I/we clearly understood what the “all” of your piece was. You made the unfamiliar, familiar and allowed us a way in. You revealed the heartbeat behind words we may read or hear elsewhere. You revealed it by drawing from your own heart, your own passion which can not always be kept in check.

I know I tend to whisper and perhaps I hide behind clouds and hope that someone will follow where I try to lead. So, from that cloud and in that whisper, I ask:

Do you not yet know the power of your words, of your vision, of the way you see your/our/the world?

Do you not yet know that without your voice and your vision, the world would be a far darker, much smaller and less vibrant place?

If all those sitting round those tables attempting to negotiate peace could be touched by such an anchor as yours and take a moment to let the feeling in, would we need so much more time for them to find the peace to make the peace? I wonder. I listen. And I hope.

I hear your fear. I hear your fear. I wonder if, in the moment you described, you might have been the one to help Ron find and face himself, his hatred, his answer and perhaps in doing so to find his peace. You had intruded, but you were honest and you allowed your girls to share their meal. He faced you. He spoke truth. Two men. Indeed. Two men. If only words so honest and so filled with pain were spoken and heard from the start, I wonder would we be here now?
you saw what happened between thoth/the judge and I.
I'm not a negotiator.
I react.
I so much wish I could be better but I'm not.
I'm part of the problem - look at all the "I's," - what it takes is removal and detachment - utter disinterest - to save the children who have a chance, and let their parents perish with their hatreds.

Thanks for staying with me anna1liese - there really doesn't seem much else worth writing about ...
I think a good stumble is here.
Sometimes once, in this short span of ours
I want you to talk to me as clearly
and as directly
as I try to talk to you.
I think the children need voices of those who care to speak their truths in hopes of making the world a better place. Sometimes those voices are frustrated when listeners do not immediately see what they see especially when they thought it would be so clear. Sometimes in that frustration, they spark at those who are trying to see and who see only what they can, for the moment, see. But they spark and feel frustration and speak truth because they care. That caring, not removal or detachment or disinterest, is what will help the children. You care. I don't think I am making up what I hear in your words. You are kind and loving and you have an enormous heart. I don't think you could feel what you feel otherwise. Hatred eats away and destroys if one can not find a way to let it go. Hatred consumes all spirit and builds walls that can not be climbed. If you did not care, you would not want the hatred to perish. No one is perfect. We all wish we were better than we feel we are.

Clearly all of this goes deep with you. I am not there with you and I do not see all that you see. I do see someone who stands up for what he believes and takes the chance to let others see what he sees, to let others feel what he feels. I sense you are feeling pretty flat and I wish I could lift your spirits.
a i don't feel flat.
Last night I took a walk along the path to the headland you see there, and it was sunset.
Lots of people walking, jogging, watching.
I was walking really slow, trailing my fingers on sandstone or the rails or bushes.
I read the menu at the other end : barramundi for $35 etc, and wondered about our conversation.
My last remark was to scupper, not you.
You are never as obtuse.
When I turned around and headed back the lights of Manly were coming on between a smudgy rosy sky and the ocean. People pounding past. Little waves, all around the rocks.
I called Mark, a long way away, to describe what I felt.
I don't feel flat but I needed to cry.
Needed to talk to someone, about something.
I don't feel flat I feel full.
I feel like I've had enough.
I am sorry now that I did not stay awake longer or look here when I was awake during the night. I am glad that Mark was there to take your call. I wish I could be there to listen as you talk out whatever it is that you are holding in, to let the tears fall, to let whatever it is and all that it is out, however it comes. Perhaps my hours of night and yours of day have already been a help. If not, speak to me as though I were there. I am in the chair behind your chair. I am listening. I have all the time it takes. Just listening and there. Not needing anything. Just there. If it helps. When you are ready. Don't think. Just start.
Have just seen Bard's post. Perhaps that was the gift of the night for you. Moments like these. Moments like these.
you and I are two people - hill of beans comes to mind - trying to make sense of and reconcile disaster. Ours, the world's, what's the difference.
We can sit and talk, we can lean forward and engage each other's eyes.
There's all of that.
Or there's this mute impotent fury.
When we write or engage like this on OS or wherever else it serves to release the pent-up frustration, but nothing changes.
As we speak the bulldozers are desecrating fertile land.
Where are we going, a ?
I'm walking a path with my fingers saying goodbye to everything that's beautiful talking to a woman in Boston I'll never meet.
You are the other side of me talking ; here and not ; caring so much I want to hold you.
We are all responsible for this.
It's not about to end it could end any second now.
What I forgot to say
was thanks.
I wish I had words for this, but I can barely see the keyboard through my tears. Every time you talk about the bulldozers, tears flood every other feeling. I see students I taught who most likely have children of their own now. My students' families had long been in exile and so faces I know are most likely not looking straight at the land being ground away once more. But they are real to me and I know that wherever they are, they are aching. Their souls are aching and I ache for them.

As I have been reading and rereading your words here, I have had the sensation of hearing Geoff's words in the background, words I read so often as I helped edit them. I see the history I needed to learn on the go in order to best help his voice be heard. I see through his words, faces and faces and faces of people he knows and works so hard to help. In July he last was there, possibly in Israel to work with the soccer teams drawn from both camps. How long ago did he begin that work? I sent your piece to him on Sunday because I wanted him to know that others care so very deeply about what Sunday meant and so much else means.

I listen to the news and I watch faces and eyes to see if I see any change. For the first time I thought I saw a softening in N's eyes. I have never seen a glimpse of that before. Yet, as far as I can see or hear, he did nothing to extend the moratorium except ask people to show restraint. I suppose that, at least he did that.

All last week I watched in the early morning here as BBC reporters talked with various spokespeople. All I hear is the voice of a settlement activist raging that the construction must begin again or they will bring N down. I can not listen to him.

Immediately I am back in the time of Rabin. I am seeing him reach out for peace. I am watching Ted Koppel leading a public forum in Israel about the search for peace. When was that? Rabin and Clinton were reaching out and trying to change the world. One of his own brought him down. I had not been back here very long. Everything in my world stood still. Why in God's name do people so oppose a peace? It goes against everything I know. Then I come back to Geoff's words, his research. I know there are other words, but I know his best. The land. The land. Mine. Mine. Mine.

Are we only here again? One thing I thought about the way your piece moved forward the other day was that it allowed people in calmly where other more obvious pieces simply seem to bring out opposing voices who know only how to scream and drown out. So far none of that has obliterated your words. Yes, you were angry. You are angry. I am angry. But it is anger and frustration and not knowing how to help borne of an enormous need for someone to be right and to possess the land. Land that was seized in order to create a place of peace. We can acknowledge the follies that followed WW1. Is it still too soon to acknowledge certain follies here? Even when they are acknowledged, they can not be allowed. And so the Palestinians wait and watch and deal with all that has been made part of their daily lives and then deal with divisions between their own leaders, Abbas, Hamas. Who really speaks for them and how will they be whole? Sorry. Just spewing here, but I spew from a safe place here while I try to ponder what it is to live as people there are forced, one way or the other to live. Still thinking. Still listening and holding on.
And not meaning to drown you out. Draw you out perhaps. Keep you walking. Seeing beauty. Holding. I do not know where we are going, but do you think that it is possible somehow that energy created just by speaking and sharing words may somehow strengthen energy to help the land once simply known as Palestine, to lessen a bit the strain of mute impotent fury? I do not know. I only hope.
One last time for now. I hope as your evening wears on that you are able to rest. I find myself weeping as I read your words and my first thought is of "the" disaster. Underneath I do hear "ours" and I do see our part in one, in all, so far away, so deep inside. If we are sensitive to such things, then we know that we are all a part of the main and that what touches one, touches all. Perhaps that is why your words speak so to me.

Sleep now if you can. I can see the headland. I can imagine the path, the path out and the path back. I can imagine the lights of Manly between a smudgy rosy sky and the ocean. Little waves all round the rocks. I so envy you that. If it helps, when it helps, turn my chair to face your chair. I am looking straight into your eyes and I am not going anywhere. I am not afraid. Tell me about having had enough, enough of what? I know you are afraid ... of yourself, of your answer. Give the words and the feelings air. Perhaps letting them out will help you feel less full. This may not speak to you today. It may not speak to you at all. In whatever way all of this works, you are not alone. You are not alone.
Somehow I hear your father's footsteps as he walks and walks and walks.
anna1liese,
Geoff's and your work
in teams and action worked
when work doesn't work
anymore we slide
we're sliding
holding on to a memory
of when parents loved their children
enough to survive
Keith Jarrett said:
... and those who create
from the holocaust of their own inheritance
anything more than convenient self-made tombs
shall be known as the survivors

as much as I don't want to invest my fate or that of my children
in the hands of a pianist
there's sense in that

These are crummy times.
Sure I'll turn my chair around
and we'll look at each other
while outside the sky turns smudgy, rosy
to blood
And so the edge which right now is what is real.
I am not afraid to listen. But I am afraid of this. Perhaps that is why I can not put it down or let it go.
Just Thinking disappeared the post but not before I read what you said about Mark and your Dad.
You keep the peace, gentle one.
I'm going out to break something into pieces.
Hey, firewood.
Geoff's words played in my head as I kept going back and back to your opening words in your post and only because they had made me think and made me search in order to know more than I thought I knew. They did not play as I read on. Do you still not know the power and strength of your words, of your images, of the way you see your/our world? I can not lift the pain and the worry for you any more than I can lift it for myself. I so wish that I could or that you could. Your words here have reminded me of how much I care and fear and grieve. I was ready to hold you last night. Would you hold me now if only because I am here. Sorry. Not feeling quite so strong tonight.
Thank you for the Just Thinking words. I am breaking apart a bit myself tonight.
We need some nanatehay levity here - some Ossetian nonsense to make us smile.
Lift, lovely one, and remember the girls.
Remember the kids you taught.
How all that knowledge is unfolding ...
I just went out to sit under the stars and all the pain I had forgotten I had held off came pouring back. I stayed away from any thoughts about Mark until just before I shared those words. I needed to go back to them and then, because of Matt Paust, I learned they had gone. I was so afraid and so alone and so wanting to make my father safe. I shared that with Mark because of what faced him. But Mark became someone so judgmental and I could only stay away. It is done now, but ... I could not save my father or his pain. Had I kept my distance just this once. I so just wanted to .... I didn't realize how connected I am still to all that was. All that I had held off because I needed to go on, poured down tonight. Sorry to be sharing this with you but all the pieces of these recent days come together without warning. Mark worried me. What he said to others worried me. But his worry about his foot, his leg took me back to our kitchen table and my father's foot and his watching as I dressed it, trusting me and knowing I would do anything not to hurt him. If only the words had not so quickly gone to dust. Dust of words. Dust of lives. A hard week. I tried to lift you. Now you are trying to lift me. Who are you who can move me so? Whoever you are, Kim, know how your words matter. Trying to make space for levity. My girls. All girls. All cherubs everywhere. Trying to make space for peace.
I wouldn't have got this, but I cheated and raced into the comments, like a dullard who has to skip ahead in a book to find out what's going on. All my life there's been this bloody thread in the background, more persistent than the other bloody threads, to the point where I tune it out, or say "A pox on both their houses then." I don't say that anymore, it's no kind of a way to think; a good friend on OS helped me to see that.
I admit I was hoping for some Ossetian nonsense, but their wisdom's pretty cool a, you have to concede.
Dry your eyes magic, and sway between the madmen.
We'll make sure the kids are safe OK ?
OK. Funny how a few lost words can open such a well. Words. Who knew?
I hear the wisdom and the cool.
I feel the safety too.
Thanks, Kim. Many thanks.
I have just received an e-mail. From Geoff. I didn't ask your permission before I sent this piece to him. Forgive me if I should have done. Somehow I knew. Somehow I knew. He and Jean are just back from a brief trip to Israel and so he has just seen this piece. He is exhausted and does not have many words. He says that he was touched. Stilled ... by what he read here. Somehow I knew that too. He says that things there are grey and look like getting greyer. I am so used to hearing hope in his words and seeing it in his eyes. At least in your piece he has heard a voice that echoes his own. Pre-dawn here. Just gone noon for Geoff. Mid-evening, I think, for you. We wait and watch together even as we wait and watch apart. Just wanted you to know. Stars are shining here. If only they could find a way to shine there ... or be allowed to shine.
I think the Ossetians are descendants of the Scythians, who according to Herodotus were headhunters and drank their wine unwatered, and liked to burn large quantities of cannabis on open fires then gather around to inhale the smoke. It must have been fun to be a Scythian.
Apart from What the fuck would you know, drinking watered wine has got to pull the seams apart of anyone making an attempt at civilization.
Some things aren't right, like women in the Caspian cutting off their right breasts to get a better aim on their bow.
Probably your research on the Scythians will get you a grant.
Maybe a three-piece suit and a beemer.
Just don't hold your breath too long around the fire, is it.
There are issues like who's a writer to discuss.
Important things like that.
I'm thinking : Quick, back to Emma's or Ken's before they figure we're missing ...
I may be barred from Emma's; I said something vulgar to one of the commenters:(
C. needed to be told, and you were able to show her where to put it.
Not many Americans have your flair for geography, I think.
Sometimes a slightly less prolix rejoinder is best. I learned most of my geography from listening repeatedly to Enya's "Orinoco Flow."
Now there's a person I could lay me down beside ...
She's pretty extraordinary. For some reason, I'm reminded of the restraining order Sarah McLachlan has against me. Like there's some kind of law against lurking in the bushes outside her house. Kpffft.
I know you don't need to hear these words. I am sure you heard them a few hours ago. Really they seem to belong here. She who whispers is whispering thanks, at the very least, for your hand and just for being there.
What an extraordinary thing; people sharing some really intimate things in a somewhat harsh environment and coming out the other side with the fact we all need a little intimacy sometimes. That we reach out into this vast universe and call it Os or email or skype or good old scratchy phone lines the connection is what is here. Perhaps family can't satisfy this or even those closest so we make new connections out of our best selves.
Words and whispers and the smell of toast, holding hands and the sound of rain on the roof, and birds, pictures, children laughing ...

and intimacy - all good ... our best selves ... isn't it.
Our best selves. Yes, it is. Bear with me one minute more.

Even as I finally wrote about my father, I knew that wasn’t all. Why had this all powered through in such a way right then? Last night, my eyes opened and I knew. It was you. It was your words. You had heard something that mattered more deeply to me than I could let myself know. I thought the word that had struck was my “Dad.” It was, but it was “about Mark and (my) Dad.” If we had not been talking here, would you had spoken and would I have heard? You did speak and I did hear.

Had you not spoken just then, I might somehow have let Mark be in the way of what belonged only between my father and me. Your words, those words, freed me of the burden I had let Mark’s words be. Your words, just then, when loss had come back to me, allowed, freed me to “lose” the burden, block of Mark and to reclaim my father just for me. I hadn’t even realized that that is what I had done. It all happened so immediately that it has taken a while to see the missing piece. You gave my father back to me.

Time. Time walking, thinking, watching, listening, being, feeling, fearing feeling.

Best self? Do you know? I don’t know who you are for me, but I do know that you are.

I hear Enya in the background. Where did Rita go? She could have it playing somehow. Moons and beaches and shingle and sand. Children laughing. Waves hugging the shore. A book filled room with a letter and a mirror and a moon and a sea. Looking out. Looking in. Best self? Yes, I think.
Drawn here because I know it is here. A touchstone of sorts. I read your piece again as though for the first time. I think once more about the journey of a week. Sliding. Holding on to a memory of when parents loved their children enough to survive. Is this the world your father saw, I wonder. Thank God for whatever nurtured him there. Don’t let those words offend for that is not what I mean. When will there have been enough of self made tombs to lay them down for good and find ways to live together, to respect each other, to allow all the parents for their children’s sake to lay down arms and remember how to love. Monday looms. What now. What next. How long must this go on. Thank you for letting me stay as this storm came near. I brought need when I said I would not. You did not bar the door. Your words diminish distance. Would that we could diminish distance and restore a nurturing that existed among the people of this land before dividing storms began. Would that we could tear down walls and allow hands once more to meet. Would that we could help them find their peace. I am mindful of you as well and of your peace.

Looking once more at your words from May: “I try to write from a place of love and nostalgia for Palestine. Not from a place of hate.” I am trying to make sense of this once more if only for myself. You mention Anna and your conversations about all of this. Have you thought of writing a book together about this for the children? I wonder if you both drew on what you see? Even more than that, I wonder if you could write a book or a story on your own for the children who mean so much to you. You talk about growing up on your father’s growing up on walking through occupied Palestine in May 1941. Surely the stories he told are part of what fills your heart so completely about all of this. It is the children who call to you. It is love for those children that you find missing when it is the most essential part of any conversation, of any real redemption. You have written here of your father, and, if I remember when I asked you, you said this was all the story. I wonder. You seem to tell the story as a son would tell the story of his father, the story a grown son would tell. I wonder about the stories that fill you, that make you feel so full? I wish I were in that chair looking straight into your eyes. You might, of course, want to walk away from me as quickly as you can. But I would risk that in hopes that you would come back, look away from me, out at the water that fills your view and begin to tell me the stories your father told as the child in you remembers them, the stories you grew up on. They are still there. It may be that they must be your own because of the treasure they have always been for you. Still I wonder. If only for you, might it possibly help to consider such a thing, to pick up a pen or a brush, to speak the stories? If you would speak them to me, I would write them down. Perhaps you could speak them as your brush or your pencil begins to fill a page. I think too much, but only about things and people that matter. This matters. You matter. They matter. Your father’s stories matter. The people who helped keep him alive matter. The children trying to live in that land now matter. They matter now. They will matter tomorrow regardless, God help us, of what their parents decide as time ticks by. Tell the stories for those children, for your children, for all children. Tell them at least to the air, the air that allows us all to breathe. You probably wish I would just go away now. I can go or I can stay and be oh so quiet as you think, as you let yourself feel what will not go away. I am so far away and I am no distance away at all. Nor are the children who would love to hear your voice speaking your stories to them accompanied by drawings that only you can draw. I wonder if you began to draw them in your mind as you listened to the words your father spoke. I may be absolutely wrong. But what if I am not? What if you already feel this yourself? I know. Sometimes I say things that you are not yet ready to hear. Put this away if need be. Tap me in that chair behind your chair should you want someone to listen. I will be there.
It occurs to me that the post, and many of your replies, rely on silence to work. Silence so we can appreciate the warm toast, the rain on the roof, the sluch sluch of the waves. It's a rare thing now, silence. It's very important.

rated.
Thank you BOKO, very much.
I appreciate that.
anna1liese,

" You mention Anna and your conversations about all of this. Have you thought of writing a book together about this for the children? "

It's called Joseph. Allen&Unwin, Sydney, 2001.

If you pm your address I'll send you a copy.
Our then publisher Rosalind was told she was so brave doing a " bible story " - it won us the Honour Book award and is still selling strong 9 years later.

It's been good to share these last few days with you too, anna.
Kim, You may never know these words are here. I hope you won’t mind that they are. I need them just to be ... somewhere ... today. They came and went from me yesterday.


I don’t know where else to be. Often I come back here whether I come back to the page itself or simply hold the page in my mind. Most often I come back to the words, the piece itself, still so powerful to me, the moments shared, the connection, the knowing. In some ways it is almost like a sacred ground. Perhaps I should not speak. Once more.

But last time and today, I don’t know where else will hold. Even in September and perhaps many times before, surely since, I’ve come to similar thoughts. I don’t know how to stand before the bulldozers to make them stop. Right now I don’t know how to stand up to bullets and fists and knives and unadulterated hate... and make them stop.

I know about love and peace and hope. I know about protecting others by holding them closely and safely within my arms and singing lullabies to block out other hateful sounds, fearful, hateful, killing sounds. I know how to listen to whatever words must have air. I know how to help others find their voices and when ready, begin to speak.

All my life I have been able to pray. It may long be part of what kept me alive, part of me at least. I still pray though I’ve long forgotten the words of any formula. They stopped speaking for me a long time ago, perhaps even when I was a child. I never needed someone else’s words. I simply used my own. I haven’t known for a long time to whom it is I pray. I no longer recognize a face or a form. Perhaps I never really did. Some time ago all of that walked away from me. I’ve never really felt I lost my way as much as I’ve felt the way lost me. Maybe whatever it is I really seek is already safely nestled inside myself. I have no energy to worry about this. Part of me is where I am meant to be.

But now, today, I am part of the college, its international community - my link in so many ways to a greater world, the faces, the eyes, I see them all. Palestine, Egypt, Bahrain. Palestine. I want it to be the way it was. And free. Why was this land given, taken instead of the other land proposed. The other land would have had no biblical link. Is that why it was not good enough. I have a sense of Balfour’s role but there was another site proposed. Who can know now.

Now Libya. Different kind of war. I see one face.

Libya. Son of my soul. Where are you and your family. Are you safe. Are they well. Let me see your eyes and I will know. Why is Benghazi calling my name. I don’t know if that is where you are.

I was barely old enough to be your mother but when you needed to be with her, how often did you talk with me. At the worst, when even she had let you down, possibly by force, you found me and talked for hours, days. So much for you was at stake and everything was happening now, in the moment, regardless of where you were. I remember trying to stay calm for you when I could barely believe what you were telling me. You let me ask you almost anything to help you explain, explore for yourself and me. I had never known such laws could be. I had never watched someone grow into adulthood within hours and against such odds, but there you were and there it was. In the end you made your peace. I could see it as soon as I saw your eyes. Honour. Honour. Family honour. You would redeem it for your younger brother, possibly now it stands for your children as well.

How are you, son of my soul, in all of this. How many ways are there for the world to turn upside down. Perhaps my answer at least for you lies in what I already know - your wisdom, your love and your family.

God knows we looked at every possibility that might let you one day find a way out. A father had deeply deceived his son. Money, power, calculation stood against you. A father sought to emotionally destroy his eldest son. You found a way to know yourself, who you wanted to be and then you found courage to be true to yourself. You became the man your father did not know how to be. Perhaps what was true of you in that moment and in the way you began to make your life your own is what subconsciously will connect with many others now young across the Middle East, North Africa. Many “fathers” are being found to have deeply deceived their own.

You taught me then. Do you remember that class when you shared. I remember knowing what no one knew and asking you if you were sure. You changed lives that day as you spoke. You changed the way men looked at men from other nations, other cultures, other tribes. I have never taught anything more important than you taught that day. You allowed others to look with eyes they didn’t know they had.

Son of my soul. You teach me still. Through tears I begin to hope. If there are others with your strength, your vision, your understanding of your world, your willingness to choose honour for the future of their family, their younger brother, themselves, then is it possible to hope that others like you will make their voices heard and that from deceit that begins to decay as it is exposed, wisdom will step forward and shape its future in stability and peace. Perhaps this time there are other voices waiting to speak. Perhaps it will always be the children who will find ways to lead us.

I don’t know how to stop the bulldozers or the bullets or the hate. How do you reach those who will not be reached. Yet. Is it possible that seeds planted may one day help a people to find themselves, seeds dropped by a walking soldier, by the soldier’s son - an illustrator, by a native son who sought a place of safety in which to speak his truth and then to test his voice, by others I have never seen. Is it possible.

I hold on to a book, a book given from here, a book of peace, a book to teach the children first but all the readers just as well that fear may be laid down and that love may be lifted up. Look at the drawings, all the drawings, every one. Look and tell me what you see.

I can hold out my arms to protect all hearts and souls who, if only in essence, will come to me and I can muffle sounds of war by singing lullaby sounds of love and peace and hope. I can listen and sometimes I can help voices free themselves to speak. It is not much. It is scarcely anything. But it is all I have. It is all I have ever had. Kinds of seeds perhaps.

Can it possibly help to send such energy into the world. Haven’t I already asked that here once. Yet isn’t this what prayer really is, ought to be. Is it possible that there are answers out there waiting only to be heard. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know where else to offer this but here. For some reason here, I can think, and perhaps I can begin to hope.

Yesterday. I wrote this yesterday. Today, I want to scream the world awake. I want my children to be safe and I want the world to want its peace. Why is peace, honest and uplifting peace, so hard to have or to allow. Why.

Perhaps these words speak only to me but from here in a place that speaks safety to me, I offer them to the world.
Perhaps I should not speak ...
once more ...
and yet ... here ...
as once more I try to allow time and silence ...
I hope whispers sometimes may be heard...
I hope words, once written, can be ...
what they were meant to be ...
still the other side of you ... caring ...
so very much
even if only olive branches
are able to hear these words
somehow may they help
A year since I first read these words. I’ve come to read them so often as time has passed.

A year since ...

My heart is here, always, especially this moment.

Full. I feel it now. I yearn to walk that path by the sea. I yearn to meet and talk ... or not ... and walk ... and remember how to breathe. I yearn to hold an olive branch. I yearn to feel a reciprocating hand.

I don’t want us to be afraid of our answers anymore. Or of their answers. I am so tired of being afraid.

‘If all those sitting round those tables attempting to negotiate peace could be touched by such an anchor as yours and take a moment to let the feeling in, would we need so much more time for them to find the peace to make the peace? I wonder. I listen. And I hope.’

Still ...

a place of peace ... for us all ...

for those who need it most of all ...
a beginning place ... here ...
Hey, you came back.

Wasn't that a wonderful thread ?
How could I not ...
Often ... I am here ...
in my thoughts ... if not on the page ...
Such a thread ... here ... all ... of this ...
life thread ... caring thread ... holding ... thread ... being ... thread ...
connecting ... thread ... strongest ... even when most vulnerable ... thread ... listening ... even in the silence ... thread ...
When I first saw your words, your most recent words, they made me smile. I had hoped you wouldn’t mind.
Some conversations change your life.
This conversation ... changed mine ... opened ... mine ...
it will always be ... with me ... part ... of me ...
Often ... for so many reasons ... I am here ...
as now ...
this time ...
pausing for the world and ...
watching for ... hoping for ... longing for ... doves and ...
smiling at your smile ...
Sometimes there is only here ... whispering silently ... peace ...
It isn't happening, anna1liese.
I can hardly think of ... feel ... anything else ...
and so here ... with you ... wanting something to do ... to bring peace ...
wanting someone else ... to want it too ...
Make tea, & write.
I knew these dunes before ... from your words ...
looking up now, I am walking in them.
Listened yesterday to a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech - 21 years the wait ... words ... reminded me of illustrations ... of Joseph ... of you ... and brought me here. Listening now ... to you ...
and making tea ...
may words come back ... once they have flown ... away ...
perhaps here ... if anywhere ... in the aching ... in the dunes ...
I needed to hear your voice just now ... perhaps I'll walk ... awhile ...
Still walking ... writing ... in these dunes ... wondering ... wandering ...
How long before ... there may ... again ... be dreams ...
You know, I read your Syria post/poem.
Several times.
Still waiting for the dust to settle.
I'm suspicious now of Hillary. Not Kofi Annan. While the Kofis & Nelsons walk the world there's hope. I don't understand why there aren't more, he says,
"waiting for the dust to settle." How long does it take for dust to settle ?
In the case of Afghanistan, ten years counting. The armament manufacturers lost count long ago.
Only 20 of my mother's lifespans since Jesus walked the earth.
Here, we're turning back boats like they did in 1939.
Nor do I know why there aren’t more Kofis and Nelsons. Now. I watched Hillary this weekend in Egypt. Today in Israel ... I couldn’t watch. What is happening and why. I want money and power to stop their foolishness. I want people to care about lives and pain and suffering. I want restrictive walls to fall. I want children to be free of war, free of hurt, free to read and write and draw and dream, free to lead us ... to bring us home ... I want ...

I want to bring them Joseph ... draw them round in circles, help them know that they are not alone ... and even if they don’t recognise the words ... there are illustrations ... that speak with brilliance and beauty and clarity all their own ...

And all the while I want ... I know at least that you are there ... here ... in this shack ... in these dunes. Words ... how they speak and how they hold. How they awaken and become our hearts.

How often have I wondered why more couldn’t hear your wisdom, wouldn’t come sit at this table, by you, with you, and find the piece to bring the peace. Beginnings are here. Nelson would see them. Kofi would see them. Children would see them.

When I listen and the Russian Foreign minister begins to make sense ... I wonder where I am. I am so tired of power and need. I can not watch news here. Here there is only here. The world ... too far away. Why ... don’t answer. I know. And when I know, I am back in my turret office ... listening ... once more. Arab voices ... found ways to speak ... because they knew they would be heard. Equally true now. Equally true now. These past few hours ... I’ve lived/not lived within the confines of my glass tube where there is no holding on ... only falling ... and hoping somehow I’ll have eaten enough ... when I could ... to let my blood sugar rise and let the world ... even as it is ... return. I hate these moments ... these hours ... because I can only wait ... Is there time ... to wait ...

That is what all of this feels like. Waiting ... waiting ... waiting ... for dust ... of ages it sometimes seems ... to settle, for someone to want peace badly enough ... to find a way ... to bring together those who want peace as badly as they. Even now I try to write and I can not find clear.

I read ... I stop ... I read ... I stop. I can’t move beyond Khairalla’s Oud ..."... where craft is guided by intuition.” Where one relies on inspiration. Two of my most favourite words. The way I feel my world. Home ... in their way ...

I seem ... as do you ... to share the yearning ... but is there a way to urge it on beyond the angst of hope. And no one seems to care. I thought the child ... his tears ... but I didn’t present it strongly enough. Even when I want to scream ... only whispers come.

I feel a sense of so many sands shifting, not standing still. I want to trust the shifting that has allowed so much all these years ... in their own time and in their own way. I remember learning that sense of time about my Arabs at the college. And yet ... shifting sands have allowed this Arab rising ... this seeking at last to have their voices heard. I came back here when Egypt and then Libya rose and thought of Tarek ... who in a mirror of all this, knew his truth, faced his truth, drew his strength from deep within. Remembering him gave me hope. It doesn’t matter what we may want. What matters is what ... the people ... want. When have we learned how to listen ...
We must allow their narrative and not impose our own. Yes?

I started to write a piece about Arab voices in December. I can’t yet find my way through. About listening until we hear ... until we begin to understand ... Some words are here when I remembered Tarek. I didn’t know where else to share ...

I’d started to read Zogby’s book. It makes a start ... but only that. I’ve yet to read Marwan Bishara’s book though it’s here. House of Stone called to me ... and holds me ... as I try to hear ... understand a history I’ve never known. Syria.
Arab voices ...
I’ve listened before but have I learned a way to share ...
“‘The poet can do what others can’t’” Where are the poets now. I think of Mahmoud Darwish. He is not the only one ... and yet ...
You ... your words ... are here ...
A while ago I thought of you ... I know ... but it was a program that brought me here. It was about Palestine.

There had been another though the name doesn’t come to me. If I looked back through Al Jazeera’s programmes, I might be able to find it. Why only here is their story shared. I keep holding the words of the amazing man you sent. Man of peace. A voice that understands. He spoke, you said, in Sydney. We need him to speak to the world.

The Great Book Robbery. Al Jazeera. I am grateful I can watch it online. I started to tell you but then with so much going on there for you, I wasn’t sure if it might hurt. It hurt me. Your father was everywhere as I listened. He is often everywhere for me ... as are the people who reached out their hands ... who shared themselves ... who so touched him and because of him ... touched you. Because of you ... touched me. A teacher was mentioned who made me think of your mother. Threads. Thank God for threads. I see them. You see them. Your father brought them home. He passed them on.

Do you remember a piece you wrote. I can’t find it now. I looked again a few hours ago. Flags were there. You mentioned it once in the Truckstop and I think, hoping to lift you, I shared what it had meant to me. I wrote there of Lyo Lyok, the goose in Once and Future King, the one who flew with Wart, young Arthur, who allowed him to lose sight of boundaries. I was a child when I first read those words. I loved them then. I love them more ... now. I read of Marjayoun, Houran, lands where men could feel at home, could understand the land, the people, the needs, where they could travel far and wide ... and never really feel alone. I feel your father ... everywhere. I feel your father’s son.

Even in this book, I want to have my dream. I want Anthony to create his home, to have his home, to bring his daughter to his home. I want him and his dream ... to live ... and so ... each time I stop ... Khairalla’s oud ... where I listen and I hear ... a song of yearning ... so familiar to me ... so familiar, I think, to you ...

Afghanistan ... Syria ... mistrust of Western countries ... Western powers who understand occupation, owning, taking ... imposing senseless boundaries ... and why ... because they could ... would we trust them now ...

I wish Nelson had strength once more to speak. I wish Kofi could stop ... slow down ... make his vision clear. I wish there were a pause button ... for everyone everywhere to look away and toward ... to think of those who dare to want, who dare to dream ... who dare to ask why not ...
So many agendas. So many wanting to be victors.
I think of round tables ... all equal ... side by side ... that is not a Western dream ... it is a universal dream ... it is theirs I think, an Arab dream as well. We are far more alike than different. Perhaps Nelson and Kofi would begin by reminding us of that ... and then ... in time ... with dust rising falling rising falling would help us listen ... and know what we ... know ...

Shifting sands ... dust settling ... 20 of your mother’s lifespans ... I’ve seen coverage of the boats there ...
I feel so called to this, drawn to this, part of this ... of them ... of all of us ... of you ...
I feel a thrumming ... and hope that the rhythm will somehow find its sea ...
If I hold your hand and you hold mine and together we reach for the world ... there must be power ... in our hope ...
mustn’t there ...
for there is power in these dunes ...
Sands ... shifting ... shaking now ... even as hands hold ... for hope ...
Even ... in hours of fog ...
when we can barely see these dunes ...
they are here for those who will see ...
who know what it is they know ...

Children would see them ...
children ... always do ...
are all our answers ... here ...

is it ... is it possible ...
that somehow ... peace ...
may find ... breath ... again ...

always ...
I will walk these dunes ...
until there is an ...
always peace ...
begun once ...
upon a table here ...
and held in hearts ...
that care ...

never ...
will I abandon hope ...
of the peace I see ...
where all are equal ...
where all ... are one ...
where home ...
is home once more ...
where hearts and love
are treasured ... heard ...
where souls ... breathe free ...
always ... free ...

perhaps it is ... the child ...
in me ...
who must have ...
her hope ...

if I hold your hand ...
and you hold mine ...
and together ...
we reach for the world ...
surely ... surely ...
hope will be heard ...
and peace will find its home ...

one day the world will hear ...
will know ...
the power of these dunes ...
do you believe ...
for I believe ...
my hand ... yours ... and all the world ...
still here ... still caring ...
believing ... reaching ...
for always ... always ... peace ...
2 men ...
15 May ...
65 years today ...
Al Nakba ...
The Catastrophe ...
how I ache as I think of this ...
we are all to blame ...
we are ...
we are ...
still ...
and ...
where are voices ...
wills ... that care ...
except at a table ... here ...
I want to believe that peace is ... close at hand ...
even as I ... wonder ...
if peace ...
real peace ...
honest peace ...
is beyond ...
the world's ...
imagining ...
in moments like these when I can scarcely breathe ... I ...
must have ...
my own ...
imaginings ...
and they all ...
are of peace ...
in these dunes ...
if nowhere else ...
there will be ... must be ...
a peace ...
I must believe ... in this ...
I hold on ... to the table ...
in the dunes ...
in this shack ...
here ...
sometimes ... the underside of hope ...
is agonising ... screams …
but still we hope … in these dunes ...
Sometimes when I come here ...
the dunes have ... disappeared ...
Sometimes ... almost like a mirage ...
the dunes I so hope to see ... reappear ...
Is that a bit like hope ...
hope ... a child ... can not ... let go ...

Sometimes when I am here ...
I hold on to this table so tightly ...
that my fingernails are deeply embedded in its wood ...

Sometimes ... the sand ... screams ...for me ...
Sometimes ... it brings me ... peace ...
replenishes my hope ...

Almost daily I am here ...
perhaps to remember ... to believe ...
to utter as though a prayer ...
perhaps it is ... the child ...
in me ...
who must have ...
her hope ...

if I hold your hand ...
and you hold mine ...
and together ...
we reach for the world ...
surely ... surely ...
hope will be heard ...
and peace will find its home ...

one day the world will hear ...
will know ...
the power of these dunes ...
do you believe ...
for I believe ...
my hand ... yours, Kim ...
hands from all the world ...
still here ... still caring ...
believing ... reaching ...
for always ... always ... peace ...
2 men ...
15 May ...
66 ... years today ...
Al Nakba ...
The Catastrophe ...
lest we forget ...

I hold your hand ...
and you hold mine ...
in our remembering ...
in our aching ...
with them ...

somehow peace ...
real peace ...
honest peace ...
must not be ...
beyond ...
the world's ...
imagining ...
we must not ...
let it be ...
falafel ... olives ...
a place to begin ...
I see someone's been looking after the shack for me ~ there are falafel and olives on the table.

Break some bread and pour a glass of wine :-)

I read ... I stop ... I read ... I stop. I can’t move beyond Khairalla’s Oud …
"... where craft is guided by intuition.”
Where one relies on inspiration. Two of my most favourite words. The way I feel my world.
Home ... in their way …


With words, anna1liese, with words.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7FML0wzJ6A

~ Al Nakba, Part 1.
Not available here ... in this country ...
why ... when someone wants to share ...

I wish I could see what you share here ...

Kim ... more than anyone else in my world ..
you ...
understand ...
all that this shack brings ...
all that this shack ... means ..,
to all who have lost so much ...
how often do I feel ... the steps of your father ...
as he made them ...
as others there ...
reached out to him ...
as a people ...
spoke their truth ...

Intuition ... inspiration ...
words that lead my life ...
words that here ...
speak everything ...
may those who would hear ...
hear ...
all the love that is here ...
for those who ...
would ...
lead them home ...
Khairalla's oud ...
Khairalla's oud ...

these new dunes ...
I ... you ...
will be here always ...
til we can bring them ...
home ...
I loved ... the dunes you first brought here ...
I love these dunes as well ...
I love ...
this shack ... you built ...
for all .. who ...
still listen ... to ...
Khairalla's oud ...
I so wish ...
we could bring peace ...
bring home ...
to all ..
who all these years ...
have only felt ...
so lost ...
I must believe ...
that this table ...
this ... offering ...
offers hope ...
for all ...
who seek it ...
still ...
we will seek it always ....
until it all comes real ...
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/05/al-nakba-not-over-2014515121133472960.html

May this ... be thoughts ... that might help ... someone have a sense of all ... of this ...
Holding your hand, Kim ... as you hold mine ...
as we reach out for the falafel ... the olives ...
and listen to the oud ... as it speaks ... of hope ...
Try it now ~ I think the embedding came through. Does here, should there.
I so wish ... but it will not show here ...
Am grateful for Al Jazeera America ...
but ... still ... some from AJE ... will not play ... here ...
I so wish ... it would ...
from this channel ... I have learned ... so much ...
I ... we ... would otherwise ... have never known ...
have wished today ...
I could have seen ...
coverage ... from there ...
still I am here ...
to speak for all ...
I care for ... here ...
where you, Kim, have ... spoken all ...
how dare we not ... be here ...
On a global/technical issue : can anyone explain why an American can't watch a youtube video ?

a1 is in Houston, for goodness sake. Tech Capital.
Why should it be so difficult to download al jazeera in Houston ?
Can you, Kim, see this ...

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/05/palestinian-voices-life-since-nakba-2014515143919991611.html

This may not be the part one you saw ... but may be a similar piece ...
I can only hope ...
I miss the AJE pieces I so easily saw before ...
So hope we are able still to see .... what once was here ...
for all to see ...
May ... somehow ... all there know ...
that we are here ... thinking of them ...
that they are not alone ...
What matters there ... most of all ...
I will return to this ( your link ) ~ the voices of Shatila ( Lebanon ) are enough, for now …

I don't know what to say.
Most of this occurred in our own lifetime. I feel sadness, shame, and an immense ignorance.
These voices are crucial to any kind of understanding, or peace. Thank you.
CALEDONIA -- Rescue crews responded Sunday afternoon to a report of a dirt bike crash in Caledonia that took the life of a 21-year-old woman from Muskego.
For anna1liese, for all those beautiful words in this thread... your words I’ve been able to read for the first time before... the ellipsis... began...

For you ~

Kamilya Jubran: Ghareebah

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idp6_QSH9q8

Kamilya Jubran: Israel/Palestine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnLBsBeaDEU

(Hope you can view these anna1liese!)

Glad I wandered into these desert dunes Kim ~ Saludos and thank you.
Ghareebah (Stranger) ~ Khalil Gibran



A Stranger ....
A stranger in this world..
A stranger..
In estrangement there is cruel loneliness
And painful desolation
But it makes me forever think
Of a magical home I know not
It fills my dreams with shadows of a far away land
My eyes never saw
A stranger in this world
I wandered East and West on earth
But found not my birthplace nor met one who recognizes me
Or who heard of me.

(From the comment thread of Ghareebah. Mustafa Uygun. But don't know if he was the translator, sorry!!)
Kim, Will, I want to spend more time to be with all that is here before I try to speak of all it means.

But Kim, because I can't find words to ...
Part One ... any programme that has been or is being livestreamed on AJE is no longer available here ... on their site ... or anywhere else that I can find. You'll see the reasons why in this link:

http://america.aljazeera.com/tools/faq.html

It's too depressing to try to easily explain. The distributors or ... won't allow something that can be accessed at no cost. All I have for now before I can't breathe at all ...

If you could turn your screen so that I could see ...

Meanwhile ... I'll walk a while ... along these dunes ...
and then come back and hold the table ...
where falafel and olives ...
and bread and wine ...
and all that matters ...
wait ...
Won't be far away :-)