Explaining A Long Silence

Notes from a Nonviolent Communication workshop, Jericho, Palestine, March 2016
Sunset near Jericho, Palestine, March 2016

Rage simmers beneath the surface, ready to boil at the slightest provocation:

grown men shout, honk, remark, slur, grab, point, gesture, ask,

wild dogs threaten with growls and barks,

men fight,

soldiers aim their guns,

anger is explained away, ignoring its roots:

words like gang, criminal, dangerous, are tossed around like a ball between friends, or

throwing a dog a bone.

Words like refugees, soldiers, and raids are carefully omitted.

A nation is under occupation.

My body is under occupation.

I lose track of my breath,

catch energy from the men on the street, men in their cars, like a broken fishing net with all caught suffocating silently, desperately,

suck it in from soldiers at checkpoints, police on the road, settlers ripping ancient olive trees from the land.

The quality of being livid builds with each interaction,

a survival response mechanism, an unmet need.

I can’t reconcile my outrages, but they are beginning to blur:

a woman living under occupation,

a Jew in Palestine.

In the end it’s all one,

cause for becoming a warrior.

12 thoughts on “Explaining A Long Silence

  1. Dear Katie, you are an incredible woman, strong and sensitive, totally alive and involved in the world around you. At this moment that world is so harsh, so bleak. I wish you every possible comfort! Take care sweet Katie! I know your work is very important but I guess from a selfish point of view I want you to be safe and happy! Lots of love, Aunt Gail

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And now I understand so much better how it happens, how the anger, violence, and animosity feeds on itself. That someone with cultural objectivity (as a non-native), a background in yogic practice, mindfulness, and the transformative power of art can still come to not being able to “reconcile outrages” is a powerful statement on the toxicity of the occupation and its effect on the psyche of both the occupiers and the occupied.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you for your thoughtful reply and reflection…it is so toxic and so is the battle raging within…so much work to do…<3


  3. Oh my. My heart is with you.Thinking of my gentle friend as this angry woman is unsettling and powerful. And I want to hear more…
    Be safe, my friend. You have already started peace…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Katie, intense! Thank you for sharing the first hand emotional experience of living in Palestine. It is a sobering reminder of real time global suffering and injustice. I appreciate your willingness to understand and experience how the people of Palestine feel. So brave! I send love your way.

    Liked by 1 person

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