I’m struck by several fleeting yet unforgettable moments this day (18 Jan. 2011) in Jerusalem:
-On the way to Qalandiya Checkpoint at 4:45 am with my EA teammate, Ruth: The moon…setting in all her golden, near-full glory above the northwestern silhouette of the city…
-At Qalandiya Checkpoint at 7:30 am after a surge of frustrated men tried to squeeze into the too-narrow turnstile lines: Another line of 20 Palestinian Muslim men stood and kneeled, shoulder-to-shoulder, in prayer…creating a counter-balancing calm…
-At tea with Georgette, a woman that I met on 2 January 2011 at the Greek Catholic Patriarchate near Jaffa Gate in the Old City. (See my posting on 2 Jan. 2011 at KidsStories4Peace). She lives with her husband, children, and grandchildren in a house that her family has owned for over 200 years in the Old City of Jerusalem. Over Arabic coffee, I asked her about life in the Old City and whether it was easier or harder under the Jordanian government prior to 1967… “You know what’s easier? When you can go to sleep at night without worrying. Regardless of which government is in power.”
-Returning to the EA team house through the Old City: A Palestinian Christian, funeral procession proceeding up the narrow street on foot, in community…
-Evening tea with Ronny, a member of Machsom Watch, a group of peace activist, Israeli women who monitor the Israeli checkpoints. She is in the Israeli peace movement in part because she doesn’t like what the Occupation is doing to Israeli society. She said that she is “trying hard not to hate her society”…that was sobering…She is concerned that the Left has become marginalized. She offered some suggestions for us as we develop an EAPPI Fact Sheet on the Israeli peace movement.
Life is rich here and sometimes overpowering. A friend from home has just shared the following with me and now I share it with you:
”When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Thank you for sharing those words of courage and inspiration, Sherry-Anne. Strong, creative people…
Wonder full heart-warming words from Martin Luther King Jr.
I wish ‘deep sleep’ for all you meet.
It is wonderful that you can see signs of hope, peace and small bits of joy amid the conflict. I am glad you have a chance to feed your own soul.
I’m glad you mentioned the moon! It is such a great reminder that we are all aboard the same space ship, and brings you close. Love to you, Anne
Thank you for sharing these moments in your day, Sherry Ann. You are meeting such interesting people with such thoughtful insights. Thanks, too, for sharing the quotation. I love the image of the moral arc bending toward justice and will hold onto it! May it sustain you, too!
Sherry Ann, we appreciate being connected to you as you experience life as an ecumenical accompanier in Jerusalem. Your first hand experiences at the check point and at the home demolitions provide a perspective we might not otherwise get. We are now sharing some of your stories with our family and friends. Blessings.