“The world begins at a kitchen table.” This is the first part of the first line of Joy Harjo’s poem, Perhaps the World Ends Here (click here and here).
I sought out these poetic words, after I received a notice in my Inbox from Zoë, a Canadian Ecumenical Accompanier (EA) placed in Jayyus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. She posted a photo essay of a cooking lesson with Lina, from earlier today (click here).
Then, I read a recent comment on my blog, a comment from Debbie, the Canadian EA placed in East Jerusalem. She wrote to say that she participated in a recent gathering to consider how Palestinians and Israelis might gather around food and art… to build trust and relationships. (See her full comment by clicking here and then scroll down.)
“The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table.” (Joy Harjo continues…)
“At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.” (Joy Harjo adds…)
We begin, again…
“This idea of conversation – talking together, reaching mutual understanding, and making meaning together across hierarchies – that’s the work that needs to be done” (Samantha Tan, quoted in Brown, 2003, p. 201).
How will we enable the next generation to engage in meaningful conversation if we restrict opportunities to learn and grow? My question arises as I read a recent posting by two Ecumenical Accompaniers currently placed in East Jerusalem. Debbie (click here) is one of the two EAs and is from Edmonton. Here’s the posting that she wrote with a teammate, Nkosi (click here).
Brown, Juanita. (2003). The World Café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter. With David Isaacs and the World Café Community. Foreword by Margaret J. Wheatley. Afterword by Peter Senge. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
In a day of remembrance, I pause and ask, “What’s going on…”. (click here)
I am thankful for those who cared so much to take a stand for justice…
Then, open my arms beyond my finger tips to invite the ‘now’ and the seven generations to come to stand, too, for a just peace… War, illegal occupation, and complacency are un-loving ways… (click here and here)…
We can create other, compassionate ways…
We can learn to live together… please, click here…
“Since I have been here, I have heard from several Israelis and Palestinians working for a just peace, that it will be the international community that will force Israel to abide by international law. International pressure is what turned the tide against apartheid in South Africa. If each of you reading this blog committed to sending a letter or email to your Member of Parliament or better yet, went in and had a conversation with him or her we might begin to shift the tide here in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, so that Palestinians like Nofa and Musa might begin to have hope that there will be a home for them not only this winter but for the future as well.” (Debbie, click here)
Debbie, a Canadian Ecumenical Accompanier (EA), now placed in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem offers the above observation following the demolition of a family’s home in Sheikh Jarrah. Debbie and I live in the same part of the world and were both placed in East Jerusalem. I remember well the many peace-minded people, both the Palestinians who live in Sheikh Jarrah and the Israeli peace activists who would rally with those Palestinians weekly in Sheikh Jarrah. For the story of another family’s struggle, please see my posting from January 2011 (click here).
One peace-minded Israeli, Adam Keller, blogged this week about intense news arising from both parts of Jerusalem. He concludes by quoting a call for action:
“This night, November 1, there will take place in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square a rally commemorating the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, rallying point for peace-minded Israelis. One of the announcements which landed in my message box states: “We can not forget the reasons why a Prime Minister was assassinated. We will not settle for a vague condemnation of violence. We must speak out, loud and clear, say that this country must change direction, sign an agreement and put an end to the occupation which erodes and corrupts all that is good in our country.” (Adam Keller, click here)
We, in the international community, have a choice to act with hope. I invite you to follow Debbie’s blog (click here and then the Follow button). I also invite you to continue to seek out alternative news media like Adam Keller’s blog to learn more than what much of mainstream, western media broadcasts. We can stand with peace-minded Israelis and Palestinians to collectively create the international pressure to turn this conflict around.