"Disgust at the obscenity, compounded with guilt: it is within our power to bring the suffering to an end and allow the Samidin to enjoy the lives of peace and dignity that they deserve."
“The Palestinian people want to be free of the occupation”
I wrote a prayer for Palestine on the third day of the recent horrific and unspeakable attacks. Reflecting on the long years of occupation and war, I was compelled by spirit to speak out and use my words and knowledge to share and search for deeper understanding.
To the people of Palestine
Unrecognized, Occupied and Terrorized
the civilians, the children, the workers, the parents,
the journalists, the artists, the peacemakers, the healers,
the freedom fighters,
I sit here in the privilege of never having lived in the fear of bombs and rockets
splintering humanity and community.
I sit here with a pain from my chest
to my heart and stomach
worried with helplessness
of what can I do…
except expand my own awareness
and those of my friends, family, students, online community.
I sit in the stark reality of being an activist far from these front lines
of the heaviest, most intense battles of our time, extending beyond this time
so far back... but these histories and conflicts still rage beneath and through us.
Sure I have been on the frontlines of other battles – poverty, abuse, lack, despair, healing work in the face of grave suffering – I have worked and lived and survived front lines… but none like this… no war… no battles with rockets under terror colonization.
I sit with my pen wanting to craft words, carve an urgent response
calling for peace and praying for change
praying for the children and future of Palestine
praying for a sense of humanity and dignity for a people
being crushed yet and still fighting to live
in the face of our collective blindness and willful ignorance.
I remember June Jordan’s words from the film A Place of Rage –
What are we prepared to do for the people of Palestine?
How her words still resonate 20 years later...
Where is our collective rage?
Prayers and meditations today and everyday for peace and dignity for the people of Palestine. Our humanity depends on how we discuss and respond to this crisis. Some of us may feel unaffected and far away, but we do not live in a vacuum - we affect and are affected - and if one lives in the United States and pays taxes, then we are implicated. And we do have a voice - keep ourselves informed, speak from a place of love, and let us all "think peace and believe in change."
Noam Chomsky said the following about what gives him hope in Gaza after his visit: "people’s resilience. They just don’t give up. Under the worst conditions, horrendous conditions, people still, you know, fight for their rights and don’t just succumb. And, you know, it’s a lesson for people from the West. I mean, you know, we talk about repression, but, you know, undetectable by comparison with what most people in the world face. And if they can struggle on under really harsh and brutal conditions, tells us we ought to be doing a lot more."
Yesterday the United Nations voted overwhelmingly in favor of recognizing the statehood of Palestine. Perhaps this is our collective global first step in doing something.
I continue to trust in the future and that change (the great cosmic shift of our time) is surely coming... and that we can and must create change even with and through the most difficulty of situations and the hardest of addictions. But we are reflections of each other. Bound to histories that don't make sense... and to the present of tumbling into an abyss of climate change, continued wars and occupations, troubled conflicts, control over minds and bodies, mass consumption, excessive greed, extreme poverty, too much extraction, too much violence at greater and greater costs to our bodies and our planet.
We have little to spare and too much work to do. The time is now to think beyond ourselves and rage more. Change is coming. Resist. Rethink. Rework. Remember. Rememory. Reclaim. Rebuild. Rage Power.