Monday, November 24, 2008

yousuf gets creative-again

Ok, I honestly don't know what to make of this. First acupunctured teddy bears. Now this. On the face of it, it appears to be some sort of structure constructed out of plastic forks and a traditional Japanese swan vase (and which he later forbade me from taking apart, saying it was his masterpiece).

Should I:

A) Be upset that Yousuf destroyed $10 worth of plastic cutlery
B) Be delighted that his creativity is budding and that he can entertain himself with common household items and to hell with the plastic
C) Be worried that he can entertain himself for hours with plastic and toothpicks


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gaza's darkness

Last night, I dreamed I was in Gaza. I woke up to Noor's crying and shot out of bed.

It takes a while for my faucet to switch from cold to hot. But the hot water feels better in the winter. Every time I take a warm shower, I think of Gaza. Of the days we had no warm water. Or any water for that matter. Every singal time I take a shower I think of Gaza.

I haven't heard from my parents in two days- unusual considering we are usually on Skype daily.

So I call my father- as I suspected: the electricity has been out for 48 hours now.

"We'll make do, we always do. Just like everyone else" he says matter-of-factly. They are lucky. They are not hungry.

Others have no such faith to fall back on.

UN food distribution centers, on which nearly half of Gaza's population relies, and 20, 000 at any given time, have also shut down, their supplies depleted as a result of Israel's recent tightening of the blockade on Gaza.

Soon, there will be more pressure to get the wheels running again. People must be fed, after all; even prisoners are fed. But no matter if they lose all hope. After all, the civilized world does not invest in hope. It only invests in destroying it. Bullets are more tangible than hope. Hunger is an easier statisical indicator than disallusionment and depression and dreams.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


everyday i sit down in front of my laptop during that single hour of time that I own , but that somehow, seems to own me, after my children fall asleep (sometimes on the couch...but who's counting). I sit down and I say- ok time to write a new post. but it doesn't happen, and instead I began to go off in tangents until I wonder how my precious hour passed. so today I decided to simply let my words spill out without worrying about excessive editing and beautification . Today my tangent was thinking about a time in my childhood when I actually had timed to feel "bored".

I've also been distracted by other thoughts. Thoughts of homeland; of absence; of belonging; suspension of time and place and space.

And the elections of course and all that jazz.... counting the visit to my brother's this weekend, we've have 5 house visits from Obama campaigners, "change" button plastered to their vests, clipboards in hand. I applauded their efforts, but stopped them short to save them the trouble-, we aren't citizens, I told them, and I'm not sure how I got on their list (their answer: the lists don't specify citizenship), though my sister in law did vote, proudly, for Obama. I also suggested they work on my blue-collar neighbors- with a house full of at least 5 undecided voters, they had their work cut out. You may have heard, North Carolina has been thrust into the limelite as a swing state all of a sudden.

And so on and so forth. As though it mattered, as though I belonged, somehow, to this season, to this cycle, to this time, to this place.

I keep up to date wtih all the Free Gaza news of the ships travelling to and from Cyprus and Gaza. And I think how lucky they are, to have the luxury of choosing to voluntarily sail to Gaza to prove a point. I think how in this day and age, in this time of ours, where borders and all they signify seem to dissolve, they have actually never mattered more; citizenship has never mattered more. the paradox of my existence.

My father provides dad's daily updates on Skype: collection of the olives from his farm during the fall harvest; pressing them for oil today: they had a surplus. Persimmons are finally in season-but still expensive. They'll get cheaper though, he assures me, as though it will matter. As though I belong to that season; that cycle; that time; that place.

Its chilly outside. My fig tree stand upright and green, branching out near the rosemary and loquat, as thoguh snubbing its nose at the weather. It is estranged, too. And who, in my lonely little garden, really belongs to this place or this season. Some thrive, and others make do with the reality before them: they predict a harsh winter this year. Conserve your energy, like the dormant mint, until the season passes.