Thursday, August 10, 2006

Surrealism

My aunt and I started the beautiful drive further north for a consolation visit. We put on Radio Haifa to hear the sirens, and were soon in the scenic Galilee.

The village is located hill top, with amazing valleys and mountains all around. The view was peaceful. Rather, it should have been.

Family and friends sat together outside the house, on the lawn. White plastic chairs. The kind used around a backyard table.

I couldn't bear look at the parents. I sat on one of the chairs, looked at the grass instead, and listened. Artillery booms. Someone crying. A chopper. A sob. People hugging. The siren begins.

I looked up for a moment. No one moved. I continued to sit outside, on the lawn, fighting not-fighting the urge to go to the nearby bomb shelter. Katyusha exploding. One, two, three. (I don't know yet, but a young mother and her five year old die in that barrage). A weep. More artillery. The siren winds down. People grieving. Artillery.

The jumble of sounds, the beauty of the place, the people, the pain. The pain. The pain. All so surreal.

We drove home and stopped at a red light just when the welcoming siren hit us. What to do? Leave the car? Luckily the light turned green so we drove to the side of the road and ran hunched to seek shelter under the nearest building.

Half a day in northern Israel.

5 comments:

redchurch said...

Why do you stay?

I would leave. I would force my family to leave.

Nobody gains anything by staying. Each day a rocket misses, the probability goes up that the next one will hit.

There is no point in being a martyr. That's what started this mess in the first place.

Forget the martyrs, and martyrdom. Leave all the death due to childish posturing behind.

Be smart. Go somewhere safe. Please, Mel. I worry about you and can't begin to understand why anyone would willingly stay in a situation like that. It makes no sense.

Surely your family will listen to reason?

Perhaps I lack faith, but I would not trust my life in the hands of the U.N. or the government. They are part of the problem, not the solution.

The solution lay in each individual's responsibility to him or herself and family.

I hope you get out of there soon.

rdl said...

I must say I agree with Redchurch completely. I really wish you would all go to safer ground in Tel Aviv or back to Canada. Your poor husband. And I don't know how you can take it.

Devin said...

Dear Melly:

I live in Canada and have been reading your posts daily for the past 10 days or so. Your accounts of the conflict are very compelling and, very often, chilling. For what it's worth, your front line stories have made me think very long and hard about what is going on in Israel and Lebanon. Like you, I am overcome by the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.

I don't pray much anymore, but I am praying for you and the rest of the innocent Israelis and Lebanese. Keep your head up.

jmk said...

Hello Melly, bless your heart for all your going through. I wish you'ld come home since you have one away from all of that, and bring your family. They can go back when safe couldnt they? I know it wouldnt change anything as far as whats going on there, but like 'redchurch' sais, they'res nothing you can do to change that by staying. I just wish you to be safe. Im so sorry for your hurt and pain. I cant believe your living what i've always feard throughout my life. Nothing scarrier to me than war. prayers for you and all,, sending love too... jmk

Edie said...

Melly, my husband and i've had these discussions...my husband the voice of redchurch. Personally, i can't say what i'd do in your given situation. My husband said he’d drug my family, me too if he had to, and he’d get us out of the danger zone. I've never been one to tell people what to do, though i don’t always understand their choices—and i’m not saying that my way is right or wrong.

Support and maintaining faith for the best possible out-come—it’s all i can do. I don’t have the experience.

My experience doesn’t come close to what you are living but when i decided to raise money and go to Southeast India after the tsunami, there were people who didn’t understand my driving need to do that. They supported me anyway. I love my redchurch. I witnessed devastation, beauty, devastation, humanity, more devastation…

If life gave me the opportunity to go redo that experience, the only thing i’d change is lice shampoo—i would bring some next time—lots of it. Damn, now I have to go wash my hair ;-)

You have an overwhelming support system. In whatever you do, people will continue to send the positive energy you need to pull through.