A strange transformation has taken place. I am now no longer in Palestine but still have so much of my attention pointed towards it. It as if I am looking at the pictures of myself there like the part of me that still is walking across the desert, still is eating warm bread and saged tea, still meeting inspired and incredible people full of passion and love and conviction and pain. Why can’t I feel them as I did just a few months ago? Why did Israel have to go and attack the people of Palestine and my ghost of memory left behind, there among them like a like a penguin in the San Diego zoo. I’m bewildered however I look at it.
But now I live in Olympia. I have a small boat I live on here in the harbor. It rocks me to sleep, those nights I can, and floats amdist an amazing community of new people. A single mother and her child in the Brigadoon, my slipmate Tim headed on his newly purchased Vasiliki to Alaska this summer, Vince the signpainter on Anna, a beautifully finished memorial to his late wife. Vince helped us put the lettering on the Olympia Rafah Mural last year, whipping out a beautifully lettered title for our work only caught up in Olympia governments red tape later. It’s funny now that he is my neighbor and with my new job at the foundation I’m ready to hire him again to help paint our organization’s mission on the office wall.
And that organization is the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, where I now am the opertaions manager working with the Corrie family, parents of Rachel Corrie, a young woman killed in Gaza in 2003 while trying to stop a Palestinian families home from being demolished by an Israeli bulldozer. The Foundation is where Rachel’s life is turned into a model for social change, such as we left living can manage to do that. It’s a beautiful and difficult and thought-provoking mission. Especially difficult today, as a part of me wached the Corrie leave the office today to go on a delegation to Gaza to provide relief and aid after the recent devestation there. The thought-provoking side of me is still over there expecting them, waiting for them to help me make sense of it all from that side of things.