life can be
waking up with the day and being conscious of its potential, she steps out into a water that moves in all directions at once, not in flux or still but a ceaseless movement and eyes closed she speaks word at the world around her in the setting sun crystal dust coming off the trees to settle on the earth a powdered dew, “I am in always lost and never always found,” waking up with the day and being conscious of its potential, she untangles herself from herself, her feathers and wings stuck and tied together there is a rain in sunlight she speaks word at the world around her slowly coming done, “today as all days I will fly too high to be seen
I know to always go to the part of the city that the white people are most afraid of.
The football stadium here fills with sound when people begin to play, men chanting in unison, cheering it fills the entire of this tiny bowl city with sound. I envision those people cheering for the end of the occupation deciding not to allow themselves to be occupied but realize how perfectly israel has played its part, quietly and in silence dismantling this country filling the cities with refugees feeding them israeli vegetables and israeli cars and israeli plastics letting them play real life with israeli money, allowing the hope and violence to slowly fall from them like grains of sand a metaphor for biding time youknow. It’s hard to fight great evils in the face of small ones: feeding and loving and cleaning, taking care of your family.
Jerusalem, the holy city, is filled with rich young Americans, drinking decafe coffees and alcohol the city is clean and beautiful tasteful conversation-inspiring graffiti on the walls and young sad looking people playing big instruments you’ve never seen before vaguely human vaguely vegetable, “you need to piece the leaves together, build a blanket the size of the world hide and seek.” Israel fills its side of the wall with young Americans and Europeans and feeds them sweets and drinks and Palestine is invisible, an unspoken conversation, an embarrassing shadow that gets swept away and spoken about briefly, “you’ve BEEN To Palestine? But how is that possible? You must be mistaken there are buses for the arabs and a new train for the Israelis, the maps and directions are all in Hebrew and English. The importance of language in a city like Jerusalem is incredible, the people you make eye contact with, there is a deep and boiling silent violence and the tourists and foreigners are its froth lapping; “You don’t want to go to the Mount of Olives, it’s dangerous…” It’s funny, I’ve always found, how the most “dangerous” parts of a city are also the only parts of a city where people will smile at you, will give you free food and invite you to sit with them. While the safest parts are always filled with people too busy to look into your eyes, too involved in their own activity to notice you are, that space needs to be shared is an unfortunate consequence of the need to be surrounded by sound and static because we don’t know how to be with other people without constant distraction: we’d all prefer to live in a city with static and the clickings of birds and machines, enough noise not to feel awkward with the person you’re out with, “I can barely hear you over the sound of that brass pipe repeatedly beating that dead bird, haha,” “I know, it’s great being out of the house, I love —
White people are always so surprised, I find, when you say “I hate white people,” being raised their whole lives being told that “racism” is evil and wrong, how their ancestors have done so many terrible things please you don’t want to be called a racist you love everyone, all colors all races we’re all the same one people! I think, white people, lacking a culture to call their own, do not realize how important it is for people who are not white to be not white, how important their race is to them. By saying “I’m not racist,” it’s like forcing people who aren’t white to be white. “I hate white people,” “how could you say that that sounds vaguely racist Raghav. That sounds almost like you mean to say that you have negative feelings about a certain group of people solely because of the COLOR OF THEIR SKIN. Raghav, skin color is just that: skin color. Race isn’t a thing, Raghav: it’s an illusion don’t you see? We’re all one undergodindivisiblehandsonheartsmozerellasticksforlunchtoday!amen.” They’re all right, I think: all races are equal, I love everyone,
Palestine is being broken apart slowly and perfectly. Israel controls the medias, the powers, and slowly and certainly the countrysides of Palestine are being emptied into the cities I spoke to someone on the bus and I said, “if Israel realized how much what they are doing bothers the rest of the world, how deeply wrong it is they’ll change what they’re doing,” and he said, “Israel all ready thinks the whole world hates them.” and it’s true stretching my fingers as far as they can stretch pulling the tiny little webs as thin as they can go clothespins on clotheslines, certain things have an absolutely perfect place and belong. Belong perfectly, standing in water moving in all directions at once,
I have so many frustrations about being here, I am starting to get choked by a desire to say every single thing at once, unable to articulate anything. What do you do in the face of the perfect evil? The perfect, systematic destruction of a people? The image of the soccer stadium, a thousand men’s voices filling this city bouncing between the mountains, the streets need to fill. Palestine needs to conflate its safety with the end of the occupation, the longer it waits the easier it will be for Israel to explode Nablus, to drop bombs and call it a mistake, it’s happened before. Apartheid has happened before, and we make laws and have rules that make it so it’ll never happen again but it’s here. The longer this goes on, the more certain will be the destruction, the death, of every person in Palestine.
I hate to speak so literally but: jerusalem is the starkest example of wrong I have ever seen. Half of the city is beautiful and clean and expensive, and when I walked down the streets, everyone gave me a dirty look. The other half is littered with garbage lit up halogen bulbs neon shaped into long lines of words the text of god it could have come from the sky, broken swings and shit cars, buildings that are falling apart, their water costs more money and everything is old. It happens in silence and it happens perfectly: genocide is happening here, the Palestinian people are being slowly dehumanized and animalized so that when Israel finally finishes cleaning up the West Bank, they can drop just two final cleaneruppers then when asked, “But what have you done? You’ve just killed millions!” “Yes, but they’re not people silly! We’re not murderers! Here, have a bite they won’t send nurses and soldiers through the remains of this city they’ll send butchers and chefs, picking rubble out of the hole that is a child, still fresh, put it with the others! and they’ll export it. Or something. Million dollar idea
I am choked for words, I really don’t know what to say anymore. It is completely without hope here. The young have never known freedom so they do not know to be angry, they do not know to be furious they do not know to hate with every inch of themselves. Walking through the streets of Jerusalem and coming back to Nablus, I would kill for this country. And not every Israeli wants the occupation, in fact it seems like most don’t, but there is something keeping it going. The Jewish people want a homeland, a country to call their own is that so much to ask? All the rest of the land in the world was taken so we’ll just take this tiny little bit, it’s not asking so much
Something something something something, I know to always go to the part of the city that the white people are most afraid of