unsettled in unsettled land


1. and so, how does she attempt to sit here in comfortability and allow herself to be in this country for the next six months while there are missiles sent to the negev and already 430 killed in gaza, and here i am in front of myveryownlaptop in a cafe in the centre and away from all that, and learning only from media myself and only from what i can gather from news footage and translations what i can read and see and i will participate in demonstrations to say no more, but what do i do here, a young womyn here, from faraway unknowing and very unsettled in her very own way in her very own thoughts in being in dis/connectivity – in a land that is in itself so very unsettled and in war, no doubt, war, what do i know of this reality? what do i know of it being so present? i am still learning what this means – how this plays on peoples mentalities on their prescence on their mindstate, their activitiy on their movements on their actions, thoughts and perceptions  – and how i. how i who before knew so definitely about definite things, is finding no definity in any of this. except that no. this is not the answer, make peace with your enemy. so simple to say huh, sitting here in a cafe with a coffee paid for with shekels from my pocket.



view from mt. meron

view from mt. meron

2. i’ve been in the north for 11 days or so – and i will begin somewhere in the beginning. 22.12.08: Hitched from Ra’anana to somewhere near Nazareth, stood in the bucketing rain whilst loud trucks spat smoke and a roadside fruitseller kid lit fires in the busstop to go out of control and a man stops with a fire extinguisher to put it out and continue on his way. and stood in the rain some more with my thumb out for over one and a half hours and no luck, so picked up our 20kg back packs and got on a bus to Nazareth to stay the night to figure out what the raining plans might be for this week. and the beginning of miscommunications and very different working methods happen here, between my compadre and me –  trying to make sure everything is clear yet not totally comfortable with everything here – and how will it last for much much longer?
it will.
and this pumping blood inside me remains over the seas in australia in her thoughts, in mine in what’s there, and not here and trying to allow myself to be present yet always backwards or forwards .
And so. in nazareth there are lots of people coming to be holy for christmas, and it remains quiet now, we stay in a hostel of a house of a large arab family (once was) and think and walk and it’s old. it’s old and feels filled with history and as i am not religious maybe it would have more resonance in that way but i see it in a different way. and so sitting early in bed tonight in a large dorm room with two others in it. unsure and unsettled and allowing myself to be that way because i just can’t do it any other way right now – and i’m more interested in what i can do with what i am doing rather than letting it go by. and so that motherland calls, she does. strongly, yet i let her remain here in my thoughts.



3. 24.12.08 : the cat is trying to get out of the window and i can’t figure out how to open it, she makes a racket and elad wakes from the other side of the room “what the fu… is going on?” “the cat!” i laugh.  last night, we stayed in a unit/apartment type in Kibbutz Dafna from someone we met on couchsurfing.com and she let us have it for the night. and we’re figuring out what we’re going to do; are we going to hike in the rain? we have too much stuff, it is too heavy, are we going to wait, what are we going to do? and i want to walk, i don’t care about the rain, and i cannot sit still now. sorry. so we do and inevitibly get wet and elad wants to stop for the mud is like sticking and making us stuck and not going forwards with any ease. and i can’t do much more than allow it to be the way it is. and so i go back here inside and amaze myself with what is surrounding me – over those mountains is Lebanon! and over those ones is Syria! what is the significance of my geographical location, oh how i am learning still.
and so we lit candles with strangers for hanuka and said some things i didn’t understand and felt like it’s nearly christmas and what the hell does that mean anyway?
so we make lentils and rice in a shelter in another kibbutz while we’re silent and unnknowing and so eventually we push on and get to qiryat shermona by dark – a ghosh city almost that the hezbollah sent missiles to not so many years ago that no doubt makes people leave. and so we get to a soup kitchen whom the owners gave us a ride a few days earlier and told us to come by – very couchy, mostly students from tel hai come here and eat cheap good soup and this is a good way to be right now. so we get a place to stay in another kibbutz called Kfar Szold and it’s still raining and so the next day we push on to Kibbutz Sasa where we get a lift all the way with a guy called Benny, along the border of Lebanon up in the mountains, and so, these things happen and i sit and ponder and sit and ponder and just…

4. In Sasa we are staying with an elderly couple Gideon and Rina, who we also met on couchsurfing, Gideon is one of the founders of Sasa, which started in 1949 after the creation of the state of Israel, which before was an arabic village “but before that a jewish one” says Gideon – a justification of sorts. and so I ask “what were the feelings like when you first came here?” “well we were moslty happy to have a national home for jewish people…” and that’s as far as i’ll get with him on this topic.
so christmas in the dining room with people who aren’t thinking about it being christmas and it’s kind of strange and funny and not really expected.
Elad is perhaps getting another cold and feeling defeated to me. and it’s getting me down. but i feel a little bit stronger today, more within myself and the person i trust to be strong here. and so learning to take the time to let things happen, let the work have the time it needs and not try and rush people or feelings.. so let it be.

5. 26. 12.08 Wild hogs grunting snuffling, making me jump into the dark mountain highway with fright, blasts in the nearby distance making me wonder what for… walking up this big long hill in the dark after eating hummos in an arabic village, elad and i look like creeps in the dark so can’t get a lift. so we’re silent, in our own thoughts walking up here for an hour to Mt. Meron, where we’re staying in a cheap and nasty hostel in this winter that has now hit and feels like ice.
there is a struggle here, a challenge of being in company that doesn’t click one by one, two by two, that is on different levels with themselves and so – what the fuck to do. continue only, continue. and that’s okay. i’ll be this way because this is the way i am. and will try to stop boring the blog of these challenges, but so selfishness is this blog so is me now.

6. 27.12.08 – the fire is too smokey and i cannot fix it, maybe just not very good wood, maybe just a style of stove i am not used to – all the windows and door wide open on this winter night in Kadita in a cabin we are staying in with the family of Tofu Kadita – a family of 9 children and a matriarch and of ethics and values of living with the earth- kadita – originally illegally settled in the 80’s – and now, still “illegal” – the government trying to remove them or start  a so called “ecological village” which it already is – houses without electricity and paved roads. – very quiet, houses built by those who live in them – mostly. so familiarity in ethics and values and spice shelves and conversations of firstly displacement in india due to damming, and then to now, the war here – imka, she says, we were here during the Lebanon war, we were here, watching listening to those missiles flying over our house!
lots of olive trees scatter these valley’s, cows and horses mosey about on their own accord, and it feels off the map. with steep muddy roads that you know the neighbours and they say shalom and you go into their homes and they serve you tea and you get warm and sink in to the couches and…
so this morning a wake up call from mum and feeling loved by her and that side of the world. i walk up Mt. Meron on my own, through the scrub, no one around until the top, with a security base up there on top of this holy moutain, and amazing views of surounding villages – and sounds of arabic prayers coming through the loudspeakers of an arabic village down there. and so here we lay in kadita – to learn of their way of life for the past 17 years making tofu and making a home with ecological principals built in from the start.


7. so i am going to rush to where i am now because i am going to get to this demonstration in tel aviv tonight and when i process my film i will post many more photographs and tell more of these travels and learnings and etc. and yes.
love to you and to hoping for 2009 to be a year that makes a difference for perhaps positive reasons, not “the least rainfall on record” “the hottest year in history” – maybe
“the year peace came to the middle east” “the year Aboriginal people controlled their own communities” “the year racism died” “the year the earth took priority”
and so on. it keeps turning.
– jess.


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