Thursday, June 21, 2007

June 22, 2007

Our friends in Haifa made us see with their eyes and so we saw through landscapes to deeper histories. When we first travelled the roads between Tel Aviv and Haifa, our eyes fell off the scrub hills, but Hannah asked us to look again. "See those prickly pear cactuses"--and she slowed the car down so we could focus our gaze--"every time you see a cluster of them, you are looking at the ruins of a Palestinian home." The farmers used the plant to form natural corrals for their grazing animals and also ate the fruit born at the tip of the rounded leaf. We started to look deeper, longer and soon we could see the tracings of another people, not a long gone people, but a displaced people. Stone foundations started to appear, buried in the uninteresting scrub. May you all have friends who make you look again. But when you see, there is no return to blankness, to cruel triumphalism.

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