scared thrilled scared thrill scared thrilled

I find most things in life both scary and thrilling. I suppose I should hope it's always this way, but sometimes it feels like an awful lot of work.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Walk

Yesterday we walked through the hills surrounding Jerusalem, mapping out the proposed path of ipcri's event, "walk the green line" which will mark the anniversary of the creation of the border which would separate the states of Israel and Palestine. Sixty years later the Palestinian state is still a dream, and this UN-created border has been prodded, tweaked and pulled beyond recognition. The walk will be demonstrative and educational, and if any of you are interested

For me it was a terrific chance to get out into the countryside, on my first day here, and to see this land for myself. The following pictures show part of this experience (for those who don't recognize the fruit, it's a fig).

This is an old land, and bitter. Four thousand years of animal husbandry have meant those plants which survive are the ones which really don't want to be eaten: thorns and stickers galore. The hills are covered with the rocky borders off ancient terraces. The earth has long since been carried away, or compacted, so what's left looks skeletal, like the thinly covered bones of an old man whose flesh has sunk within his jagged framework. And there's an obvious wisdom which accompanies such an aesthetic: this is a land which has seen some interesting times and known some interesting people. Like the elderly man, the terroir of Israel/Palestine has earned its stripes and thorns.
And the fences and walls... When I stand on a hilltop, or trace the lines on a map, and see how these barriers are not just straight lines, but cages, the photographs I've seen in newspapers are instantly inadequate.
Stay tuned...


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