not long ago
quiet mornings and evenings
maybe they’ll return
Yesterday afternoon, rockets were fired at us. I ran to my first line of defense – to check my email. I found a message from Ella, with a writing trigger centering aroung a bizarre time journey. This was good, a way out of now, just what I needed. What came out of me was kind of depressing but for a few minutes I was able to ignore reality by looking at it straight on.
My computer is in my safe room, and when I get into my space, close the door and turn on the fan, I disconnect from everything else.
Sometimes life intrudes – like a shake of the house, or a voice coming unexpectedly close, jarring me out of my trance. The space is there – a cocoon for the taking.
Those uncertain afternoon hours. It was Tuesday, and that meant there had to be a phone discussion: would we cancel T’ai Chi?
Would Doron, our teacher, risk coming to Nir-Oz. Would others want to venture out? We were all under a warning to be 15 seconds from shelter.
We cancelled. Better not to take the chance. This gave me a night off and one more week to try to get acquainted with the fan cutta – the frighteningly fast set of movements with the periodic zaps of the fan opening that they’d all learned last year while I was at MindCET.
After dinner, I walked Zohar, my soldier daughter, to her room on the kibbutz. My phone rang. A new teacher was seeking advice, lots of it, about how to go about teaching high school English next year with all its new programmes. I offered to help.
Zohar and I got close to the kibbutz swimming pool and heard party sounds. Soldiers were there for R & R and she decided to join a friend and check out the scene. Was it a good sign that they were still there, I wondered.
I walked back home talking to the new teacher, watching the sky and listening for booms all the while. Then another English teacher called asking for sympathy and support: “How can we start the new year? What’s this shit?”
Clearly, it was time to reconnect to society, I realized with a sinking heart. People would be calling. I’d be answering. Summer solitude was ending.
A few minutes later
Then it began – whams of rockets all over the place. The alerts were flooding the TV screen, blocking out the junk TV show I’d been staring at.
Bedtime. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I checked for red alerts and text messages from the Security Head. We’d been ordered to get into our safe rooms for the night. I tried it. But there was no way I could get into a coma state. I gave up, drank some de-caf and tried to feel a normalcy in what I was doing. Normal! Everyone has problems. Writers thrive on neurosis and ennui. Why shouldn’t I rejoice in my unusual set of circumstances! But the unusual was becoming mundane, no real seething fear or anxiety. I was in a safe room and I heard nothing, except that boom that shook the 40 cm thick wall. But still I was alive. So no big deal.
Sometime later my phone vibrated beside my head. It was Zohar. “Mom, what should I do?”
Me: “I don’t know, I haven’t looked at the red alerts, yet”. Zohar: “Red alerts? Mom, we’ve got ‘orange panther’ alert.” Me: “Oh, so, we have to stay inside?”
Zohar: ” Mom, there’s a terrorist infiltration.”
Me: “Oh, so call your army base. Tell them you have an infiltration and you can’t come.”
Good morning, Hamassssssss – so said Joe on facebook this morning. Oh yes.
They greeted my daughter before I did.
Reminds of the time that Hanna-le, night-guarding with Gadi, found out that I was pregnant with Zohar before I, myself, knew. I’d thought it was the flu. But in their discussion that night, she was 100% sure of my true condition. (*note: When we first got to Kibbutz Nir-Oz, there were still Children’s Houses where our children slept the night. We needed night-guards to listen to intercoms to hear who was awake, to go ease them back to sleep or to call their parents to offer comfort.)
It’s not just kibbutz that’s a small place, but also this part of the Middle East. A tunnel here, a tunnel there, and a stranger gets there before I do.
Zohar made it to the base. Twenty minutes later the Orange Panther code was lifted and we were back to simply having to be within 15 seconds access to our secure rooms.
I’ve been eating fruit, hoping that the naturalness will sweeten this morning.
every rock song
each fine harmony
a dance towards peace