Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I got a girl in the war, Paul, the only thing I know to do, is turn up the music and pray that she makes it through

After a little over 3 years here in Israel, B. and his family are returning to Sudan. Their decision to go home is a result of a number of things- the impending referendum on independence for Southern Sudan in January, some aid money from a charity organization, and the growing realization that they can't stay in Israel forever and that it might be better to leave voluntarily while the kids are still young than to be forced out when they are older. For a while I was angry at B. for taking his family back into danger. But it's his life, his family and his decision. And he  really believes in South Sudan and he wants to be there at its inception. It's his home and that's where he wants to be. Now, I am mostly very sad and scared for them. All the little (and big) things in my life right now pale in comparison when I think of this family I love making their way back to Africa and starting their lives there. B. believes that South Sudan's succession will go smoothly and even if there is a war, he will be far from it. I am not that hopeful. He also believes that one day it will possible for me to come visit them in Sudan and for his eldest daughter to come to university here in Israel. I can't imagine that future. Then again, there are many people who have, in their lifetimes, witnessed they never could have dreamed of. In the meantime, there's nothing I can do but pray. So this is my prayer:
I pray that your journey back home be without incident. I pray that humanity's capacity for kindness will win over its capacity for evil  I pray that you find your home as beautiful as your remember it.  I pray that the country you build will flourish and grow. May it be filled with peace and justice. May your rains come as they should and your sun shine on your faces. May you see your children be tall and beautiful. May you carry their children on your shoulders. And I pray that you will remember me and this country. Remember the bad- how hard it was to be asylum seeker here. And let that be a warning. But also remember the good- the kindness and community you found here and the laughter beyond words. I pray I will see your faces again. 
"I'll pray and then I'll sleep" (Marilynne Robinson, Gilead)

May all your wildest dreams come to pass.

 Music Rec: Girl in the War, Josh Ritter

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two hearts are better than one

This Thanksgiving I did not roast a turkey. I didn't make stuffing, or cranberry sauce, or pumpkin pie. My apartment was quiet and empty Thursday evening. Instead of hosting friends, this year for Thanksgiving I got all snazzied up, pulled on my slinky, sexy brown dress and with great joy attended the wedding of a great friend to the most gentlemanly man I know. It was a spectacular wedding- joyous and energetic and low key and suffused in love and good will.
So this year I am thankfull for friends, and friendship and love and the strength of will and conviction it takes to face the world with the absolute belief that goodness awaits.

Thesis Watch: In the hands of my adviser

Book Rec: Tender at the Bone, Ruth Reichel