My latest news from Northern Israel

I will be writing more regularly – as much as possible now, in order to provide you with my personal experience of living in peace, even while rockets are blaring around the area where I live.

Yesterday, when the missiles began to hit the Western Galilee, I wrote a quick newsletter that I mailed out to my mailing list and also to my family. It was preceeded by: “Before you read too much news and watch too much television, I write this message to provide you with my personal account… of living in the Galilee today. How does one respond with peace in the midst of mayhem? Consciously, answering my own question.

Last night, I drove to Nazareth to attend the concluding concert of Daria’s English camp program. Award winning singing Daria
came for two weeks to Israel with her delightful daughter Kyra, to volunteer at an English summer camp directed by my dear friend Kamel Barghouti. Single handedly, Kamel arranged this innovative camp.

Daria and I met through the internet. She read an article that I wrote for Global Rhythm Magazine, about how Israeli and Palestinian musicians navigate the mid-east crises. I wrote the piece at the height of the Intifada (crises), a few years back.

Last year, Daria and her colleague Nalida Silva attended my performance in the Music of Peace concert at the United Nations, where we met in person. I performed at Daria’s daughter’s school. She mentioned wanting to come to Israel. I told her that I didn’t know how I could help, but I will keep her wish in mind. I spoke to Kamel about Daria, and he was delighted with the idea. This trip, is the result of the introduction.

The roads were almost empty, most people sequestered in their homes.

I arrived to Nazareth to the performance. Almost two hundred children bustling with youthful energy and their parents filled the community center auditorium. I brought my drum with me… thinking that singing for the children would uplift my spirits, and keep me focused on healthy, constructive thoughts.

It wasn’t easy. During the concert, I was feeling heavy and sad inside. I allowed room for it, not wanting to suppress my natural expression. It came time for Daria and my piece together – Shalom – Salaam. How appropriate. Jew and Arab – in Israel are in the same boat. I felt comforted by our song. We continued with another piece.

Later that evening, Kamel said, “I always liked you, but tonight, your coming here, given the situation, makes me understand you even more. Thank you.”

His words encouraged me beyond my weariness, beyond my sadness, beyond anything that could even start to get in my way of silence.

THis morning, my students arrived for our last sacred healing music session together. Yosi, from Tel Aviv called last night to ask if class will be held. “Of course”, I replied.

It was a sublime day. We used the katyushas (missiles) as an allegory for the ways we ambush ourselves in daily life. The measure of a person is not when things are going well, but rather when they arent’.

After they left, I took a nap. I was awoken by another woman from Rosh Pinah. “Hi, I want to sing for you”, she said. From her, I learned about the activity there today. “Last night we slept in underground shelters, it was like sleeping in the womb of mother earth”, she said. What a constructive way of looking at things…

Five minutes ago, a German boy arrived upon my doorstep to stay the weekend. We are meeting for the first time. Matthias started out in Migal (where Mary Magdalene was born), this morning, hiking his way through the valleys until he arrive here this evening.

Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted with my personal accounts of daily life here.

Hope it will inspire you. Please ask me questions!!!!!

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