Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finding money and the roads ahead

Three times since I've been home, I've found money.  Last week I found $8 in the street and twice as I've been unpacking, I've found $20ish.  Nice little surprises.  I don't expect I'll continue to find money, but I do take these little gifts as signs that things will work out.  By "things" I mean the plans that are forming in my head, or more importantly and more accurately, the ones tugging at my heart.

Yesterday as I was unpacking some things, I came across a daily African proverb calendar my best friend gave me a few years ago.  It amazes me how often I've looked at a quote and realized it was exactly the message I needed on that particular day.  Today's message is this: "The one who wants to do something finds a way; the one who doesn't, finds an excuse."  Where there's a will there's a way.  Last week I met a friend for dinner at an Asian restaurant. My fortune was this: "The real secret to success is enthusiasm."  Well, I can tell you, I am excited to consider the new paths I may be walking.  Maybe they're not exactly new paths for me, but I certainly haven't walked too far down them, so I look forward to seeing what lies ahead.  I am particularly enthusiastic about two ideas tugging at my heart, beckoning me to take some steps forward.  I know that along the way I may have some hills to climb and some obstacles to face, ones that might stop other people in their tracks.  However, I've run a few marathons and I know the reward of pushing through, of huffing and puffing up hills, and after making it to the top, having an easier run down.  I also have no intention of letting some roadblocks get in my way.  In Palestine, I helped rehabilitate some blocked roads.  I can do it again.  Maybe my marathons and Palestinian experiences have been training me for new challenges, in particular, the two pulling at me now.

I am excited to explore how I can make writing a more constant part of my life.  I want to dedicate more time to this thing I've been doing, this thing that has been nurturing me and, much to my delight, seems to be feeding some of you, too.  I've had some conversations with people who know a lot more than I do about writing and the writing world.  I imagine I have many conversations, lots more writing, and a fair bit of research ahead of me before I figure out what it will mean to dedicate myself more fully to writing.  Thanks for the encouragement you have given me directly or indirectly to move forward.  Your enthusiasm feeds my own.

In the physical world, Palestine continues to pull me.  I plan to return and dedicate myself in a deeper way to peace and justice.  This could mean standing at a checkpoint between Israel and Palestine and monitoring what goes on there; walking with a Palestinian child to school so that s/he doesn't get harassed by Israeli settlers; or accompanying and documenting Palestinian and Israeli peace activists in their actions, particularly when the actions lead to confrontations with the Israeli military (such confrontations are the norm).  I know who I want to work with in Palestine.  Now I need to apply to the program, and hope that the organization is as excited as I am about working together.  Thank you to those who want to know the reality, hear the stories, and struggle with Palestinians and Israelis for a more peaceful future.  Your dedication to justice inspires me.

Like I believed I could run 26.2 miles and did...more than once...I believe that I can integrate writing into my life.  I believe I will return to Palestine.  I believe I will succeed in these pursuits because when I talk about them, I can feel myself getting more animated; I am enthusiastic.  Both feel right in my body, all the way down to my bones.  I believe that, like the money that seems to be coming from nowhere, the means to accomplish what I know I must do will appear before me.  I don't know how many steps I need to take before I come across them, how many hills or barriers I may encounter, but I know I'll find what I need.  I have a feeling the joy and contentment from these discoveries will be far greater than finding a few dollars in the street.

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