Yes, "The Audacity..."
To think that a group of socially conscious, peace-loving, human rights activists could bring the dream of this remarkable and totally ambitious project to fruition is audacious in the first degree. But we have done it.
We are filled with hope that our vision, our fund-raising efforts, our resolve, our intentions will meet with success...and that The Audacity of Hope (the US Boat to Gaza) along with the other boats in the International Peace Flotilla will sail into Gaza---undetered by Israel's military might...notwithstanding the thinly veiled threats from the Israeli government that have made their way into some of the mainstream press. May the threats dissipate (like most of yesterday's news).
As a passenger on this forthcoming voyage, I float the vision of our boat being met at the shores of Gaza by hundreds and hundreds of smiling, cheering Palestinian friends: children, parents, grandparents...Oh, it's time---it's way past time---to end the illegal blockade that the Israelis have enforced these past years.
I want to be there when it happens.
I want to be with others from the international community who have put their lives on pause in order to stand up for that which is right and just and possible---in these remarkable times, when all things seem possible---as soon as one thinks past the idea of the impossible!
Yes, I am one who believes that peace and reconciliation are possible. I believe that it is FEAR (largely irrational fear) that causes people with good hearts to strike out against other people of good will. All this in search of safety...
We can all trace those ancient and irrational (in my opinion) bad feelings and lack of trust back to the days of our ancestors---on all continents! And we can point to numerous current instances of violence and ill will on all sides of all conflicts. These conflicts are largely (if not entirely) the result of mutual fear and distrust. Kernals of fear of "the other" are the true bad seeds of our times. To ask how "it" started...or to ask "why?" is to drown ourselves in pieces of facts and fictions that fail to lead to the end of anger, distrust, tragedy. To me, it seems that all humanity suffers when fear-generated hatred is tolerated, justified and exalted through the angry use of bombs and stones and rockets and guns and sticks and white phosphorous...As a People, have we become inured to the hardships and devastation that result from the loss of willingness to find ways to co-exist peacefully!?
I am a Grandmother. I almost wrote "just a Grandmother" because I used to think (in my twenties, thirties, forties) that Grandmothers didn't count...They were old and they were over, relegated to knitting and baking and hobbling around! Where did I get such an idea!! I am a non-knitting, non-baker and decidedly non-hobbling Grandmother who's "gotta lotta livin' to do.." and I want to do it by gathering up some of the experience and grace and courage that I've acquired along my many decades and I want to use those traits and qualities to stand with others who seek whole-heartedly and work ceaselessly for a better world--for all of us. I am not on the side of this or that country; this or that political party; this or that religion. I'm on the side of fairness, love, cooperation, forgiveness, acknowledgement. I'm on the side of love. I Love You and your efforts to find connection and understanding and time to unlock the truth and beauty that---I know, with certainty---dwells in all but a very, very few hopeless and sad souls.
I'm going to Gaza with love in my heart: love for the Muslims, Jews, Christians and Atheists who are affected by this terrible war; love for those who would condemn me and those who have condemned me; love for those who hold me in the light and for those who do not even know that there is a struggle that, left to fester even more than it has, could infect the whole region, the whole world...
I am going to be a clear and kind witness...I will return to share what I discover on my physical, emotional and spiritual journey.
May this be a successful, non-violent excursion into the heart of celebration and "siblinghood"...'Cause that's what Life should be!!!
I am your sister. Really!!!