I have been very upset about the recent war between Israel and Palestine. Just as upsetting as the violence and hatred taking place there has been the responses I've seen, heard, and read from people elsewhere. The anger, hatred, and and extreme closed-mindedness have been a shock to me, and brought up a great deal of worry, anger, and sadness in myself. Trying to engage people in conversation has usually proved fruitless--I found people so stuck in their own narrow viewpoint that there was no communication taking place, no shift in perspective, no change in understanding, and no opening to compassion. Arguments, facts, questions, explanations . . . none of them went anywhere.
I decided that the best response I could give was to write this poem. I hope that it will make a difference, and help to bring about understanding, acceptance, and peace.
Devastated from reading about
war in Israel and Palestine,
Heartbroken by countless
angry, vengeful discussions and arguments,
I went dancing.
Dozens moved and flowed and crashed
looked and listened and responded
led and followed and got lost
laughed and complained and connected.
Beginners and experts, younger and older
Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, Buddhists
I tried to stay present, as always
watching faces, moving with bodies
listening to music and voices
noticing thoughts and feelings
witnessing mind and self.
Behind every pair of eyes,
joy and excitement, fear and anxiety
confidence and trepidation
desire for connection
aversion to being revealed
confusion about who is inside.
In all of these
We are all the same!
I want to shout.
We all want
to to be treated with kindness and fairness
to have happiness and prosperity
to believe that God is on our side, that
the Universe will fulfill our needs and wants.
We all fear
being unheard, ignored
broken, unworthy, unloved.
We fear for our very existence.
Every one of us.
And we are right.
Right that we are small and vulnerable
right that the universe is
vast, confusing, uncertain
beyond our control
doing what it does
Still, we dance.
Whether to dance together
is not a choice;
Looking in your eyes
Your hopes and fears
joys and sorrows
happiness and prosperity
In you I see