Friday, July 25, 2014

Bureaucratic Fa├žades

I broke the trans-Atlantic Icelandic trip in Manhattan, peeling myself out of the crammed aluminum sardine tin. Horrid flight, but affordable. I'd been with friends in the Alps.

A curious stop-over: I was to visit a Catholic nun at her wee nunnery in the big city (shocking night cacophony from the streets and glaring light.) A Quaker friend in the Blue Ridge Mountains had brought her to meet me at my organic farm.

Both NYC nun and Blue Ridge Quaker (in the non-farming months of winter) were active at the UN. And in the amazing synchronicity of minds alight, the nun and I had remained in contact. She got me into a Security Council session.

I was intrigued with the simultaneous translators, but felt sick-at-heart at the labyrinth of slime trails through the building. The place seemed a den of back-stabbing and hidden agendas; the smooth mask of deceit.

I left before the nun was done with her day's peace work, God help her, and was standing across the street from the UN building, pondering the energies there.

Did not realize tears were streaming down my cheeks till a short brown man with kind eyes asked me what was wrong. It's startling to me even now, that I told him.

Turns out he was one of the multilingual translators from across the way.

"Would you speak to my wife? This would interest her very much. Will you have tea with us?"

His lovely, saftig wife met us close by and we went to a Middle Eastern restaurant for baklava and sweet mint tea. We talked about the difficulty of Realpolitik being disjunct from common humanity and decency.

"Where are you from?" I asked the man. His eyes glistened. He looked away; cleared his throat and turned to me.

"I have no home. We lost our ancestral home. I'm Palestinian."

Gaza Smoke Art
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