After the clouds and the wild light came the snow. The small town covered in no time. No more porch red and forest green, no more tan and white. Just cactus, agave in the snow and then followed a night of deep freeze frost. That is why there is no saguaro growing in this area. You find prickly pear, beaver tail, cholla, teddy bear cactus... Animals have a hard time, so I feed them a bit. Yet I wonder how they know within minutes that the buffet is open.
I wrote I was a arriving in a country with a new dawn. Jetlagged I have been waking up in the dark of night, checking on the progress of the stars dancing their circle around us. I like the gray of dawn, but I noticed that before that moment of the suggestion of light, the blackness seems to be charged. I cannot see a change but the announcement has been made. New energy seems to flow. That is the black of dawn. It ends with the white of dawn where everything is washed in a clean white light without color and then comes the magical moment when the east has a suggestion of color and then there is blue... followed by wild skies during the day. Glorious desert.
"One cannot not communicate' is the first axiom by Watzlawick. Silence is communication, just as loud as screaming. Hiding away, not speaking however is analog communication. Because we communicate by saying and naming things, feelings, opinion and by showing them through our behavior. The problem with the analog communication however is that it has several meanings: my tears can be because of laughter, the wind, the situation in Gaza... The context may show that. The problem with the digital communication (speaking , writing, signing and such) is that words can loose their meaning. Example: the humanitarian situation in the Gaza strip is unacceptable. We have heard, read it so often that it has lost its force. There is not consequence. We want the Russians to start pumping gas because it is unconscionable to hold the Europeans hostage in their dispute wit the Ukraine. Well, all shades of diplomatic and less diplomatic expressions have been used and nobody knows what the words really mean, when is 'unpardonable' without consequences? 'Disproportionate violence' leads to human suffering and the loss of power of our language. Whatever we say, won't stop the perpetrators of that disproportionate response. And yet, we have to speak up, because not speaking up in this case would be condoning what is happening in Gaza. Ahimsa: do not harm any living being. I thank the Women in Black who silently, but bravely stand in Israel, in Amsterdam, in London,in the Balkan, standing for peace and non-violence.
Words matter: I once heard an officer from the Mossad speak and I learned how words matter. It makes a difference whether you call The occupied territories or The West Bank. Words like: chosen people, homeland, jihad, occupation, Jehovah, Allah, democracy, Hamas, settlers, holocaust, genocide, terrorists, lies… color a discourse and frame it in a specific confrontational way. When Hamas was democratically elected (not only in the Gaza strip but overall the Palestinian territory) it was not the result the West had hoped for. I seem to remember that for a year Hamas declared a unilateral ceasefire and it never got violated by them and still the international community didn’t want to talk to them. (Don't you remember how the West send money and weapons to Hamaq to weaken the PLO? Don't you remember we supported and armed the Taliban ahgainst the Russians. We have our share of responsibility if only be our hypocrisy.) Blame can be laid at everybody’s door but blame doesn’t help the process to a humane solution. I include a link which clearly explains the communication concept ‘interpunction’. I learned about the phrase in The Pragmatics of Communication by Paul Watzlawick. It makes clear that when you start the clock is a defining factor for how you view the crisis. Two kids playing and fighting will tell their mother ‘She started it!’ and hope that that would make her own reaction right. It is not. However you look at it: 4 people dead through the actions of one side and close to 600 on the other side can never be right. One person dead is wrong, 600 is wrong 600 times. Respect and non-violence is the only way, you cannot bomb the word into peace, unless everybody is dead.
Yoga never has been in my comfort zone. I do it more in my head than in my body. Practicing alone, doesn’t feel right because I make to many mistakes even if I and my body try to remember the exercise I did while being guided. I trust the teacher, and hope not to be in the way for the other practitioners. I feel not safe with a different teacher. When I come in and sit down on the bolster, after no more than 3 minutes my back aches. Most positions actually hurt. Not because of strain or effort in trying to do what is going on. I keep, however, going back to yoga, because when at the end of the class I sit on the bolster, my back doesn’t hurt after three minutes. So I know immediately that it works for me. I wonder what kind of ‘hurt’ the others feel, whether everything hurts or nothing. The passive poses are usually ok, for a while. Some exercises will break out hidden emotions. It happened with the tailbone exercises, when a dark sorrow pervaded me and in a different way also with the sitting bones exercises. Sometimes the physical reaction is extreme. After the tailbone exercises I was cold, chilled too the bone, feeling as if my eyes were brimming with tears. Then suddenly it seemed as if a switch was flipped about 5 and a half hours after I came home and slowly I warmed up. My body in turmoil, my mind reflective, I wasn’t sure I could do the integration of the two sessions, so I integrate them here for you.