Well, it’s been a hectic few weeks since the Supermoon…a veritable roller coaster of deeply disturbing world news, with a blog writing itself in my head all the time but not given the space or time to manifest. And now I’m at risk of alienating readers with my outspoken views….. so it goes.
A few days before the full moon, I was making signs for a candlelit vigil for Gaza.That evening I sat out on my verandah, bathed in moonlight, and I had an overwhelming feeling of Oneness with all Humanity….One World, One Sun, One Moon shining down on all Beings….one Earth to cherish.
And yet for most of the last two months, I have not been meditating in the Peace and Light, but have been immersed in the growing outrage over what has been happening in Gaza….hardly reported in the mainstream news.
I have a Love/Hate relationship with Facebook, but it has been one of the only sources of real news from and about Gaza. Articles on the 66 year history of the conflict, photographs showing the extreme disproportionality of the bombing from Israel compared to the rockets from Gaza, with appalling consequences for the Palestinian civilians, and reactions from Jewish people and holocaust survivors speaking out against the Zionist Genocide…for that IS what it is, plain and simple.
And on social media, ordinary people are educating themselves, finding a voice and coming together to speak out….we cannot just ignore what is done “In our name”.
It doesn’t take too much thinking to find out why this information is not in mainstream media… World governments, and the shadowy Capitalist drivers behind the Governments and the Media, have been funding armaments on both sides, with the self-interest of accessing oil, and protecting “their” supply lines; when you are tied in economically, morality can go out of the window.
With the dearth of real news in the mainstream media,. it fell to social media to inform people, and the facts and images were truly horrifying. I won’t burden you with that, but I do believe that the increasing outrage, horrifying daily reports, and photographs of people coming together in massive, worldwide demonstrations may have contributed, in small part, to the latest ceasefire.
I live near a small town in North West Ireland, and every week a small group of us gather for an hour; it has been great when folk stop to chat about what’s happening in Palestine….when there was no real coverage on the news.
There is a page set up on Facebook, Light in Support of the People in Gaza, which encouraged folk worldwide to light a candle on the 9th of August at 10 pm, take a photo and post it up.Here’s a group of friends at my house, where we had a simple meal together, and stood in silent meditation for Gaza. It felt good to share heartfelt thoughts and prayers with other folk all over the world.
After four young Palestinian brothers were shot dead whilst just playing on a beach, a freelance photographer, Brian Farrell, put out a call for 300 children to gather on a local beach here, to represent the 300 children killed in Gaza; 320 children turned up with their parents…( I commandeered my Honorary Granddaughter!)and similar projects were done in the south of Ireland.On the actual day of the gathering up here, the number of Palestinian children killed had gone up to over 418, by the latest ceasefire the number was over 500. His photograph was featured on the front of the Irish Times, but sadly, the ceasefire in the headline below the photo did not last for any length of time.
Another project started on Facebook was ‘I Remember the Children’, where people put up bouquets of flowers in places local to them, with inscriptions remembering individual children who had been killed; I put up some flowers from my garden, in town, remembering two 13 year old twins who had been killed…
I was told that no Irish person would ever remove commemorative flowers from the roadside…but sadly someone saw fit to remove the label.WHY? People have been posting up such photographs of flowers all over Ireland and Britain, and some further afield, and in too many instances other people have removed the signs…I replaced the flowers and made a new sign, which thankfully has not been removed.
It was lovely that a commemorative bouquet was also put up for the only Israeli child that has been killed so far. Every child is precious….
It seems such a small gesture, but there have been heartwarming messages from people in Gaza, who have been touched by these gestures of solidarity for them in their plight. So many children left orphaned, so many shattered families grieving for children who’s lives have been so cruelly cut short….. http://www.gazaschildren.com/, and thousands of children injured, both physically and psychologically. How will these people EVER rebuild their shattered lives, homes, livelihoods?
It is 66 years since Britain, and the Oslo protocol, ‘gave’ Palestine to the Israelis, and Zionist forces expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, committed 31 massacres, and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns…and how many more resurgences of war on Palestinians since then? At least three, and with a backdrop of constant bullying from the illegal settlers and Israeli armed forces in the streets…when the USSR collapsed there was a mass migration of Jews from Eastern Europe to Israel, and they have been illegally settled on Palestinian land.
At the end of the 19th century, Jewish people made up half the population of Jerusalem, but only 5% of the population of Palestine, with 10% Christians and 85% Muslims; all subjects of the Sultan of Constantinople, in the Ottoman Empire, an Empire with no frontiers, living in peace together……until the Brits, French and Italians went to carve it up……the rest, as they say………
So, what about the artists getting out of bed?
The time honoured role of creative people since the first cave paintings, the first written words, is to reflect; to mirror back an identity to their society. To work from, and for, Love…not just for money.
Here is a powerful piece from a Palestinian artist…it moves the heart far more than just words.
Along with small projects for Gaza, I’ve been involved with the campaign to stop Fracking on our tiny island. We had a 40 mile Tractor run of protesting farmers, with 140 decorated tractors joining in, and another event with a cavalcade of fishermen towing boats with signs, wanting to protect the pure waters of Ireland…(with typical Northern Irish humour, their groups are called F.A.R.T., Farmers Are Resisting Tamboran, and S.O.W., Save Our Waters..) We had choirs putting on performances, and a camp at the quarry where, unknown to the uninformed locals, drilling rigs were brought in at 4.30 a.m. I won’t elaborate on all that here, but we did manage to halt, however temporarily, the illegal setting up of a test drill. When politicians and councillors are offered “sweeteners” to turn a blind eye to the letter of the law, ( and Boy! that sure happens…20,000 euro given to a local business forum…), by multi-nationals who will be here just long enough to sell on in a Ponzi scheme, reap their profits, and get out before the pollution and devastation hits the fan, the ‘common people’ must keep their eyes open!
The timing of that, and the ceasefire in Gaza, allowed me to step back from the fray for a while, which was very serendipitous timing as I had an old friend from Scotland coming to help me sort through my chaotic shelves and drawers and stacks of artwork….I needed her to drag me kicking and screaming, and cast a professional eye over which pieces should go on the bonfire pile; clearing the decks can clear the mind summat wonderful!
My birth and adopted sisters are spread all over the world, but thank heavens for the Sisterhood! Three more dear friends came over for a day to help me blitz my woefully neglected garden, and seemed happy to go home with artworks and calligraphy…fair trade is infinately more rewarding than mere commerce, and breaking bread together and catching up with the craic is much more fun!
So now, I must return to the drawing board, producing artwork for a fundraising exhibition for Gaza. (However, as “Procrastination is the Art of keeping up with Yesterday”, I might just nip into WP to read all the posts I’ve missed from my favourite bloggers!)
I’ll end with one of the most poignant poems I have read for a long time…it brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.
A powerful overview of your activism on Gaza – it beggared belief to see what was happening to the civilian population. I have been to Gaza and they had absolutelynowhere to hide…we have a friend, now living in Canada, who was a medical Dr in Gaza and lost daughters and a niece when his apartment block was bombed by Israel the last time around…he went on to write a book called ‘I shall not hate’. He is desperately trying to bring injured children here from Gaza, to our world renowned Sick Children’s Hospital so they can receive treatment they can’t get at home. There are horrifying things we can do to each other but then there are good people like you and your friends who won’t stand quietly by…
I’m dog tired, and have just managed to accidentally wipe out a long reply, but bless you for your kind words! x
Great post Charlie! The depth of your feeling comes through so strong here. Shame on the world governments for what they are allowing to happen to Palestine and it’s people.
Thank you, Bridget! Having a few good friends like you, who ‘hear’ and share my deep feelings, makes it easier to bear the total incomprehension I have for our species now! Has the world ever felt this dangerous and precarious before? I was fuming yesterday when I heard a snippet of Obama pontificating on the car radio, about how “We wouldn’t allow the invasion of Bosnia, and we won’t allow the invasion of the Ukraine”….But they actively aid and abet Israel’s invasion in Palestine….You can just imagine the inflammatory effect of his words on Putin….and it’s ALL to do with fuel resources….Shame, indeed!
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Hope you don’t mind but I have reblogged your post on my blog. Powerful stuff…
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Re: your comment below, why on earth would I mind you reblogging it? I’m touched that you would……must ask you about reblogging, how it works, etc.xxx
Reblogged this on fromacountrycottage and commented:
Hi folks! Sorry for nor blogging for some time but there are major changes happening in my life right now. I need time to absorb and readjust these happenings. All is well, do not worry my friends.
The post I am reblogging is written by my good friend Charlie Easterfield. She writes of how the scandal of what is happening to Palestine and it’s people has affected her.
That was really powerful and beautiful. (I’ll be thanking Bridget for posting the link on her blog.) When I get depressed at the state of the world, blogs like yours remind me of all the wonderful real people out there living their lives without harming anyone. WE are humanity – not those in power! I’ll be “dropping in” more often now I know you’re here.Thanks, Marian
How lovely that you ‘found’ me via Bridget! And thank you for your kind words….I, too, get depressed at the state of the World…it’s beginning to make me feel really old! But making small, positive moves can at least help us feel less hopeless! All Best Wishes! Charlie.
I seem to have just wiped out a comment…but maybe Bridget has to ‘approve’ it….I’ll wait and see.Do you have a blog yourself? Charlie x
Thanks Charlie, I got both comments. No, I don’t have a blog- not sure what I want to say yet!? That’s why I like to comment when something rings true in someone else’s work.I have just had a peek at some of your other pages and I love your artwork too.
Keep it up (and if you have another one of those “clear outs”, say the word. I’m sure your “seconds” would be amazing.) take care, Marian x
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A powerful piece of writing.
Thank you, Sarah! xxx
What an incredibly powerful and thought-provoking post. Thanks to Bridget for re-blogging to share with the WP community and spread the word.
Thank you! I went to look at your blog, but got Gravatar thingy saying I had to sign in…I’m not very WP savvy, so got out of there, but maybe you could send a link for me to see? x
Thank God for people that give a shit and can commit to doing something about it ,thanks. X.
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Hi Michael, it’s a coincidence that you commented today; I’ve been out of WordPress for ages, but today I’ve just returned from Dublin, where I was at the planting of an Olive tree and an Ash tree, to symbolise solidarity between Ireland and Palestine. Amongst a gathering of the Great and Good, we heard from Palestinian poet, Rafeef Ziadah, who I’m excited about going to see tomorrow night….her poem, We Teach Life, is very moving…may be on youtube? Thanks for the encouragement! Charlie.