Sunday, October 21, 2012

It Is Such a Simple Thing

La Professoressa, my returned darling, stood with the late afternoon sun behind her, her hennaed hair lit up by the sun's radiance, the long branches of the silver gum falling around her shoulders, she faced us vibrant with life, our two younger lesbian friends and me, leaning on the railing of the backyard ramp. That moment of welcome, time to time, that moment of light and love, is really such a simple thing, a moment rich with the possibilities of pleasure. As simple as a family's decades old olive trees fruiting in the desert sun but and such a but, not when the trees and their cultivators live and work in the West Bank. How can sunlight penetrate such words as these: "Two weeks in the West Bank's annual olive harvest, Israeli settlers have destroyed hundreds of trees and attacked Palestinian farmers...Settlers uprooted 300 trees in al-Mughir and Turmusaya villages, cut down 120 trees in Nablus, destroyed 100 olive saplings and 60 vine trees in al-Khader village, uprooted 40 trees in Ras Karkar and assaulted at least four Palestinian farmers." (The Age) All that was wanted was a harvest, a gathering in of the fruits of labor, a simple thing, but the withering heart of the settler movement, blots out the sun of common joy. Here my moment of lesbian love and here the stricken ground of national hatreds. I live in the heat of both.

A Tree of Life Anchored in a Cambodian Temple, through La Professoressa's Eyes, October 2012

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