“The Situation Is Back to Normal” ~ Redefining “Normal”?

Children in the Ruins ~ Az Za'ayyam Photo Credit: Dawn

Children in the Ruins of Demolished Home
Photo Credit: Dawn

I currently have one of the mobile phones from our office which alerts the recipient to incidents of “clashes,” rammings, stabbings, search operations, or other violence. These messages come from UNDSS ~ the United Nations Department of Safety and Security. I received nearly 100 “dings” in three days. When a situation is deemed resolved, a message is sent: “The situation at ___ is back to normal.” The automatic response is to feel some measure of relief. It is impossible, however, to escape the irony, especially when one stops to consider what is considered normal. And perhaps this is part of the problem…

Photo Credit: Dawn

Destroyed Olive Trees
Photo Credit: Dawn

It is a sad day for humanity when ongoing occupation and oppression, checkpoints and closures, permits requested and permits denied, demolitions and detentions, humiliation and hopelessness, restricted movement and refusal for prayers, night raids and nightmares, illegal settlements and unjust laws, blocked access to land and livelihood, confiscation of property and resources, being walled in and walled out, uprooting of trees and uprooting of lives ~ when all of these things are considered normal.

And while writing this post I have received seven “dings” ~ I wonder if any of the many and varied situations are back to normal … But what is normal? ~ Certainly not this litany! Perhaps something more akin to the dream of an ancient prophet ~ And everyone will sit under their own vine and fig tree. And no one will make them afraid.

How can we change the discourse? The perception? The reality? How can we redefine normal? ~ May we be willing to place our efforts in the service of this prophetic dream ~ not an impossible one ~ that it may be so for everyone in this troubled land.

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8 Responses to “The Situation Is Back to Normal” ~ Redefining “Normal”?

  1. Shelagh says:

    Where is that magic wand or supernatural intervention to transform the ugliness of human dysfunction into the harmony and beauty that is meant to be. Each ding is a bell of infinitesimal transformation. Thanks Dawn for answering the call…

  2. I echo Shelagh’s gratitude to you Dawn, for answering the call. I’m giving Nancy extra hugs in your absence. Prayers are with you and your Team. Janelle

  3. Marilyn Blackall says:

    Thanks for sharing this news, Dawn, awful that it is. The use of the word ‘normal’ in this context is really saddening….

  4. Dean Reidt says:

    Thanks for your commitment and sharing with us. Even last year, as an EA in Bethlehem, the “dinging” with the note that there were clashes at Ayda Refugee Camp became all too normal for me as well …

  5. sheila sullivan says:

    I so appreciate your blog but am discouraged by the continuous oppression.

  6. Virginia Sauve says:

    Excellent question, Dawn. I am intrigued by your last statement that a solution is not impossible. I find it hard to be hopeful in such an unjust and inhuman situation. Care to share wherein you remain hopeful?

  7. pugmother says:

    Dawn, you are such a brick! No wonder you were asked to come back!
    I know that what you write is the truth and what an ugly truth it is!
    Take good care of yourself Dawn!
    Big hugs from both of us and and like Read Sherman we send Pug Hugs as well!
    Mieke and Malcolm

  8. Dawn, I am just catching up on your blogs. I want you to know that I will be sharing some of yours and Jan’s experiences when I am in Drayton Valley this Sunday. Please keep taking some time to keep us all informed. With gratitude and hugs to all of you, and if you see Leila and Lubna, please give them hugs and blessings for me. Blessings, Debbie

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