In order to make use of the Norwegian volunteers, the YMCA is sending Linda and me to the women’s organization in Jericho. The tasks I was responsible for at the JAI in Beit Sahour were accomplished, and now another mission is received.

During January I will stay in this old city below sea level, where I live together, and even share bed, with Imm’George. This Palestinian grandmother owns a field where the family cultivates tomatoes, eggplants and spinach. The fridge will hopefully be filled up with vegetables, as soon as we are through with the orthodox Christians’ Christmas celebration this weekend, which involves a whole lot of  sand cookies with dates.

The lady of the house is certainly an amazing cook. She works at the YWCA where you could buy her homemade Palestinian dinner – you bet my fare is guaranteed this month. On the other hand, my need for talking is threatened. My adoptive mother will introduce every sentence with an English word, and later continue in Arabic. I’ll probably have these language lessons for free, but I’ll pay the price in exhausted cerebral cells.

When the need for a break from the surroundings is required, I’ll find my rescue in the wise words of Paulo Coelho and his «seed exercise»:

Kneel on the ground. Then seat yourself on your heels and bend forward so that your head touches your knees. Stretch your arms behind you. You are now in a fetal position. Relax, releasing all of your tensions. Breathe calmly and deeply. Little by little you will perceive that you are a tiny seed, cradled in the comfort of the earth. Everything around you is warm and delicious. You are in a deep, restful sleep.

Suddenly, a finger moves. The shoot no longer wants to be a seed, it wants to grow. Slowly you begin to move your arms, and then your body will begin to rise, straightening up until you are seated on your heels. Now you begin to lift your body up, and slowly, slowly you become erect, still kneeling on the ground.

The moment has come to break completely through the earth. You begin to rise slowly, placing one foot on the ground, then the other, fighting against the disequilibrium just as a shoot battles to make its own space, until finally you are standing. Imagine the area about you, the sun, the water, the wind, and the birds now you are a shoot that is beginning to grow. Slowly raise your arms toward the sky. Then stretch yourself more and more, more and more as if you want to grasp the enormous sun that shines above you, giving you strength and attracting you. Your body begins to become more and more rigid; all of your muscles strain, and you feel yourself to be growing, growing, growing – until you become huge. The tension increases more and more until it becomes painful, unbearable. When you can no longer stand it, scream and open your eyes.

Repeat this exercise for seven consecutive days, always at the same time.


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