After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.
Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via awelltraveledwoman)
With this being the final blog post of the semester, I just wanted to reflect on this course and the impact that it’s had on me. For the first two years that I was at UT, all I felt like I was doing was memorizing useless facts and regurgitating them for exams. Yeah, it was tougher than high…
I’m so glad you chose to switch to social work! I feel as if so many people go through the motions of learning and regurgitating without realizing that they can study something that actually makes a difference (unless, of course, they want to be a researcher and make some crazy medical breakthrough). I’m so glad you’re in social work with us!
At our council meeting, a member made brownies. She said “The ones on the paper plate are dark chocolate. The ones in the container are normal brownies.” Going off what we have been talking about, I questioned why dark chocolate had to be ‘not normal’. I know she meant dark chocolate vs light…
Interesting. I wouldn’t have picked up on something like this, I don’t think. I guess it’s just in our nature (due to racial injustices and the inherent “othering” of society) to note the “other” but not the “normal.”
This weekend I turned 21, every waitress/waiter that passed by carded me when they saw I was drinking.
Every waiter carded you?? I understand the suspicion and the necessity for your waiter to do so, but for other waiters to not trust that your waiter had carded amazes me. Truly is a sign of ageism that probably won’t stop. I’m sure you’ll still be carded when you’re 30.
Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus || Spoken Word (by bball1989)
“Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus”
I read that Bethke’s video quickly gained popularity after it was released in 2012. In fact, it had already accumulated more than two million views just two days after it was released. In this video Bethke talks about why he resents religion, but loves Jesus.
He clarifies, that he believes in God, but he hates the religious system. In fact, he mentions how religions builds huge temples, but fails to feed the poor. And considering how fast this video was spread around popular social networks, we can perceive the uproar that it creates. Certainly, some people support this ideas while others feel offended and attacked.
In my opinion, Jefferson is just expressing how he feels about religion based on his experience and the way he interprets the Bible. And I applaud his boldness because it is hard to talk about such a controversial issue. I think that Bethke’s poem is, in some fashion, a way of ‘resistance and making his voice be heard’.
Poem By Jefferson Bethke:
What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion What if I told you voting Republican really wasn’t His mission? What if I told you republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian And just because you call some people blind doesn’t automatically give you vision
I mean if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever had a divorce But in the Old Testament, God actually calls religious people whores
Religion might preach grace, but another thing they practice Tend to ridicule God’s people, they did it to John The Baptist They can’t fix their problems, and so they just mask it Not realizing religion’s like spraying perfume on a casket See the problem with religion, is it never gets to the core It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores Like let’s dress up the outside make it look nice and neat But it’s funny that’s what they use to do to mummies while the corpse rots underneath
Now I ain’t judging, I’m just saying quit putting on a fake look Cause there’s a problem if people only know you’re a Christian by your Facebook I mean in every other aspect of life, you know that logic’s unworthy It’s like saying you play for the Lakers just because you bought a jersey You see this was me too, but no one seemed to be on to me Acting like a church kid, while addicted to pornography See on Sunday I’d go to church, but Saturday getting faded Acting if I was simply created just to have sex and get wasted See I spent my whole life building this facade of neatness But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness
Because if grace is water, then the church should be an ocean It’s not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken Which means I don’t have to hide my failure, I don’t have to hide my sin Because it doesn’t depend on me it depends on him See because when I was God’s enemy and certainly not a fan He looked down and said I want, that, man Which is why Jesus hated religion, and for it he called them fools Don’t you see so much better than just following some rules Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the Bible, and yes I believe in sin But if Jesus came to your church would they actually let him in See remember he was called a glutton, and a drunkard by religious men But the son of God never supports self righteousness not now, not then
Now back to the point, one thing is vital to mention How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrum See one’s the work of God, but one’s a man made invention See one is the cure, but the other’s the infection See because religion says do, Jesus says done Religion says slave, Jesus says son Religion puts you in bondage, while Jesus sets you free Religion makes you blind, but Jesus makes you see And that’s why religion and Jesus are two different clans
Religion is man searching for God, Christianity is God searching for man Which is why salvation is freely mine, and forgiveness is my own Not based on my merits but Jesus’s obedience alone Because he took the crown of thorns, and the blood dripped down his face He took what we all deserved, I guess that’s why you call it grace And while being murdered he yelled “Father forgive them they know not what they do.” Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you And he absorbed all of your sin, and buried it in the tomb Which is why I’m kneeling at the cross, saying come on there’s room So for religion, no I hate it, in fact I literally resent it Because when Jesus said it is finished, I believe he meant it!
I saw this video when it first came out, and I agree, it is based on his experience for sure. I agree with him yet I remember the controversy surrounding this video on Facebook. One of my theology teachers even made a rebuttal video from the “Catholic point of view.” I think it’s hard to hold certain values yet see ways in which something/an institution you identify with conflicts with the values at times. It can all be interpreted many different ways.
I decided to spend a portion of my afternoon reading the latest issue of the Rolling Stone on my back porch and enjoy the sunshine. The article I was most interested in was the “Rape & the Military - an Epidemic of Assualts & Coverups.” Upon finishing the article I found myself feeling angry,…
Wow. I love your perspective, coming from a military family yourself. It is so easy to view different stories about the military as ‘an outsider’ and speculate about their truth. Hearing your perspective really brings the issues around sexism in the military full circle. I agree with everything you say and hope that maybe the publicity of these cases and the allowance of women to fight in combat are at least the beginning of an evolution of sorts.