Sunday, January 20, 2008


Inspired by a ‘No Comment’ segment on Euronews this week*

Picture this: you’ve been out on what feels like a very long day. You’ve managed to get some of your errands done, but others have been postponed yet again to another day. You’re tired, you haven’t eaten right, your feet are throbbing, aching to tear out of your shoes and breathe. You’ll be home in a little while. You can already anticipate that sense of security when you walk through the front door and shut out the world. The book you were reading will still be next to your favourite chair, you’ve already started craving the leftovers in the fridge, and you can’t wait to treat yourself to a soothing shower, to curl up into your bed, your pillow, with that lingering detergent scent that reminds you of your mother and laundry day as a child. Maybe you’ll go through some of the old photos to cheer yourself up, listen to the worn down tape your friends made for your 25th birthday. It’s been a tough day, but you will soon be home, and you will be safe.

As you approach, you feel a strangeness, something has changed, is out of place, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. With a hollow, sinking feeling you realize that what has moved is your house. It is, simply, no longer there. Your neighbours count you lucky because you weren’t at home when they came, so you weren’t dragged out by four soldiers, piled into a truck and forced to watch the bulldozer make its repetitive, predatory blows. You stare blankly at the space, the ghost of a home now replaced by bulldozed, flattened bricks, pipes, tiles… clothes, sheets, books, photos…

I can’t picture the rest of that scene, cannot for a moment imagine the depths of the ensuing confusion and loss.

Can you?

* Scenes were from a village near Nablus, Palestine.