Quote of the Day: Luisa Igloria, “This”

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THIS

This is all you have, this life, this patch of ground marked by wood
and water, a little strand of caterpillar silk caught on low shrubs at
the wood’s edge. Everything happens here, or doesn’t happen, or
is about to change. Shadows lift at dawn, noon strikes the top of
the stone cherub’s head in the middle of the square. Pigeons blend
in among the cobblestones. It’s not much, you think: a sleepy
town, the cats in the alley, the same old men playing chess in the
park; the row of tailor shops, the bakers pitching bread into the
fire. The loaves get a little smaller every year, though they remain
as sweet. The lovers with only one place to walk. The seawall. The
pier. The post office at one end of the main street, the market at
the other. Rain drips down every house post and gutter. Flowers
and whitewash on grave markers. You can leave if you want, rent a
room in some city crisscrossed by wires and steel. On every rooftop,
gargoyles opening their mouths to the rain, drinking it all in but
never filling, never filled. Crossing the street, you turn, distracted:
flowering wisteria, japonica, scent spilling urgent messages over
a stone boundary. Nothing leaves, merely decants to color, to
sediment, to underlying pulse.

— from Night Willow, a poetry collection by Luisa Igloria

THE WAY TO THE SPRING: The Roots of Conflict

The town of Hebron used to have a small Jewish community. In 1929, Ehrenreich writes, “nearly 10 percent of Hebron’s” Jewish community was slaughtered.

Before then, “Jews and Arabs lived in relative harmony throughout Ottoman-era Palestine. Overall, Jew enjoyed greater security and freedom in the Muslim Levant than they did among Christians elsewhere, particularly in Eastern Europe, but also in the West. In his official report to the British Parliament on the 1929 ‘disturbances,’ Sir Walter Shaw acknowledged that ‘there had been no records of attacks of Jews by Arabs’ in the previous eight decades and representatives of all parties had concurred that before the (First World) War the Jews and Arabs lived side by side if not in amity, at least with tolerance. The aggravating factor, Shaw was forced to admit, was the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which promised British support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, such that ‘the Arabs have come to see in the Jewish immigrant not only a menace to their livelihood but a possible overlord of the future.” (pp. 192 – 193)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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