This is breakfast in the little coffee shop I pass every morning on my way down the granite hall and up marble-trimmed stairwell to the office. While the rest of pre-Washington Washington was building everything EVERYTHING out of old growth timber, Olympia’s fat cat Insurance executives decided they would sit finest European minerals on the shaky infill beneath downtown. (After much circling and pawing, of course) Always a sucker for anachronisms, I’ve thought a lot about the heavy weight of the financial structure on a foundation of questionable premises these days.
But this building houses the future of my little slip of water for the time bein. I’m working on the 3rd floor in the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice as the Operations Manager (Office manager, Project Manager, Budget and Financial Manager, Managing to Manage Manager). It’s amazing work, an incredibly lucky and meaningful gig to land in tough economic times and so close to the work I’ve been doing lately.
Our board president and spiritual mother Cindy came back from her delegation to Gaza today. She and her husband Craig, the parents of a 23 year old woman killed in 2003 by the Israeli Defense Forces while protecting a Palestinian home from a bulldozer, recently returned to the Gaza Strip and the site of Rachel’s death with a group of Americans on International Women’s Day. As Cindy sat in our warm office today, my morning’s coffee still tickling my nerves and my full breakfast filling my belly, she told of the devastation, trauma and intense human tragedy she just witnessed.
Cindy is an incredibly kind person, always eager to see the good in people and loathe to speak ill of anyone. As she unloaded some of the horrors laid at her feet, little girls who had witnessed bodies of policeman flying around, families suffering the indignity of 7 years of peeing with their bathroom doors open so the IDF soldiers occupying their house could monitor them, piles of rubble full of children’s shoes, I felt I had to acknowledge her hurt and devestation. Perhaps we as outsiders are not meant to fully take on or understand the depth of suffering far away, but what if we are meant to try?
An interesting interview with the Corries: