I'm back in DC and having a hard time relaxing or concentrating. I promised myself I would try to incorporate the lessons I learned in Mexico into my life. I am trying to not be a workaholic. Trying to embrace the creative, non -analytical judgemental side of my brain. Trying to use my body to release stress and anxiety. I just spent 45 minutes trying to do my yoga/meditation dvd. As I try to concentrate on the feelings in my body, I feel panicky. Anxiety keeps flooding my mind. I can't focus and my heart feels like its going to explode as my throat contracts. I feel like I'm preparing for a fight somewhere.
After a month in Lebanon, DC feels boring and pointless. Going into a week's worth of planning meetings to discuss the future of RI seems futile. Today we learned that the world as we know it will end in about 10 years because of global warming and that conflict will erupt all over the globe. I want to talk about my experiences in Lebanon but not at a cocktail party. I don't want to bore my friends. I don't want them to worry about me. I don't want to get into a substantive discussion with my colleagues because I don't want to offend them. And above all, I'm tired of trying to defend my own nascent beliefs and ideas which, after all, were formed through my direct experiences, rather than through just reading about the region. Can't I just have that?
I miss Nadim, the driver, whom I know I will probably never see again. I miss the camraderie of the journalists and human rights observors: Nir, Hannah, Layla, Francoise-Xavier, and Nadim at dinner parties - we were all joined in the same mission. I miss Natalie, Georges, and Serge - I want to talk about music with Serge and men with Nathalie and receive historical lectures from Georges. I even miss duplicitous, unreliable Khalid. I miss the feeling of being awake and aware and engaged and that I might actually be accomplishing something.
Right now, as I look at the grey skies through my windows, I miss the view from the Sofitel. Every morning, I woke up and looked at the Mediterranean. It wasn't a grand seaview... just a sliver of blue in the distance between some apartment buildings. But somehow, seeing the sea every morning made me optimistic.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I have been back from Lebanon for a week now (with a side trip to Paris and Geneva). This weekend, I watched Spike Lee's documentary on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. It was so disturbing. I don't understand why it took so long to help the people in the Superdome. Having watched the 1 million displaced in Lebanon receive help and assistance and then watching the government fumble about in New Orleans was shocking. I want to write more about this but I'm tired and my brain is foggy.