Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Something Happened

This morning I woke up to another day dawn grey- but something has been brewing, slowly, inexorably since I went to Palestine. I know I have talked about this before, and by how troubled I was at the injustice I witnessed- and I am even more troubled by the unequal reporting of events as they unfold. In the last couple of days I have been watching with a lot of angst the situation in Gaza- especially since the beach massacre last week and since the kidnap of an Israeli soldier on Sunday.

Last Saturday i gave a talk at the Deniquilters Symposium- and I donned the Syrian dress I had purchased in Damascus- the cross stitch so beautiful. Somehow my laptop would not talk to the digital projector ( fortunately I had taken lots of work with me) so i told of some of the things I had seen- but something happened whilst I was standing there in that dress telling them about the women in Ramallah and their response to Across Australia- somehow my breath got restricted and I started to cry- in front of all those people- suddenly it was as if I were faced with that wall, that impossible situation, that injustice. I thought at the time when I was in Palestine that here was another thing that had caused a shift in the way i tread through the world- it arrived in full regalia on Saturday night.The next morning two women brought me beautiful glorious pomegranates.

Then this morning I read two blogs I have looked at a lot lately-Sabbah's blog and Um Khalil's blog. On Um Khalil's blog i found the picture of Fatimah which I have collaged with pomegranates. When I was in Israel, Israeli quilters told me that pomegranates for them was also a symbol for hand grenades in response to my Persephone's Rug for the Underworld quilt- well Fatimah's life came to an end whilst she was sitting down to lunch with her husband , his son and her mother. Fatimah was 37 and pregnant-her picture broke my heart this morning. She was killed by an israeli rocket fired into Gaza to allegedly destroy a terrorist, but which somehow hit the house in which she was eating lunch. Read Um Khalil's blog to see more of Fatimah's story. So my point is- I don't think I can create in the same way anymore- my life has changed. When i was in Israel a quilter took me to a quilt show hung outside of tel Aviv- amongst the quilts that hung there - with the theme trees ; there was a quilt by a woman whose quilt was a political statement about silence being as big a crime as doing- her work was about what is happening to Palestine. So i cannot stand by in silence any more- I can't just talk about quilts or how I make them. My make- up is such that emotion is a strong part of the way i create. I think I have found something I can do with all those cross stitches.


umkahlil said...


The picture of the Fatmeh on my blog is actually another Fatmeh. Her sad story is here:


Thank you for your efforts and what a lovely blog.


Dijanne Cevaal said...

Hello Umkahlil. Thank you for correcting me. I will make another post tomorrow making the correction. And I must admit when I was on the west bank I was shocked that mobility is so limited and that people cannot move from one territory to the other.

Linda Kahlbaugh said...

I was moved by your story. Please share with us the quilts that come from experience.