"We have got to understand that people in third world countries think and care and smile and cry just like us. We have got to understand that they dream our dreams and we dream theirs."
Rachel Corrie was just 10 years old when she wrote those words. It's been many years since she was murdered by an Israeli bulldozer operator while trying to defend Palestinian homes and houses. But her words still stop my heart. Those are the words of a Dream Dancer.
It's said that a friend is a person that knows the song in your heart and can sing you the words if you forget them. A Dream Dancer is someone who learns the words of the song in your heart and the music and just starts dancing the words into reality. I am one of Harry Birds Dream Dancers. It's a life-long honour and one I could not have done alone because when I passed out, other Dream Dancers lifted me to my feet so we could keep dancing.
There is another word: Kola. A Kola is like a very special friend who loves you so much that they would give their life for you without a second's hesitation. A Kola is a special kind of friend and most people are lucky to have just one Kola in their whole lives. A Kola is someone who believes in you and will never stop. A Kola is somebody who will never stop trying to set you free if you are captive. A Kola is someone who will cry when you cry and laugh when you laugh. And a Kola never needs to be asked to protect you; they are the person who is already fighting to protect you before you even knew you were in a fight.
I guess nobody expected a 10 year old girl to be a warrior Kola. But Rachel Corrie was. The stories say she was out bullhorning, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and a big bulldozer with the words "Catepillar: Made In America" emblazoned prominently first approached Rachel, then buried her, then drove over her, then backed up over her and ground it's treads back and forth upon her.
It was said that the operator of this bulldozer was grinning and laughing the whole time. Now this may be true or it may be story but I know it's consistent with the behavior over there. So we honour Rachel Corrie as a warrior. And we don't let her name be forgot. And we sing her songs in case anybody should forget the words.
Here are some she wrote in 2003 as she travelled to the place that would be her grave:
"We are all born and someday we’ll all die. Most likely to some degree alone.
What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing?
If I lived in Bosnia or Rwanda or who knows where else, needless death wouldn’t be a distant symbol to me, it wouldn’t be a metaphor, it would be a reality.
And I have no right to this metaphor. But I use it to console myself. To give a fraction of meaning to something enormous and needless.
This realization. This realization that I will live my life in this world where I have privileges.
I can’t cool boiling waters in Russia. I can’t be Picasso. I can’t be Jesus. I can’t save the planet single-handedly.
I can wash dishes."
We do not remember Rachel Corrie the dishwasher. We remember Rachel Corrie the warrior that stated her intent and followed through with it. she gave her life in this world where she had priviliges.
Of course in today's parlance, this petite young woman was a "terrorist" or a "terrorist sympathizer" in the eyes of IDF, worthy of torture and death. This little gal might have been one of the ones George W. Bush might have waterboard-tortured and "do it again to save lives". Along with Cheney and Rummy and half the "brave men" of the CIA and our numerous and un-governed "security forces". Those who make a profession of killing men, women and children world-wide each and every day of their black lives and every second in their black minds. Torturers, murderers, theives, liars, cheaters, pedophiles, drug dealers, rapists all are in our employ.
They get a thrill from smashing the bodies of young ladies into the ground. They tell jokes about it and laugh. They laugh until they choke like deamons on their surfeit. Because too much is never enough for a deamon, the hunger that can never be satisfied.
Well we have a hunger too. We have a bond that cannot be broken. And where they have only hate, somehow we keep coming up with love. And we keep hate out of our hearts.
To give you some of this love, have a look at Rachel in her own words here:
I remember Rachel Corrie. I honour her memory. I thought I would tell you these things so you know the significance of these ships and those who gave their lives.
"Next time in Yerushalem"