By Rosemarie Milazzo

Last week, we visited a village on our mountainous border, where farmers told us of their land being bombed once again by Turkey and Iran.  Kak J invited us warmly into his home and told us the story.

We also visited Mrs. H, the wife of a man kidnapped from his home because he spoke out for justice and against oppression. “I am afraid each day,” cried Mrs. H, after her husband was abducted, his head shaved and then he was taken away with his teen aged son.

“I live in a jail” said Kak J  after his farm was bombed once again.

I pondered when we were back on road, what is it like to live in fear,  what is it like to live in a jail, there are no bars on these jails, yet, I could almost hear them saying.

“there are inner bars cutting me up”

Mrs. H told us, “my heart is shackled, where is daddy” cries my son, “when will he be home again”

Kak J said, “I walk on my land and see shrapnel, huge bomb remnants where I once saw my animals grazing,”

Mrs. H “I don’t sleep nights for fear my children may be abducted, I live in fear knowing I, myself may be abducted”

“there are inner bars holding me tight”

Kak J   “where I once saw green, I now see burned up land, my fruit trees, my rice paddies, my tomatoes are all gone. We never know when they will bomb again? Where will we hide, how will we survive? ”

“there are inner bars squeezing my heart”

Mrs. H “my children cannot sleep, I see no smiles, hear none of their songs. Their friends are afraid to play with them,my baby is no more since they pushed me to the ground, will they take my house, where can I go? “

“my inner freedom is darkened..”

“ I carry heavy hurts,”

“I carry dark fear”           

Is this what it means to live in a jail?

Is there a tourniquet to stop the bleeding?

I pondered further…

Yes, the old woman who sneaked into her house after dark to be with Mrs. H when all others were afraid, surely her courage helped stop a bleeding heart. Perhaps all the men who shaved their heads in solidarity with the man kidnapped, kindness doubled... And we who hear the stories, are we called upon to stop hearts that bleed?