I cannot claim to be suffering. Lives have been lost, homes destroyed, but I'm okay. While there have been rocket attacks and sirens that have sent me running for cover, the dangers have been minimal. I live in a community far from the front. From my backyard I can hear the distant thunder of the Israeli army's artillery as it pounds into Gaza, and the boom of an occasional rocket interception overhead, but I live in relative safety.
Still, this war is affecting me. I find it hard to concentrate, to come up with new ideas, or to revise old ones. As a writer currently editing a new novel, I cannot escape what is happening and dive into my writing wholeheartedly.
Turn on the television. No matter the time of day, there are newscasts, interviews with analysts who aren't capable of telling me what the hell is really going on. What happened to the comedies, the reality shows? How can you sit back and laugh when everything around you is a tragedy, a reality show with a cast of millions of innocent civilians?
Turn on the radio. The hourly updates announce another soldier killed, another rocket attack, another military operation, another broken ceasefire.
Look at the Internet. The media is reporting a conflict in which only one side is to blame. Anger builds, but what can one say when the world refuses to listen? Social media has become a battleground, with hateful tweets and posts launched from one side at the other, and no middle ground.
The telephone. I wait for it to ring. I dread the possibility that it will ring. The other morning while working in my office, the screen indicated that my son was on the line. Had he been called up for emergency reserves duty? Was he to be sent to the front to fight? No, he had called me at the early hour to report that he had received a promotion at work.
Even in the midst of a war, life goes on. I get up, go to work, read the news. I drive home, fearful that a siren will interrupt the journey. I eat dinner, and watch television. The news doesn't get better.
Life goes on, but it is not the same. Something is missing. Inner peace is gone. Nerves are frayed. It is difficult to relax. It is difficult to breathe. And, it is hard to create.
Photo credit: The Israel Project