There and Back Again

It has been nearly two months since I’ve returned from my travels and as I was thinking about how to write this long overdue post, a childhood memory replayed itself in my mind.

When I was a kid, quite often my mother would unceremoniously load me into her beat up, tan Datsun without telling me where we were going. It was always some innocuous errand or trip to the grocery store,  but my anal retentiveness displayed itself even then and I would squawk like a hungry baby bird, asking where we were going. Sometimes she’d tell me, but more often than not she’d invoke the divinely appointed parental privileged of exasperating her child and answer, “There and back to see how far it is.”

As I chew on this even now obnoxious little sentence, I am struck by how much it applies to my travels. I’ve begun at the ending, and looking backward I see how far I’ve come. As I promised in my last post – almost 3 months ago – I will tell you where I’ve been for so long.

On November 13th I flew into Israel and spent 30 days travelling around the country meeting with various NGOs, activists and peace groups, meeting with Palestinians and Bedouin whose homes have either been taken over, demolished or are under the threat of demolition, as well as documenting human rights violations. My time there has been the most profound, meaningful and heartbreaking experience of my life. Returning to the States as reacclimating myself has been difficult; I’ve been battling an overwhelming sense of guilt, feelings of despair, the burning desire to return, and finally the downward spiral that is depression which has often crippled me. In light of this, I’m sure that you can understand why I haven’t posted in so long.

So this is my first post, one of many that will cover what I saw, did, and experienced while I was there. If any of you have read Lois Lower’s “The Giver”, the easiest way to explain how I feel right now is to compare myself to the Giver. There is so much pain rattling around inside my head, some that are tormenting me, and I will share them all with you. Like many that I’ve spoken with about this trip, I understand that there IS a limit of what I can give you before it overwhelms you and you shut down. Generally it is preceded by a deep exhale of breath followed by the person throwing themselves back in their chair. Since I cannot see you, dear readers, I will try my best to meter what I give you. I will attempt to break apart political posts with accounts of my spiritual experiences whiel I was there. If, at any time, you feel you want to ask a question please comment below or email me at TattooedTheologian at Gmail dot Com (pesky bots!).

For those who have been waiting patiently for me to speak, rather than pushing me to do so, I thank you. I AM back and will try to post as regularly as I can.

Thank you all for your kindness and support.



8 Replies to “There and Back Again”

  1. Thank you for doing this, and for telling us about it! The Palestinian issue is, IMHO, one of the most important of our day. I will do my best to “listen” attentively as you gain strength to tell us about your experiences.


  2. Thank you Leia; after my tour of West Bank in 2015; I echo many of the sentiments expressed here; deeply depressing to see what was happening to the Palestinians then – and that was before Trump! Now with Trump’s blessing they could rapidly finish annexing the whole of the West Bank and maybe the rest of Gaza too! God bless, Andy 🙂


    1. Hi Andy – I am deeply troubled by Trump’s appointment of Friedman and this insane plan to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Not good…


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