Israel is a country of visionaries, although these days most seem to specialize in visions of tragedy. A visionary jewelry designer “read” my personality as a visionary, detailing my way of experiencing events immediately and emotionally, then needing to pull back and balance. It’s not easy to seize meaning so completely, he so accurately said.
After the three hitchhikers’ deaths were answered by a revenge murder, endless visionaries saw the country being drawn into a play, a tragedy that no one wanted but felt compelled to act in. They invoked Greek tragedy, fate, and the kind of tribal reponse that is ancient in the Middle East. I heard it over and over, and while tribal warfare uses modern means of destruction, it is being played out with all the darkness of vision predicted.
Where are the visionaries who see solutions? Certainly not Netanyahu and cronies, and Hamas and cronies, who are mired in the moment with no vision whatsoever.
That leads to more off-beat options. For instance, years ago the illustrator and author Maira Kalman wrote in her blog about the small mindedness of neighbors at a time of local war and global crisis. It was during the war with Lebanon. She visits the cemetery, begging and praying for her buried relatives to “do something, they know someone – pull some strings for peace.”
We have to talk to the dead. The dead were dreamers, and they built the country as visionaries. What do the dead want? They want us out of the stuckness. In the way that the dead never say, “I wish I’d spent more time in the office,” the dead would never say, “I’d like to see more people killed by bombs.” They want us to breathe. They want them to breathe. If only the dead have the vision right now, let’s go to them: Let’s get the dead relatives to pull some strings for peace.