- Posted November 13, 2012 by
Eshkol Region, Israel
Living with Rude Awakenings
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
Most of today’s alarm clocks have different, “humane” options for waking you gently, welcoming you sweetly into a new day. A babbling brook, sweet bird-song, your favourite song. In the Gaza environs, even if we have such clocks (I have a program on my mobile which I use) it does not mean that THAT is what wakes us in the morning. Sometimes (too often) we receive a “rude awakening” to the sound of a female voice – attempting to sound calm yet urgent - telling us that there is a red alert: “Tseva Aadom, tseva adom”, while simultaneously, the beeper with the shrill shriek which cannot be ignored, cuts through your dreams, to the quick of your soul – expelling you from bed (in case the voice didn’t manage to do it).
That is what woke us this morning. And after a wake up call like that – followed by alarm after alarm – barely leaving time to pour yourself a cup of coffee to take with you on the next sprint to the safe room, it isn’t easy to function. As a teacher, whose schedule was suddenly freed up with the cancellation of today’s lessons, I looked forward to being able to take advantage of this new-found time to make a dent in the piles of work that taunt me from my desk. However, on a day which wakes you up running for cover in your safe room, it is not easy to concentrate. I found myself at the computer, trying to work – but constantly checking the news alerts, peeking at the tv – trying to see what fell, where and why and how. Focus does not come easily when your sleep has been disturbed and equilibrium thrown.
We have had no alerts since the morning, and the silence that surrounds me is almost deafening. I do not perceive it as a calming silence, though, rather as the quiet before the storm. A storm which could follow at any time ….. or it could hold off for a day, a week, a month. But come, it will. So now, the biggest decision I have to make is: do I go to sleep in my bedroom, or in my safe room? Do I let them win, and let fear rule me?
No. My bedroom beckons – and so – I go.