Close your eyes and try to sleep now / close your eyes and try to dream / clear your mind and do your best to try and wash the palette clean / we can't begin to know it, how much we really care / I hear your voice inside me / I see your face everywhere...
As cheesy as it is, I can't hear this song without thinking of Rachel Corrie. And it makes me smile in spite of the ache in my chest.
Today is the eighth anniversary of Corrie's death, crushed by an Israeli bulldozer as she stood in front of a Palestinian's home in Rafah, Gaza Strip. I first heard about her death not long after it happened. A journalist friend of ours called me to ask if I knew her. I didn't. But when I said her name out loud, the driver of the car I was in gasped. He had been in Rafah two weeks before. He had met Rachel Corrie. And he had stood next to her in front of the blade of an Israeli bulldozer.
The whole incident sent a chill through all of us internationals working in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip at the time. It seemed to me that the Israeli soldiers treated us more brazenly and that we were far more timid in approaching them.
I am still haunted by her death from time to time. This quote from her journal is the one that links her memory to the song and also makes me weep for what the world lost on March 16, 2003:
I'm really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop.
I hope this makes Pat proud.