I found a seashell in my bed the other day. You can tell it’s old – all of the edges are worn away and its ridges are smooth. I picked it up to try to figure out where it came from, and my room faded into the backdrop as I remembered sitting on the grainy beach with eight other ultimate peace coaches for our end of the year celebration. The waves are tumbling and the wind is harsher than a breeze but not so violent as to disturb the cups and snacks littered across our picnic table. I can’t hear anything in my foggy memory, but I see collective laughter, a few tears of gratitude. Continue reading
This is the last 2/5ths of an essay I wrote to help me deal with everything swimming through my head this week. I think these two parts stand on their own, but if you are ambitious enough please check out the full version.
The coaches with UP’s year round program are always an eclectic bunch. There are some transplants from the US, like myself. There are local Israeli born players. And there are the foreigners, the Americans and Europeans who are in the region temporarily for anywhere between two months to four years. These three groups come together to create a cadre of coaches who travel everywhere from Jericho to Tamra, from Binyamina to Ein Rafa, and many places in between.
We drive together, coach together, gorge on humus and shwarma together. We share in the ups and downs of a yearlong program coaching in all these communities. We share stories of little kids with amazing forehands, or shy players coming out of their shells. This is a family that goes on a journey together. Continue reading
I had the words a few minutes ago. I sit down to write, though, and I realize they’re fleeting. My mind goes back and forth, wanting to write and share, and then wanting to close my eyes until sleep takes me. But I’m going to write. They’re mere words, and while they’ll never be enough, they help me express in the best way that I can the memories I share with Sarah. I find myself telling friends about her, smiling through tears as I recount how she was the first one running onto the field after a spectacular catch by one of our campers, the time she half-carried me off the field due to a cramp, the chocolate-spitting contest that occurred late one night. Continue reading
Its 1:00 in the morning and thoughts of Ultimate Peace practice are keeping me awake. Namely, how does UP introduce and coach the principle of nonviolence with the burgeoning team in Bethlehem, West Bank (pictured below in their first practice of 2014).