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Life Arts

Iran, Pulling Teeth and Wrestling with the Violence Within

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After months of preparation for my 5th of November 2010, trip to Iran with FOR: Fellowship of Reconciliation, I learned this morning I need a 'special' visa to meet with Media and I erupted-lost my temper with one of the coordinators.

Only a few hours prior, I published:

Because I am married to their Grandpa John, these two call me Granny E; and although neither is interested in pursing a career in dentistry, they imagined and implemented a new way to pull teeth.
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Tooth Fairy vs. Jetski

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I imagine a world of nonviolence, but am challenged by my own simmering rage over injustice and hypocrisy which always erupts over willful ignorance and my own blatant stupidity.

Case in Point was illuminated during a Fleming family annual fishing vacation that included four grand kids ages 5, 7, 9, 11, their folks, a son-in-law, our daughter celebrating her 25th and a same aged niece from Washington State.

As we waded to shore in thigh high water, I asked my husband if I could walk around the island and John replied, "Sure you can".

We walked together in silence as my mind wandered and my gaze transfixed on sea and sky. I walked for some time before I turned around to look for John, but he had disappeared from view. I thought he was hunting for shells, so I just kept walking thinking I would soon come to the end of the isle across from Boca Grande.

The only other people I ever saw on the isolated island had been a young couple with a rented boat from Sanibel Harbor who had dropped anchor near to where we had and shortly thereafter, a woman my age who was missing more than a few teeth and playing fetch with one of the three ugliest mutts I have ever seen.

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One dog ran for drift wood, one played in the surf and the other dug a tunnel so deep into the sand, all that was visible was it's tail. As I passed by, I commented, "They are just like kids" and through her gap-tooth smile she murmured, "Yes, they are."

Just as the end of the island came into view, I crossed paths with a middle aged couple searching for shells and I soon regretted resisting the urge to ask if they knew how long it takes to walk all around the island.

As soon as I turned the corner of Caya Costa that led into Pelican Bay, all I could see were mangrove trees in front of me. I wondered why my husband said I could walk around an island without sand on one side, and I was still clueless to the fact that I had treaded into brackish water-where salt and fresh unite. For a fleeting moment I entertained the thought of swimming, for I was thirsty and hot and the mangroves were so thick that the cool breeze by the sea did not penetrate.

I had no idea how deep the water might be and as I only imagined that a shark might happen by, I nixed the swim and continued to wade around the cove remaining close to the mangroves. Not until I had made my way through half the area, did I notice what I imagined was a root from a mangrove tree stretched out in a straight line twelve feet from the edge of the tress. The furthermost end appeared eerily similar to a gator head, and I stopped and stood still and counted to thirty. As the image remained stationary, I figured my imagination had only conjured up a gator for I know alligators live in fresh water and not salt.

I resumed walking and keeping my eyes on the 'root' which remained still, until I was less than a yard from it and only then did it rapidly descend beneath the water line. I turned and fled as fast as I could all the while imagining a submerged gator grabbing my foot and dragging me out to sea to drown me before it devoured me.

I also had a fleeting thought that most writers do indeed have to die before people begin to read them.

By the time I reached dry land my heart was pounding like a Yamaha motor stuck on fast and I could not catch a deep breath and a headache had kicked in, my knees were weak and my hands shook as if I had come down with an acute onset of advanced Parkinson's Disease. I concentrated on slowly inhaling through my nose and fully exhaling to calm myself down and then I realized how intensely thirsty I was.

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org Staff Member of Salem-news.com, A Feature Correspondent for Arabisto.com Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)

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