Six days before my fifth trip to Israel Palestine, Bon, my best friend from the 1970's and concert companion, phoned me, "I have two tickets and back stage passes for ZZ TOP appearing at the Verizon in Birmingham, and one of them has your name on it."
"Oh, Bon, I just can't, I will be home less than three days from two weeks in occupied Palestinian territory and after four trips, I know I will be whipped."
"Well, think about it."
I thought about it for three days and then checked on flights and decided to book one, for the thought came to me that I would need some fun-and disengagement from the pain and misery of occupied territory.
For the uninitiated, ZZ Top, is a rock and blues band with a sound that puts one in mind of four flat tires on a gravel road with a beat that hits you in the groin, lyrics with a wicked sense of humor accompanied by smooth synchronized dance moves by the bearded and sunglasses shaded lead and bass guitarist's, Billy and Dusty.
So, on Tuesday the final day of July 2007, I drove the hour from my sanctuary in the Green Swamp with time to spare hoping for an on time departure of 1:25 PM for Delta Flight 6026. Luck was not on my side, and the flight was rescheduled for a departure at 3:05. Ten minutes before boarding time, a lightning storm moved into the area and the terminal closed down until 4:45. Immediately following the announcement when the weather had cleared and my hopes soared for flights would begin boarding, the speaker then informed us that the first flight attendant for Delta Flight 6026 was a no show and we would have to wait until the entire flight crew was present, so boarding didn’t happen until 5:30 and take off at 6:05 PM.
I had spent my waiting time sitting on the floor with my lap top plugged into an outlet and pounding out my heart and more articles about my experiences in occupied territory, until my battery light came on and warned me that I had only 11% of power left; for the electric outlets at Gate 60M, are dead.
I had been sitting on the floor for at least two hours and was stiff and sore, so I stretched and walked around for a while. The gate was packed with people, but I spied a dozen or more single solitary chairs scattered around and was led to put my butt down in one between a plump middle aged blond reading a book and a thirtyish dapper African American sporting patent leather shoes and wearing a tie around his neck. After I disconnected my cell phone updating Bon on my non-arrival, he said,
“I am on my way to Birmingham too, but I live in Orlando. I am traveling on business, but you sound like you are traveling for fun.”
FUN! That word again, that word ‘FUN’ drove me nuts every time anyone wished me to have some, before my last of five trips to Israel Palestine.
I would reply to them all, "I do NOT go on these trips to have fun, but because I want to change the world as we now know it. If only everybody would DO SOMETHING too, it would happen and then I could just stay home!"
A few days before Friday the 13th of July when I boarded a plane for the fifth time in two years for Israel Palestine, PEK, an Internet connection who has become a sister and friend emailed me that she would daily remember me in prayer for a safe journey and successful mission, and ended with: “Have fun!”
It was only then, that it struck me that God was speaking through all those people to me to lighten up, do what I must, but have some fun too. Fun for me is pouring out my heart and guts on the World Wide Web, for my government and military visit my website daily. Even if they were the only ones reading my efforts to challenge the empire, my time and money are well spent, for dissent is what keeps democracies healthy. And as hyper active kids grow up to be hyper active adults, I must play every day, but most adults call what I do for fun: working out. The hotel I lived at for two weeks in east Jerusalem: occupied territory had a pool and decently equipped workout room, so after investigating the facts on the ground in occupied territory, I would play and then spend the night pouring out my heart on the world wide web.
I responded to the inquisitive business man, “Yeah, I am counting on having some fun by going to a concert with an old friend, which is how we both spent a lot of our time in the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, before our daughter’s arrived and changed our lives for a few decades.”
“My name is Buss and I am on my way to Birmingham to deliver a program I designed to teach restaurant managers how to instill self-discipline in their employees; and the secret of success is self discipline.”
“And being persistent!” I added.
“Right you are and do you know about the principals of fishing?”
“I don’t know where you are leading me, but I’ll bite!”
He pulled out a slim book entitled, “FISH: Release the Potential, Boost Morale and Improve Results” by Stephen C. Lunden, PhD and told me the story about a happily married couple who moved to Seattle and shortly thereafter the husband expired from an aneurysm. The depressed and lonely wife wandered into a fish market one life changing day and witnessed a group of playful guys throwing fish at each. One of them turned to her and said she looked as if she carried the weight of the world upon her shoulders and asked her what was troubling her.
She told him none of his business and then she asked him why he was throwing fish around like a little kid.
The fish throwing man replied that he and his buddies threw fish at each other as part of their business, because the secret of success is to have the right attitude, be fully present to the moment you are in, make the day of all the others around you and always have fun!
Buss concluded his sermon with, “And you know what? Those two fell in love and got married!”
I mused out loud, “I suppose the fifth principal of success is also being open to your destiny and following where ever you may be led?”
“Right you are again for success requires you step out of your comfort zone, but remember to hold onto what you’ve got, until you get what you want.”
I replied, "Well, I have a lot and stepping out of my comfort zone has become a near addiction, for what I want is an evolution revolution; a transformation of hearts and minds, a political and spiritual greater awakening!
"I have a website that challenges the status quo of the empire and a link that tells me, Big Brother visits me on a daily basis. Even if my government and military were the only ones reading me, it is well worth my time and efforts to confront the axis of empire; USA, Israel and the limp corporate mainstream media!
"The only place for voices like mine is the World Wide Web and as long as we have freedom of thought and speech in America, I am raising mine!"
The 20th century radical anarchist and consummate agitator of the status quo, Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance; it's not my revolution."
Dance I did to ZZ Top and fun I had with my friend Bon, and I was able to get the little children of Palestine who only see Israelis through the barrel of a gun, out of my head.
For a little while.