Thursday, August 10, 2006

Music Therapy in a Supermarket Bomb Shelter

For the last several hours, I have wanted to post to this blog, and for one reason or another, with all that is going on, I couldn't get to it. "Later", I reasoned.

After weeks of not leaving my house and village, this morning I ventured out to the post office in the neighboring Arab village. Afterwards, I drove quickly to Carmiel (where a few hundred bombs have hit during the war) to by groceries at the one remaining open supermarket (my two week stockpile ran out). In the middle of shopping, sirens wailed, warning of imminent bombing. Crash, boom, the bombs started to drop, very close to us. The mix of Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian speaking shoppers and clerks ran into the bomb shelter and stairwell for cover. The manager who burst into tears, was in shock. She worked next to the open door as the bomb exploded.

Tears filled my eyes as I held her tight.

I watched in silence, observing the human drama unfold. Commotion all about amongst a sea of nervously chattering waves in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian. The bombs do not differentiate between religion, creed, class or color. Everyone is getting hit here in the Galilee.

I noticed that those who wanted to be quiet, gravitated towards the stairwell where I was sitting quietly on the steps. At one point, I began to sing - softly. The acoustics of the stairwell was great. One woman turned around and remarked, "Yes! That is what we really need now", she smiled at me.

Funny, just then I remembered this blog, grateful for the opportunity to share a moving moment with others.

I have been asked to share how I work with patients. My practice is of a unique kind, not requiring a traditional "therapist-patient" role. This morning for example, in the supermarket, my role was that of therapist and patient. This morning's example taught me, that sometimes, the most important way we can help others is through our silence. I felt most helpful when I sat there silently observing with compassion for all of us.

I spoke to people as well. Afterwards, I felt that maybe it was too much. My silent compassion was the most powerful gift I could give. is a new website just opened. On it, you will find "Quiet in the Eye of the Storm: Living Peace in a War Zone" a downloadable book with stories from daily life here, along with simple and practical exercises you may use yourself (and with clients) for staying calm even in the worst of circumstances.

Thank you for your comments. I have wanted to reply, but haven't yet figured out how to on this blog. Please keep them coming.

No comments: